Friday, October 31, 2008

The Force Strong With This One Is



Dog's Halloween Costume

Adding Terms to Justification



UOJ Samurai Stormtrooper, feared by none.


The Cardinal (Cascione) is right about this:

"Adding terms to justification can be just as dangerous a removing terms."

Adding terms like:


  1. Objective?
  2. General?
  3. Subjective?
  4. Universal?



One layman battling OJ in the LCMS wondered about UOJ, which is more common in WELS. All four terms listed above are additions to the Bible and to the Book of Concord.

Proponents have become more extreme in the last decades. "I am saved, just like you" was the theme of a WELS evangelism program during the Wayne Mueller years. I don't own a pair of beer goggles that make Univeralistic statements like that go from "Bow!" to "Wow!"

Most UOJ Stormtroopers admit there is no UOJ in the Book of Concord. UOJ is also Missing in Action in Robert Preus' last book, Justification and Rome. In fact, he said the only justification was justification by faith.

A Pyramid of Lapdogs





Thy Strong Word - Chapter Ten: Practical Applications


A Pyramid of Lapdogs


Lutherans are encouraged to view synods as competing franchises, but they are really a pyramid of lapdogs. His holiness, the Antichrist, sits on the lap of Satan and serves him night and day. No other religious organization has the resources and doctrinal aberrations to attack the Gospel world-wide, night and day. On the lap of the Antichrist sits the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, panting and grinning, pleased to have been welcomed into such an esteemed position. ELCA is completely apostate, glorying in the shame of killing her own unborn children and grandchildren with funds from the pastors’ health insurance. ELCA has a synod on each knee: the Lutheran-Church Missouri Synod and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The Missouri and Wisconsin Synods are allowed to growl and snap every so often, but a few cuffs on the head bring both of them back into line. WELS has the Evangelical Lutheran Synod on one knee and the Church of the Lutheran Confession on the other knee. The ELS thinks it is the top dog because of its position in the pyramid of lapdogs. The CLC needs to be house-trained but loyally waits for a little attention and affection.

Anyone who sees hope for the future in this pyramid of lapdogs is delusional. For almost three decades I have heard various parties speak optimistically about change within their groups, and the synods have only become more corrupt, brutal, self-serving, and dishonest. Their worship of money and pursuit of power is all-consuming.

One of the fundamental errors of this age is the assumption that we are stuck with the established synods. Enjoying the luxury and comfort from estate gifts, the sleek cows of the Lutheran Church shrink from minor sacrifices to proclaim the truth, unmindful of their forefathers, who crossed the ocean in misery, arrived in poverty, labored to bring untilled land into production, and built towering churches glorifying the Means of Grace. We have every luxury imaginable, and they had almost none. Nevertheless, the early Lutherans devoted an inordinate amount of time, money, and effort to publishing the Lutheran classics and making them available to pastors and laity, who scraped together their pennies to buy massive tomes filled with wisdom. When I come across something like Chemnitz' Examen in Latin in a book sale from the estates of pastors, I am reminded that ministers once bought and read Chemnitz in Latin. Now we have the same work in English but it is allowed to go out of print.

Below is a modest proposal for applying the lessons of this book. If the Word of God is applied to our current situation, the pyramid of lapdogs will tumble down, snarling and biting. This effort does not require a re-structuring of the Lutheran synods, except for abandoning the shipwreck of ELCA. No faithful minister can serve in ELCA and no believer can participate in good conscience in the Hellish corruption of ELCA. Moreover, the ELCA leaders have learned their lessons well from the Antichrist and know how to deal with dissent. The Church of Rome can turn a bishop into a gas station attendant if the prelate gets out of line.[1] Therefore, except for encouraging believers to leave ELCA, the proposal is entirely one of applying sound doctrine and repudiating the divorce of the Holy Spirit from the Word and Sacraments, whether the heresy goes by the name of Enthusiasm, Pietism, the Church Growth Movement, or Purpose Driven Churches.[2]



J-1001

"We should not consider the slightest error against the Word of God unimportant."

What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 637.



Worship God in the Beauty of His Holiness


KJV 2 Chronicles 20:21 And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.



A Lutheran congregation has only one responsibility. It is not to grow numerically, to be successful, to balance the budget, or to have a congregation of happy campers.[3] The sole responsibility of the congregation is to worship God in the beauty of His holiness. The marks of the true Church are

1) preaching the Word of God in its truth and purity and

2) administering the Sacraments according to the Scriptures.

The Sunday School is actually a recent invention and the result of the Sunday School Movement, which was largely non-Lutheran in origin.

Consider this comparison of mission congregations. When I was called to A Mighty Fortress Lutheran Church in Phoenix, the Wisconsin Synod began a mission in the same general area at almost the same time. Before we were moved into the house, we had our first regular worship service. From that time on we have had worship services and classes. The WELS mission did not have a name (not approved by the board yet) and did not worship for almost a year, because they had to achieve certain goals first. We worship in a converted garage and the Wisconsin Synod mission is buying property, pending board approval. I do not have a full-time salary. The mission pastor’s princely salary is subsidized by the synod. Obviously the difference in cost for the two missions is enormous, and the expenses become golden chains that bind people together by the force of law with mission loans, mission goals, and mission board meddling. If someone does not agree with the mission board’s Reformed doctrine, his entire congregation can be dissolved before his eyes and restarted with another name and another pastor.

When pastors cared more about the truth than their salaries and benefits, they had the independence of thought to establish congregations free to unite with or separate from ecclesiastical organizations. American synodical history is complicated because of this freedom, so a chart of Lutheran history looks like a map of the Los Angeles freeway system. In the past, ministers have been free to earn an income from secular work, as the Apostle Paul did, and serve a congregation. Today a trained pastor can obtain certification in Microsoft or Cisco, or learn programming, and then earn a handsome salary with benefits while serving an independent congregation. Anyone who has learned Greek and Hebrew will find computer science easy and interesting.[4] Those opportunities do not mean that everyone needs to go out and start an independent congregation, but a pastor today should have the skills needed to support himself if his doctrinal fidelity causes the synod to jettison him. Lacking secular job skills will tend to make a minister timid in the face of synodical disapproval.[5] What we lack in the beginning is not job skills, but faith in God. Count me as one who believed that God would provide but wondered if God would provide until He provided. Beyond all hope, in the midst of many disappointments and betrayals, God has proven this passage true, many times over:



KJV Psalm 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. 26 He is ever merciful, and lendeth; and his seed is blessed.



Our Old Adam does not like to weather the blows of evil men, but we need to realize that the Holy Spirit is so powerful that He can use their worst behavior to drive us forward into blessings we would have never realized without their spitefulness. Four different Lutheran presses refused to publish Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant, in spite of promises from three of them, so I had the unique opportunity to self-publish, a burden and blessing at the same time. I would never have entered book publishing on my own. Someone had to force me. Now I hope the lessons I learned will help others as they become established.

One reason for the many delays of this book is the time I have spent on the phone with distraught pastors and laity. Many times I thought, “Yes. Now I have an evening to write, a pot of coffee, and energy to work.” Then the phone would ring and I would listen and talk for several hours, finally exhausted at the end by the latest examples of disgraceful conduct of conservative Lutheran leaders.[6] My advice has been and continues to be, “Teach the Word and God will take care of the details.” If the caller is a minister, I often say, “Better men than you have been tossed out of the ministry.” That reply is often good for a laugh. A good friend of mine phoned and suggested a different response for me, when I was fired from the CLC for having a pancake supper. His suggestion was: “I have been thrown out of better synods than this!” The worst aspect of all this turmoil is the crushing disappointment of learning how treacherous so-called friends can be, but it also teaches us to rely on the Word of God alone. Many ministers can be bought with a call or threatened into silence. When they do an about face, they are worse than the synod officials who turned them to the dark side.



Lutheran Worship Principles


KJV Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.



The Lutheran congregation has only one task, to proclaim God’s grace through worship, with all other activities subordinate to the Means of Grace. Many people have conspired together to ruin Lutheran worship in the name of making it attractive and appealing to the young. The same synods now must face the fact that they are completely hollowed out. The vast majority of their worship attendance and financial support comes from those in retirement, meaning that the synods are teetering on collapse in the next two decades. The Church Growth foxes first argued for entertaining hymnals with feminist language and got them, especially with the Lutheran Book of Worship and its Baptist-like clone, Christian Worship. Then, after getting the wretched hymnals they coveted, the WELS Pietists argued for no hymnals and no liturgy at all. They worshiped with the song lyrics of the Enthusiasts projected on the wall, just like the Assemblies of God. The result has been an embarrassing number of Lutheran clergy who have turned Pentecostal-Baptist, taking away or wrecking huge investments in time and money. In my opinion, this trend is only beginning. The Missouri Synod already has its own Pentecostal non-geographical district, Renewal in Missouri, with 200 tongue-speaking, miracle-working pastors, who have swallowed the Holy Ghost, feathers and all. The current Barry/Otten administration takes this in stride, just as it accepts and promotes joint religious projects with ELCA.

The best hymnal in use today is The Lutheran Hymnal, printed in 1941. It is not perfect, but it is far better than the improvements that followed afterwards. Lutherans should be ashamed that they have had so many years to build a better hymnal than TLH but continue to produce worse versions. However, we know they have made a ton of money forcing their hymnals on their congregations. WELS congregations had no choice, but the Evangelical Lutheran Synod looked at the proposed hymnal and said, “We can do better.”[7] Nevertheless, for all their posing, WELS and the ELS both borrow from the Liberal Book of Weirdness, painfully obvious if the copyright notices are studied carefully. Lutheran Worship is a sanitized version of the ELCA LBW, so all the Lutheran hymnals in print are clones of the ELCA project, which represented the peak of ecumenical and activist fervor in the Lutheran synods in its time.

People argue against TLH because of its old English language and lack of feminist sensitivity. Ironically, droves of feminists and youth have not joined the synods who replaced TLH with pious mirth. The tendency for all the clones has been to make their hymnals less Lutheran, more Reformed, more Roman Catholic, and more Pentecostal-Baptist. There was once a movement toward liturgical consistency along confessional Lutheran principles, but now the Church of Rome and Fuller Seminary dictate worship guidelines for 99% of Lutherans, a frightening prospect.

The essential retrograde action supporting do-your-own-thing worship has been accomplished in the Lutheran synods. Whatever works is good and Lutherans sigh for acceptance by generic Protestant visitors. Gerberding fought against this attitude in the Muhlenberg tradition, disgusted that worship varied from parish to parish, that pastors let out a loud “Haw!” every so often in the sermon in imitation of Reformed preachers. Now Lutherans are caught between the high church (smells and bells) leaders aping the Church of Rome and the Fuller graduates fighting for no worship at all on Sunday, just a Seeker Service.

The following points express my opinion about Lutheran worship, and I believe it rests upon a Scriptural foundation and sound Lutheran practice.

1. The Lutheran Hymnal is the best choice for worship today because it preserves a formal style of English harmonious with dignified praise of the Holy Trinity. The King James Version remains the most precise English translation to use, the best version for reading in a worship service, and the closest to Luther’s translation.[8]

2. When we lack the vocabulary to understand the words of the liturgy, we should lift up our educational level and not bring worship down to the perspective of Beavis and Butthead, Jane Fonda and Marva Dawn.

3. Latin and Greek names should be preserved and used without blushing. Soon the Collect and Kyrie, Septuagesima and Oculi, as well as the Votum and Nunc dimittis will be forgotten terms among the young.

4. The Sunday worship service should be conducted as worship only. It is not a time to recruit new members by trying to hide our Lutheran identity, to rouse the members to higher levels of institutional glory, or to magnify the synod.

5. The historic pericopes should be used instead of the ELCA/Church of Rome three year cycle. The historic pericopes are exactly what we find in the Lenker Sermons of Luther set, Epistles and Gospels. When that treasure trove is exhausted, send me a letter. Luther found it valuable to preach repeatedly on the same text.

6. Close communion is the only genuine Christian form of the Sacrament of the Altar. If visitors are offended, they belong in an inoffensive congregation.

7. The sermon should reflect Luther’s doctrine. Yes, many ministers claim to be Bible-only, but they usually read Reformed works. The text can be studied in Luther’s sermons, in the Book of Concord, and in many great books becoming available through Repristination Press. The only genuine Lutheran sermon is a proclamation of Law and Gospel.

8. The hymns sung during the worship service should reflect the best of Lutheran worship rather than popular trends. The biographical sketches at the end of this book were gathered to facilitate Lutheran hymn singing. In the worship bulletin, I list Lutheran authors of hymns and discuss their backgrounds during certain services.

9. The worship bulletin should not be oriented toward money, budgets, and being busy, but aimed at the spiritual edification of the members. It is an ideal opportunity to list important Lutheran quotations for the consideration of the members and the pastor.[9] I place a different quotation on the back of each bulletin. Pastors need the wisdom of Lutheran authors, too.

10. The Holy Spirit calls the pastor through the congregation. This call is a unique role based upon his responsibility to God for the souls of the congregation. The members should feel free to ask questions about doctrine and practice, but they should also avoid usurping authority, especially when they simply do not like something, like close communion. Members should never allow an outsider to usurp the role of the divinely called pastor by interfering with the congregation.

***

GJ - There is some hope for WELS at this point, but the strong will defeat the weak. So far, the critics of Church and Change are weak.

David Chytraeus - Overlooked Reformation Genius



David Chytraeus contributed to the Formula of Concord and wrote great doctrinal textbooks.


"How is a person justified before God? This occurs solely by faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ; that is, freely, not because of any works or merits of one's own but only because of the one Mediator, Jesus Christ, who became the sacrificial victim and propitiation on our behalf. By this sacrifice, man obtained forgiveness of sins and became righteous; that is, God-pleasing and acceptable. His righteousness was imputed to man for Christ's sake, and man becomes an heir of eternal life when he believes with certainty that God gives him these blessings for the sake of His Son."

David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), p. 105.



"Christian righteousness is the forgiveness of sin, the imputation of the righteousness of Christ and acceptance to eternal life. It is free, not the result of any virtues or works but is given solely because of Christ, the Mediator, and apprehended by faith alone."

David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), p. 106.



"Scripture therefore uses these words, 'We are justified by faith,' to teach both: 1) What the reason (or merit) for justification is, or what the blessings of Christ are; to wit, that through and for the sake of Christ alone we are granted forgiveness of sins, righteousness and eternal life; and 2. How

these should be applied or transferred to us; namely, by embracing the promise and relying on Christ by faith alone."

David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), p. 107.



"What is the difference between Christianity and paganism? Paganism has no sure Word of God and no true faith in Christ. It is unsettled. In place of the one true God, pagans worship various factitious deities and countless idols with ceremonies, works and sacrifices selected according to human judgment. They imagine that they compensate for their sins with this worship, pacify their gods and make them gracious and purchase, as it were, blessings from them."

David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), p. 19.



"What is the reason for certainty in Christian doctrine?...7. the hatred of the devil over against this doctrine;

David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), p. 21.



"Creation is the external action of God by which God, seeing all other things, visible and invisible, fashioned them out of nothing with this plan of His that He might establish for Himself an eternal Church to acknowledge and praise Him and in which He might dwell forever."

David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), p. 45.



"The good angels are spiritual beings, created in the beginning after the image of God; that is, they are intelligent, truthful, just and free. They are not part of another species or the souls of people; and they are immortal, ordained by God to praise Him and to be servants of the Church and protectors of the devout, Hebrews 1, Psalm 34, Psalm 103, and Psalm 104."

David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), p. 47.



"There are eight sins which militate against faith:

1. Epicurean and Academic doubts about God, His providence and the certainty of the doctrine handed down through Christ and the Apostles.

2. A lack of faith toward God.

3. In regard to the forgiveness of sins, to entertain doubts as to whether we are in the grace of God or if we please God.

4. Despair.

5. Stubbornness of presumption.

6. Confidence in human aids.

7. Superstition.

8. Witchcraft."

David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), p. 65f.



"The sins which militate against the Third Commandment are the profanation of the Sabbath through neglect and contempt of the ministry, through Judaic and superstitious observance of the Sabbath, or through a shifting of the ministry into the kingdom of this world. The faithfulness of those who teach is the virtue by which the ministers of the Church, aware of their modest skill in Christian doctrine, carefully and zealousy discharge and steadfastly protect all the duties of the faithful dispenser of the mysteries of God in teaching, debating, comforting and setting their hearers an example of true devotion and of all the virtues. The other extreme are faithlessness, heedless teaching or negligence in office, or deserting the ministry because of excessive anxiety or concern over one's own weakness."

David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), p. 71f.



"The purest and best part of the human race, the special nursery and flower of God's Church, is tender youth. Youth retains the gift of the Holy Spirit which it received in Baptism; it learns eagerly the true doctrine about god and our Redeemer, Jesus Christ; it calls Him God with a chaste mind and with a simple, pure faith; it thanks Him with a quick and joyful heart for the blessings received from Him; in its studies and the other parts of life, it carries out the duties commanded it; and it obeys God and parents reverently. Particularly God-pleasing, therefore, are the studies of one's earliest age: prayer, obedience and praises which honor God, regardless of how weak and stammering its voice may be."

David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), p. 9.

The Reformation Must Continue



Huss, a forerunner of the Reformation, was burnt at the stake. Most clergy today are afraid of losing that key committee appointment: travel expenses, perks, rubbing elbows with heretics.



"The Lutheran Church is a doctrinal Church. She attaches supreme importance to pure doctrine. The preaching and teaching of God's pure Word is her central activity. Say the Confessors: 'The true adornment of the churches is godly, useful, and clear doctrine.' (Triglotta, p. 401)"
W. A. Baepler, "Doctrine, True and False," The Abiding Word, ed., Theodore Laetsch, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1946, II, p. 496.



"Let him therefore who is concerned about his life not be taken in by the friendliness of heretics to agree with their doctrine. Neither let him be offended at my faults, who am a teacher, but let him consider the doctrine itself." [Origen, Homily 7, on Ezekiel]
Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1971, I, p. 154.



"But now I ought not to quote the Nicean, nor you the Ariminensian Council, as if to judge beforehand. I will not be bound by the authority of this, nor you by the authority of that. On the authority of the Scriptures and not on any one's own, but on the common witnesses of both, let matter contend with matter, cause with cause, reason with reason." [Augustine, Contra Maximum, Book 3, chap. 14]
Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1971, I, p. 155.


"What is the reason for certainty in Christian doctrine?...7. the hatred of the devil over against this doctrine;
David Chytraeus, A Summary of the Christian Faith (1568), trans., Richard Dinda, Decatur: Repristination Press, 1994. p. 21.



"The worst of all is, that we must not only suffer shame, persecution and death; but that the world rejoices because of our great loss and misfortunes. This is indeed very hard and bitter. Sure it shall thus come to pass, for the world will rejoice when it goes ill with us; but this comfort we have that their joy shall not last long, and our sorrow shall be turned into eternal joy."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 80. Third Sunday after Easter John 16:16-23.



"For it is not possible for those not to be offended in Christ who walk by sight and feeling and do not adhere firmly to the Word."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, I, p. 23.



"Perhaps you look about and think: What, could so many people be wrong all at once? Beware, and do not let their number trouble you; hold fast to God's Word; He cannot deceive you, though all mankind be false, as indeed the Scriptures say, Psalm 116:11: 'All men are liars.'"
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, I, p. 416. Epiphany Matthew 2:1-12.



"It is true, the injury is not so glaring, and it appears to be much worse if a person's head is struck off, than if a false prophet or writer comes forward; but a false sermon, yea even a false word, which comes whirling along in God's name, will cut off a great number of souls, so that an entire city or country may fall under it."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, IV, p. 386. Twelfth Sunday after Trinity, Second Sermon Mark 7:31-37.



"Perhaps you look about and think: What, could so many people be wrong all at once? Beware, and do not let their number trouble you; hold fast to God's Word; He cannot deceive you, though all mankind be false, as indeed the Scriptures say, Psalm 116:11: 'All men are liars.'"
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, I, p. 416. Epiphany Matthew 2:1-12. Psalm 116:11.



"The doctrine may well be correctly taught by a person even though his life is evil. Bad doctrine is a thousand times more harmful than a bad life."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 846.



"All the others also say that they are teaching the Word of God. No devil, heretic, or sectarian spirit arises who says: I, the devil, or a heretic, am preaching my own views. On the contrary, all know how to say: This is not my doctrine; it is God's Word."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 640.



"Error and heresy must come into the world so that the elect may become approved and manifest. Their coming is in the best interests of Christians if they take the proper attitude toward it. St. Augustine, who certainly was sufficiently annoyed by wretched sectaries, says that when heresy and offense come, they produce much benefit in Christendom; for they Christians industriously to read Holy Scriptures and with diligence to pursue it and persevere in its study. Otherwise they might let it lie on the shelf, become very secure, and say: Why, God's Word and the text of Scripture are current and in our midst; it is not necessary for us to read Holy Scripture."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 639.



"The devil has the advantage of being able to find pupils for a doctrine or a dream no matter how absurd the doctrine or the dream may be. The more absurd it is the sooner he finds pupils."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 632. WLS #1940 Mark 7:31-37.



"However, if anything is undertaken against the Word, faith, and the honor of God, we are in no wise to preserve silence, are to bear it far less patiently. Then we should offer stubborn resistance."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1308. Sermon, 1523



"Hence everything here depends only upon this, that you rightly learn to look upon Christ according to the Word, and not according to your own thoughts and feelings, for human thoughts are frauds and lies, but His Word is true and cannot lie."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, IV, p. 92. Third Sunday after Trinity, Second Sermon Luke 15:1-10.


"This is going through closed doors, when He comes into the heart through the Word, not breaking nor displacing anything. For when the Word of God comes, it neither injures the conscience, nor deranges the understanding of the heart and the external senses; as the false teachers do who break all the doors and windows, breaking through like thieves, leaving nothing whole and undamaged, and perverting, falsifying and injuring all life, conscience, reason, and the senses. Christ does not do thus."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 355. First Sunday after Easter John 20:19-31.



"But when St. Peter stood up and preached, they made a mockery of it and considered the apostles drunken fools. When they had urged the Gospel a long time, they gathered together three thousand men and women. But what were they among so many? Yea, no one could discern that the Gospel had accomplished anything, for all things continued in the same state as before. No change was seen, and scarcely anyone knew that there were Christians there. And so it will be at all times."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 306. Easter Tuesday Luke 24:36-47.



"Be not worried because of this! for even though a man preach and continue in the Gospel for many years, he must still lament and say: Aye, no one will come, and all continue in their former state. Therefore you must not let that grieve or terrify you."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 305. Easter Tuesday Luke 24:36-47.



"He permits it to happen that many great saints err and stumble, in order that we may not trust in men, though they be many, great, and holy. We must be led to rely upon the Word that is sure and cannot deceive, as here these two men, and all the others afterward, were directed to the Scriptures."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 290. Easter Monday Luke 24:13-35.


"All preaching of sin and God's wrath is a preaching of the Law, no matter how or when it may be done. On the other hand, the Gospel is such preaching as sets forth and bestows nothing but grace and forgiveness in Christ. And yet it is true that the Apostles and preachers of the Gospel sanctioned the preaching of the Law, as Christ Himself did, and began with this in the case of those who had not yet acknowledged their sins and had felt no fear of God's anger."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, IV, p. 158. Fifth Sunday after Trinity Luke 5:1-11.



"You may tie a hog ever so well, but you cannot prevent it from grunting, until it is strangled and killed. Thus it is with the sins of the flesh."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 247. Easter, Second Sermon Mark 16:1-8.



"The Holy Spirit is given to none except to those who are in sorrow and fear; in them it produces good fruit. This gift is so precious and worthy that God does not cast it before dogs. Though the unrepentant discover it themselves, hearing it preached, they devour it and know not what they devour."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 281f. Pentecost Sunday John 14:23-31.



"Godly and believing persons know their sins; they bear all their punishment patiently, and are resigned to God's judgment without the least murmur; therefore, they are punished only bodily, and here in time, and their pain and suffering have an end. Unbelievers, however, since they are not conscious of their sins and transgressions, cannot bear God's punishment patiently, but they resent it and wish their life and works to go unpunished, yea, uncensured. Hence, their punishment and suffering are in body and soul, here in time, and last forever beyond this life."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 131. Fourth Sunday after Easter, Second Sermon John 16:5-15.



"Therefore the Holy Spirit rightly and justly convicts, as sinful and condemned, all who have not faith in Christ. For where this is wanting, other sins in abundance must follow: God is despised and hated, and the entire first table is treated with disobedience."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 141. Fourth Sunday after Easter, Third Sermon John 16:5-15.



"A hardened heart will not be instructed, no matter how plainly and clearly the truth is presented; but the faith of the righteous is strengthened when they see that the ground of their faith is right and good."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 157. Third Sunday in Lent Luke 11:14-23.



"Christ, in the saying we have quoted from Matthew (24:45), tells us further, the servant of the household should be not only faithful, but also wise, able to discern between the mysteries of God and the mysteries of the devil, that he may safely guard and keep himself and those committed to his care. For, as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 11:13-14, false apostles sometimes fashion themselves into true apostles of Christ, even as the devil transforms himself into an angel of light."
Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 77. Third Sunday in Advent, 1 Corinthians 4:1-5, Matthew 24:45; 2 Corinthians 11:13-14


"...and Luther asked that his early writings be read 'with much charity,' since they were not yet entirely free from Romish errors."
Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1950, I, p. 89. SL XIV, 439; also XIX, 293, 296


"When the time comes that the worldly shall gnash their teeth, they shall witness all the elect and angels saying to God: 'This man has been a faithful minister and teacher. He has proclaimed the saving Word of God to a world of castaways. On yonder earth he was despised, persecuted, and maligned, but he shines now as a star with imperishable luster.'"
C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 402. Daniel 12:3.

Reformation Thoughts



Church and Change sermon on Reformation Sunday: "You remember Luther from last year..."


Sound Doctrine

"Since now, in the sight of God and of all Christendom [the entire Church of Christ], we wish to testify to those now living and those who shall come after us that this declaration herewith presented concerning all the controverted articles aforementioned and explained, and no other, is our faith, doctrine, and confession, in which we are also willing, by God's grace, to appear with intrepid hearts before the judgment-seat of Jesus Christ, and give an account of it; and that we will neither privately nor publicly speak or write anything contrary to it, but, by the help of God's grace, intend to abide thereby: therefore, after mature deliberation, we have, in God's fear and with the invocation of His name, attached our signatures with our own hands."
Thorough Declaration, Of Other Factions and Sects, Formula of Concord, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 1103.



"'If there ever was a strictly conservative body, it surely is the Missouri Synod. Nevertheless, this growth!...It is a mark of the pastors and leaders of the Missouri Synod that they never, aye, never, tire of discussing doctrine on the basis of Scripture and the Confessions. That is one trait that may be called the spirit of Missouri. People who thus cling to doctrine and contend for its purity are of an entirely different nature from the superficial unionists who in the critical moment will declare five to be an even number. God will bless all who value His Word so highly.'"
(Dr. Lenski, Kirchenzeitung, May 20, 1922) cited in W. A. Baepler, "Doctrine, True and False," The Abiding Word, ed., Theodore Laetsch, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1946, II, p. 515f.



"We should not consider the slightest error against the Word of God unimportant."
What Luther Says , An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 637.



"Error and heresy must come into the world so that the elect may become approved and manifest. Their coming is in the best interests of Christians if they take the proper attitude toward it. St. Augustine, who certainly was sufficiently annoyed by wretched sectaries, says that when heresy and offense come, they produce much benefit in Christendom; for they cause Christians industriously to read Holy Scriptures and with diligence to pursue it and persevere in its study. Otherwise they might let it lie on the shelf, become very secure, and say: Why, God's Word and the text of Scripture are current and in our midst; it is not necessary for us to read Holy Scripture."
What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 639.



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

Babtists



Billy Graham, 90 years old.


A Baptist leader once explained that there are Baptists and Babtists. He stretched out the word Babtists, as "Ba-a-a-abtists." I thought that was pretty funny. Many did not. I think they were the Babtists.

That is why I remind Church and Change leaders about organizing ther sacred pilgrimage to hear Babtist Ed Stetzer, who has abandoned the pulpit in favor of telling everyone what to do. That must work. One LCMS leader threw himself at Stetzer's feet, begging for pearls of wisdom.

Some people think WELS and Missouri are joined at the hip through Thrivent, but I believe the Church Growth Movement is the glue holding them together. This is Ed Stetzer, discussing the difference between Missouri and WELS, since both groups are paying him to speak:


I like Lutherans.

In one of my first blog posts (about one year ago now), I wrote about my time speaking with their leadership at Concordia University. I talked about what I learned from one of their bishops and how they rebuked me.

I am excited about speaking to the Missouri Synod Lutherans North American Mission Executives in St. Louis in April 2009.

Also, I will be with another tribe of Lutherans in 2009. In this case, I will be with some Wisconsin Synod leaders at a meeting hosted in Milwaukee by a group called WELS Church and Change in November 2009.



(I am sure that someone will tell me the differences along the way, and it may include a famous episode of the T.V. show Cheers, where Woody and his fiancé discover they are from different Lutheran denomination.)

My favorite Cheers / Lutheran exchange:

Woody - "Ask her why she thinks the Book of Concord is not in line with the Scriptures!"
Kelly - "Because it's not."

Woody - "HERETIC !!!"

Good people, those Lutherans.

And, they (the Missouri Synod) have a plan for planting 2000 churches by 2017, the anniversary of something in Europe.

So, I received the email below and answered with some ideas from Planting Missional Churches. However, I think it would be helpful to hear from you on some of the job descriptions you would want for a core team. I will probably use them for an article as well, so be sure to put your name a church if you have any insights.

Here is the email. Please take a look and let's give a little blog help to some Lutherans who love Jesus and want to plant churches.


My name is Dick Evers, and I am part of The 72-Partners on the Road (formerly Harvesters for Christ) a ministry of LCMS World Mission.

It is our understanding that you have considerable expertise in church planting.
The 72 teams provide training to existing congregations to begin, enhance or revitalize their outreach activities. You can check out our website: www.lcms.org/The72. There are about 70 of us, located in various areas of the country.

Our ministry was recently asked by the LCMS to get involved with our congregations who want to sponsor a church plant. We are trying to establish a training program for The 72 teams who will work with the congregation and the church planters. As you will note from the attached "Areas of Training" information which discusses what we do, we believe we can be of real help to the church planting teams and the church planter.

We understand that the congregation is to provide a "core" group (40 members or more) and a launch team to work with the church planter. However, we are not exactly sure of the responsibilities of the core group and the launch team. We want to gear our training to help both groups be better prepared, as well as the church planter. We will be only acting in a "helping equip" role, not doing any supervising.

Can you give me any direction as to how we might find the basic "job descriptions" of the "core" group and the launch team? By knowing more about what the core group and launch team are supposed to do (or what additional help they could be to the church plant with more training), we can modify our existing modules, or create new ones, to help equip them.

Any information or direction you can provide us on how to find the "job descriptions" or any other comments you have that might be helpful to us would be greatly appreciated.

May God continue to bless your ministry,

Dick Evers
The 72-Partners on the Road


Plus these two comments:

Michael Schutz
08/08/08 @ 1:24 AMHi Ed,

Just saw this blog post, and though I don't have much of an on-topic response at this point (though the topic of church planting always intrigues me, and I've been following your blog for a while), I just wanted to give a shout-out as an LCMS Lutheran to say I'm glad you're connecting with some of us. We can be a bit of an odd bunch, definitely out of many mainstream evangelical (I use the small "e" intentionally) conversations, but I think we can learn a lot from one another! Blessings as you prepare to enter this brave new world (for you). :)

Dick Evers
08/24/08 @ 7:44 AMI want to thank you Ed for putting my e-mail on your blog. I also want to thank all those that provided comments. They were most helpful. As Michael Schutz said, we LCMS Lutherans can learn a bit from one another. Many thanks again to all.



***

GJ - The blog speaks for itself. Stetzer discussed Lutheran differences by quoting a TV show. He might have addressed the issue of Baptist sects. One of his responders, did, and this is but a tip of the iceberg:

Lynn Pryor
08/06/08 @ 12:38 PMYour quote from the Cheers episode reminds me of the old Emo Phillips routine:

Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, "Don't do it!" He said, "Nobody loves me." I said, "God loves you. Do you believe in God?"

He said, "Yes." I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?" He said, "A Christian." I said, "Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?" He said, "Protestant." I said, "Me, too! What franchise?" He said, "Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?" He said, "Northern Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"

He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region." I said, "Me, too!"

Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912." I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him over.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Church and Change, Members of the Bored



Portrait of the hero as lazy dog.


Pastor Ron Ash Chairman

Jeff Davis Vice Chairman

Sarah Owens Secretary

Barry Spencer

Caleb Cordes

Pastor Bruce Becker

Pastor John Huebner

James Skorzewski

***

GJ - These people are bored of Lutheran doctrine. They find Christ-centered worship, based on the Means of Grace, boring. They evangelize by making fun of liturgical worship as boring.

They have invited Babtist Ed Stetzer to harangue WELS on Becoming Missional.

When Ed Stetzer discussed the Book of Concord on his tedious blog, he made fun of it. He was patronizing in his comments. Birds of a feather do flock together.

What does this genius do all year, besides traveling and talking, and writing about his traveling and talking? Nothing.

A faithful Lutheran pastor in the tiniest Lutheran congregation is more productive than all the Stetzers put together. The faithful pastors sows the Seed of the Word with abandon. He does not bully God into giving him visible results to brag about in his next book. He is busy enough with studying the Word and the Confessions so that he has no time to tell every other denomination about the art--or is it the scam?--of Becoming Missional.

---

By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them (Rock and Roll Member JK)

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Church and Change, Members of the Bored":

"A faithful Lutheran pastor in the tiniest Lutheran congregation is more productive than all the Stetzers put together. The faithful pastors sows the Seed of the Word with abandon. He does not bully God into giving him visible results to brag about in his next book. He is busy enough with studying the Word and the Confessions so that he has no time to tell every other denomination about the art--or is it the scam?--of Becoming Missional."........


...or he cruises the internet all day long and publishes a blog full of propaganda filled with the viciousness and venom of a Pharisee hissing like the vipers Jesus so aptly named them.

JK

***

GJ - I must have been too subtle. I suggested that the faithful pastor of the smallest WELS church would be far better speaking at Church and Change than that Babtist Ed Stetzer. What wisdom does a Babtist without a congregation have to offer Lutheran pastors with congregations?

From what I can see, Rock and Roll needs more training in how to PhotoShop another church's logo.

Heroes at Two Locations, Maybe More



Heroes at Wesleyan



Heroes at a church called Bridge.



Graphic from Del Sol Baptist, a series that begin in June, 2007.



This is the image at Doebler's Rock and Roll, a bad PhotoShop of the Wesleyan one above.



St. Mark, Depere. Bad PhotoShop erasing of Hebrews 11 from the Babtist Del Sol Church. Take another workshop from Adobe, please.


From St. Mark, Depere
Heroes! We're all drawn to them. Many of us like to watch them in surround sound and Hi-Def! We admire their decisiveness and their ability to think clearly in the face of adversity. In our own lives, we will experience defining moments when we're called upon to act heroically! How can we make sure that we're up to the task? Let's see what God has to say in this new sermon series entitled "Heroes."

2066 Lawrence Drive, De Pere, WI 54115 920-336-2485

Dorky Dad wrote this about Andy Stanley

Since attending North Point, I'd never heard a questionable sermon from Andy or one that made me wonder where he was coming from until August when he delivered the 4-part "Heroes" series. In a nutshell, Andy made the case that a hero is defined as someone who has 1) clarity -and- 2) an irresistable urge to act. My immediate thoughts in hearing this definition were, "where is this in scripture" and "whose clarity?" In my humble opinion, he gave weak answers to both questions, but I hoped that perhaps in a followup sermon he would comprehensively address both.

Here is the book described at Amazon:

Stanley, pastor of the North Point Community Church ("median age of 30") and author of Like A Rock, has made a ministry out of giving advice to people slightly younger than himself, and in this tepid leadership sermon he distills his wisdom into five core principles. Competence, Courage, Clarity, Coaching and Character, he says, are the keys to influencing future leaders. Stanley's advice-focus on what you do best and delegate the rest, seek out the counsel of coaches, don't let success blind you to what's right and wrong-is very sound, if not much of a departure from any other brand of leadership advice. His precepts are often illustrated with Bible stories about leaders like David (courage), Joshua (clarity) and King Rehoboam (paying heed to elders).

***

GJ - The Church and Change mob is falling down in love with Andy Stanley. One of their bored members (bored with Lutheran doctrine) Ski went to the Drive08 conference to hear Babtist Andy Stanley. There are many sermon series named Heroes to borrow, and we know Parkow/Kelm love to borrow sermons verbatim from non-Lutherans and publish them as their own. A PhotoShopped graphic does not prove anything by itself, but smoke from their burning desire to be non-Lutheran has been spotted before.

Here is the primary problem with the sermon series I have spotted so far. Stanley turns examples from the Bible into his heroic efforts to build a mega-church, so it is really a business lecture. The typical Reformed series on people from the Bible focus on figures of the Bible rather than Christ. The Bible is not a book of moral tales about heroes. The Word of God is exclusively about Christ as The Hero, as Luther wrote more than once.

My suggestion - steal brazenly from Luther. "The closer to Luther, the better the theologian."

PS - Want an exercise in total boredom? Find a video of an Andy Stanley service. I saw a scruffy looking guy in a long-sleeved t-shirt (Superman emblem) talking about something, some young adults acting out something, etc. Andy is channeling Willow Crick. They know their market, "This book. It's all about us."

Austin to Rock and Roll - "We Need Some Damage Control on Your Website!"



Rock and Roll Firewall Engaged. Evidence Gone. Next Question?


I was checking my links when suddenly, Rock and Roll's URL did not work. I noticed that Austin was reading the blog today, at about the same time.

I have no idea if Patterson told Doebler to cover up again, but for now the link to Rock and Roll does not work.

When I reported on Church From Scratch drooling over all the big churches of the Enthusiasts - and non-Christians like Xenos - the CFS website became an autoforwarding link to Rock and Roll.

That is why I copy verbatim from websites and give the links.

Church and Change Summary



Church from Scratch, aka Doebler's Rock and Roll


I needed something to help me fall asleep last night, so I went over the material published on Church and Change.

Church and Change began at WELS' Wisconsin Lutheran College, a school where the homosexual Roman Catholic Archbishop R. Weakland gave a highly publicized speech. The school also invited Martin Marty to speak and kept the engagement, even though the lagomorphs of the Michigan District objected.

Who's Who in Church and Change?

I noticed these concentrations from looking over all the names:


  1. Bruce Becker, Perish Services of WELS. This is perhaps the only parachruch organization which overlaps the synod office at the same time.
  2. Mark Jeske: Many are directly connected with Mark Jeske, Time of Grace, and St. Markus. Some are currently with Jeske's stealth operation. Ski (who adored at Babtist Andy Stanley but shunned Dan Deutschlander) is one of the recent graduates.
  3. John Parlow: Another frequent flier is Parlow at St. Mark's, Green Bay and Depere. Kelm and Parlow go together like Islam and jihad.
  4. District VP Patterson. His circle is a combination of family reunion and parish associates: Babtist Ed Stetzer diciples - Matt Doebler, John Stelljes; former vicars Mark Tiefel, Caleb Schoeneck, Andy Mueller et al. Holy Word gets synod money for free vicars - Field Reports: Mission Enhancement. Holy Word – Austin, Texas. Pastor Don Patterson. Holy Word’s Hispanic Ministry Coordinator (Staff Minister) is an example of Mission Enhancement. The idea is to enhance a congregation’s current mission work by adding staff or resources. Holy Word will be resubmitting their request to the DMB on January 16, 2009.
  5. Grant-writing. Church and Change teaches their diciples how to write grant proposals, to grab offering money from the synod. And who gets to vote on these proposals? Church and Change board members from The Love Shack (Bruce Becker) and the interlocking buddies via District VP Patterson (synod council, Board of Home Missions, Kingdom Workers).


***

GJ - I feel compelled to spell disciple as diciple when discussing the ignorant pulpit-sniffers who pursue Ed Stetzer. Since Stetzer cannot spell discipleship, they would feel more comfortable as diciples.

Babtist Northpoint (Drive08 Conference) looks just like Rock and Roll Church. All the Rock and Roll churches look the same - the stage of a rock concert. How tacky and meretricious can pastors be?

Enthusiasm at Work at Rock and Roll




Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Doctrinal Roadblocks to UOJ from the Formula of Co...":

Christ died so that all men could be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth. By Grace, through faith we are saved. If that Grace or Righteousness or whatever you want to call it does not exist before our conversion takes place, then where does it come from? It has to be there in the first place so that it is there to believe. We can't believe in something that is not there. It has nothing to do with piety. This kind of thinking skews into such heresy as predestination and once saved always saved and this is not the case.

Look at the thief on the cross with Jesus. He never partook of the means of grace and yet he went to heaven that day. It was Grace by faith alone that saved the thief that day which was given to him by God through Christ's death. Christ died for ALL!!!

JK
[probably Joe Krohn, member of Doebler's Rock and Roll Church, former member of Gunn's stealth church, CrossWalk Laveen, two beehives for Enthusiasts who "hate going to church."]

***

GJ - JK would teach everyone on the Internet about the Bible, climb into heaven and convert the angels, if he could. However, I understand angels love going to church. Read Hebrews.

The thief was saved without the Means of Grace? There you have it, Ichabodians, a man who knows nothing and volunteers to join the teaching office of the Church.

The Word, visible and invisible, is the instrument (means) of God's grace. The visible Word consists of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. The invisible Word consists of preaching and teaching the Word. Christ comes to us through the Word. His grace comes to us through the Word. The separation of the Holy Spirit from the Word is called Enthusiasm in the Book of Concord. Enthusiasm is repeatedly condemned in the Confessions as the foundation of all error.

Jesus spoke the Word to the thief, who displayed godly sorrow for his sins and faith in the Savior. Faith is necessary for salvation. Baptism is not absolutely necessary, but we should not despise it, as the Enthusiasts do. For example, Rock and Roll hides Holy Communion by having it celebrated before the service: stealth communion at a stealth congregation of the increasingly stealthy Wisconsin sect.

KJV Hebrews 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh
better things than that of Abel.

---

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Enthusiasm at Work at Rock and Roll":

Please stop with the melodramatics. I'm not trying to convert the internet or angels. I'm having enough trouble with you as it is. :)

We were in agreement until you started talking about some kind of separation of the Holy Spirit from the Word, if that were possible. You got that from what I said? Where? How?

You should answer my questions before twisting my words and assuming to know something with your condescension on which you are grossly mis-informed. (CTR) How convenient it is for you on your blog to sidestep the issue and questions put to you by expounding on trivial points that have no bearing on the big picture of the discussion. Shame on you.

Now, please answer the question.

DOES (sic) GRACE AND JUSTIFICATION EXIST BEFORE A PERSON BELIEVES?

A simple yes or no will suffice if that is possible.

JK

***

GJ - Please study your Book of Concord, Joe Krohn, Rock and Roll theologian. Afterwards, read the blog sections on UOJ. No one is justified apart from faith. Atonement, reconciliation, propitiation, redemption (two different Greek words) - all express the truth that Christ died for the sins of the world.

---

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Enthusiasm at Work at Rock and Roll":

Hold the phone, Joan!!!!

Baptism is not absolutely necessary for salvation? Did I read that correctly? (buzz, buzz...wrong answer)

I surmise that even the thief had a Baptism of the Spirit. Does this not preclude all faith? Is this not necessary?????

Be careful now....God is watching...

***

GJ - I am not sure if this is Joe Krohn or not. If it is, he is really mixed up. If not, this is where the Church and Change diciples are going. Many of them are already there.

---

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Enthusiasm at Work at Rock and Roll":

I should have known. I don't think there is a yes or no in your vocabulary. They are dangerous words, no?

I don't trust a book written by men(errant) to tell me what the Bible(inerrant) says or a blog section for that matter.

Jesus many times talks about the 'Water of Life' (His Word) as a washing agent. See Eph. 5:25-27.

Unless we are washed by water (Word) and Spirit we can not enter into eternal life.

Happy Reformation Day!

So where am I going?

JK

The Late B. Obama


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Doctrinal Roadblocks to UOJ from the Formula of Concord




So how can anyone say the whole world is declared righteous? (UOJ dogma)
3] 2. Likewise we believe, teach, and confess that the unregenerate will of man is not only turned away from God, but also has become an enemy of God, so that it only has an inclination and desire for that which is evil and contrary to God, as it is written Gen. 8:21: The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth. Also Rom. 8:7: The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither, indeed, can be. Yea, as little as a dead body can quicken itself to bodily, earthly life, so little can man, who by sin is spiritually dead, raise himself to spiritual life, as it is written Eph. 2:5: Even when we were dead in sins, He hath quickened us together with Christ; 2 Cor. 3:5: Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything good as of ourselves, but that we are sufficient is of God.

How does one become righteous?
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.

UOJ is pure Enthusiasm
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.)

Does this sound like UOJ? Few pastors read or study this, so how can they confess it?
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.

The Word of God is the instrument of conversion.
6] 5. This [predestination of God] is not to be investigated in the secret counsel of God, but to be sought in the Word of God, where it is also revealed.

7] 6. But the Word of God leads us to Christ, who is the Book of Life, in whom all are written and elected that are to be saved in eternity, as it is written Eph. 1:4: He hath chosen us in Him [Christ] before the foundation of the world.

8] 7. This Christ calls to Himself all sinners and promises them rest, and He is in earnest [seriously wills] that all men should come to Him and suffer themselves to be helped, to whom He offers Himself in His Word, and wishes them to hear it and not to stop their ears or [neglect and] despise the Word. Moreover, He promises the power and working of the Holy Ghost, and divine assistance for perseverance and eternal salvation [that we may remain steadfast in the faith and attain eternal salvation].

The Laity and Universal Objective Justification



This photo has no connection to the post, but it is funny.


I had a long, enjoyable talk with a layman tonight. He phoned and asked about getting copies of Thy Strong Word. He confirmed what I thought - the pastors are not going to get rid of this false doctrine. He has made many attempts to discuss the topic with Lutheran ministers.

I am hopeful because I see pockets of laity here and there, eager to know the Lutheran Confessions and the Scriptures. They are addressing the cancer of UOJ. The clergy duck and run. The Word will defeat this if the Word is studied and applied.

I stunned him by reading verbatim a statement supporting the Two Jays - objective justification and subjective justification - from a non-Lutheran, Pietistic dogma book. Date: 1866.

Has anyone noticed that all the UOJ catechisms stop at Walther? They may claim others (Lutherans like Calov and Gerhard) taught it before, but they have no sources. The real sources are non-Lutheran, from the 19th century Pietists.

As I mentioned on the phone, the non-Lutheran Protestants of today left this nonsense behind them. The Pietistic Lutherans absorbed it and made it their own, in the name of the Chief Article of the Christian Faith. Apart from the Synodical Conference clergy, few in Christendom believe or teach UOJ today. That by itself is not an argument, but it should make people wonder how a few Midwestern hicks discovered something no one else had ever taught before.

To summarize the Bible, Luther, the Book of Concord, Chemnitz, and others:

1. Christ died for the sins of the world. That is the treasure of the Gospel.
2. The Holy Spirit distributes this treasure through the Word and Sacraments. Otherwise it lies in one heap and is useless, as Luther said.
3. Justification means justification by faith. When people hear the Gospel, they trust the Word and receive this treasure.
4. No one taught otherwise in the Lutheran Church. Walther and the other Pietists adopted UOJ from the Pietists and made it their own distinctive false doctrine. The Wisconsin Synod, ELS, CLCs, and LCR aped Walther. ELDONA is awaiting word from the Archbishop of Constantinople.
5. The Muhlenberg tradition and the Augustana Synod did not teach UOJ. Augustana was Pietistic but rejected the extreme Norwegian views on justification. One Norwegian statement became part of the WELSian Kokomo Statements (if memory serves).
6. All the Lutheran groups have to be seen through the filter of Pietism, because that was the dominating theme of the era they were in, whether it was Muhlenberg's or Walther's or Hoenecke from Halle U.

Finklestein on WELS Church and Change



No joke. The Church and Changers always get even, and then some. One little Word shall fell them.


From Bailing Water:

Freddy said...
Mr. “Seeking Truth, not Hysteria”

Perhaps I am being naive, but I will assume that your post is genuine, and try to honestly answer some of your questions from my perspective.

First, understand that C&C is only the latest version of nearly two decades of Church Growth innovation, that has, over the years, been cynically foisted on WELS Lutherans as the only right way, because it is somehow the only relevant way. Yes, the only relevant way, in spite of the condescending nods they seem to offer in the direction “dying traditionalists” who “irrationally cling” to Confessional and catholic (that's small “c” catholic) practices. As CG methods are overtly non-Lutheran, making a joke out of our claim of catholicity, C&C church growth zealots unapologetically express their intent to carry our church practice away from anything (a) recognizably Lutheran, that (b), being recognizably Lutheran, also functions in a way that uniquely supports our doctrine.

Although the names involved seem to be the same, they are almost irrelevant at this point (apart from their continued appointment to positions of centralized leadership). What many of us have observed, especially those of us in a position to observe trends as we travel across the U.S. for business purposes, is the broad impact of CG on Lutheran Practice today, after decades of toleration. Such impact includes crass rejection of the Western Rite (the “Mass” which the Confessions tell us is not to be abolished), the adoption of openly and unavoidably anthropocentric “contemporary” forms in the Divine Service (in an effort to titillate the weak and the unregenerate, over against “traditional” Lutheran and Christocentric practices that may “bore” them), and practices which overtly despise the Sacraments, hiding the Marks of the Church rather than heralding them, for fear that the unregenerate may take offense! Yes, for fear that they may stumble at the Stumbling Stone! CG ideas have been propagated and absorbed by the weak among us, as they jealously look toward pop-church Evangelicals with a longing for their “relevant” "contemporary" practice. Never mind that today, Evangelicalism is virtually in a state of collapse, and that former standard bearers of CG, like Barna Research, are largely pointing at CG as the cause.

Second, understand that if C&C posted anything provocative or directly suggestive of a challenge to Confessional Lutheranism, the principals of this organization would be officially chastised and/or drummed out of the Synod with little ceremony. They know this. Further, the principals of this organization are not young ideologues. They are well-healed and mostly aged CG advocates who have managed to survive decades of fierce polemic from the likes of Dr. Greg Jackson. They are calloused from experience, and have learned from their mistakes -- they know the magic phrases, and can easily thread the needle of doctrinal rhetoric to avoid direct criticism. Looking to the material they post for evidence of manifest unorthodoxy is a waste of time. The proof in is the field, not so much in the naked words themselves; it is in the manifest and growing results of their influence.

To insist that C&C church-growthers mean well and ought to be interminably tolerated is like saying Phillip Jakob Spener meant well (which he did), and ought to have been tolerated (which he was for awhile, at first). Granting that he insisted he wanted to be orthodox, even granting that he tried to remain so, the impact of his teaching grew far beyond his ability to effectively influence it, and even though his ideas were eventually rejected, and he was separated from the Orthodox Lutherans, he had been tolerated by them for too long. The innovations of practice introduced by Spener, in the end, eviscerated orthodox Confessional Lutheranism and left the world and the Church vulnerable to the attacks of the Enlightenment.

WELS has long been infected with CG. This is acknowledged practically everywhere. But it is not just the small list of congregations which have been completely given-over to the methods of failing Evangelicalism, rather, it's a little here and a little there, practically everywhere. Those of us who travel, see it – it sticks out like a sore thumb. To the extent that these unnecessary and unhealthy CG innovations leach into our practice, these non-Lutheran practices are given unfettered access to preach the non-Lutheran doctrines from which they spring. Yes, that's lex orandi, lex credendi, and yes, these uninformed and ill-advised practices are active spreading false doctrine among us, especially regarding Church and Ministry and the Means of Grace, and are obliterating our Confessionalism, particularly among the laity.

Much has been written on this blog, especially in recent months, on these specific topics. Some of it is good, some, perhaps, not so good. Rather than repeat it all in one place, take a read for yourself, if you haven't already.

Freddy Finkelstein

October 29, 2008 12:14 PM

***

GJ - I do not know who Freddy is. He is right about how calloused these Church and Changers are. They got one of their own (Valleskey)into the Sausage Factory, and promoted him up to president of the school. Wayne Mueller was exposed and eased out off the seminary faculty, but his next stop was the newly-invented head of Perish Services (a big, fat raise after leaving the Factory). Mueller became First VP, got voted out of office, and came back as First VP during the next set of ballots.

Now they have the seminary president Wendland, Frosty Bivens, and Al Sorum as moles. In fact, now it is so bad that a Lutheran would be a mole on that faculty.

Richard Krause was the pastor in Marietta, Ohio when I was in Columbus. He was the conference chairman and the circuit pastor. He was getting his DMin from a union seminary with Larry Olson (DMin, Fuller) as his supervisor. He never mentioned that when we discussed the false doctrine of CG. Krause's defense of Olson's false doctrine was, "He's no false teacher. I drank a lot of beer with him when we were in school." The beer defense in WELS is tough to refute.

Pietism War on LutherQuest (sic)



Find the Gospel on LQ (sic)


The UOJ Stormtroopers having formed a circle and opened fire.

As Luther said, when the Means of Grace are abandoned, all kinds of foul errors rush in to take their place.

Church and Change - Fess Up about Stetzer - And Dicipleship



Church and Change leaders never noticed the spelling error! They are funetic spellers.


We know that Stetzer sealed his contract with Church and Change in late July this year, to be the keynote speaker in November of 2009. See the posted information below.

Church and Change has not told the truth about this. Nothing is posted at this moment.

Bruce Becker, Church and Change board member, has not told the truth about the Kelm call. He kept that a secret from his own synodical leader. In fact, he pointedly disobeyed the advice given by the Synodical President. Now his Church Shrinkage unit (called Perish Services) will load up on costs as the country enters a major recession.

Not all is lost. St Mark's was running in the red. The move will help them a lot.

Parlow, a Church and Change Obi-Wan, says, "Thanks, Bruce, for taking Kelm off my hands."

Halloween - When Babtists Put On Masks And Pretend They Are Lutherans



Daniel Fuller studied in Europe and came back a liberal. Lindsell published this fact 30 years ago.


Daniel Fuller, a key figure in turning Fuller Seminary into a marketing machine, published an essay about how wrong Luther was. His insights are based on wisdom from a professor at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. I never heard of Taylor either.

Here is the link:

Luther wuz wrong.

That is why the WELS, LCMS, and ELCA leaders love Fuller Seminary. They also imagine they know more than Luther about theology.

Here Is a Good Statement That Applies to the Church Growth, Church and Change Crowd - WELS, LCMS, ELS



Todd Bentley and his estranged wife, their daughter in the background. Perhaps he could become a WELS nursing home administrator. Or mission consultant.


In a statement about Lakeland, these thoughts from a charistmatic/Pentecostal:

1) We, the leaders of the charismatic community, have operated in an extremely low level of discernment. Frankly, we often don’t even try to discern. We assume a person’s credibility based on gifts, charisma,the size of their ministry or church, whether they can prophesy orwork a miracle, etc. (Miracles and signs are intended to validate Godand His message, not the messenger; sometimes they validate the assignment of an individual, but never the person’s character, lifestyle or spiritual maturity.) We leaders in the Church have become no different than the world around us in our standards for measuring success and greatness. This has contributed to the body of Christ giving millions of dollars to undeserving individuals; it has allowed people living in sin to become influential leaders—even to lead movement, allowing them influence all the way to the White House. Through our lack of discernment we built their stages and gave them their platforms. We have been gullible beyond words—gullible leaders producing gullible sheep.

The latest scandal (above), concerning Todd Bently, is described here, at Fresh Fire:

We wish to acknowledge, however, that since our last statement from the Fresh Fire Board of Directors, we have discovered new information revealing that Todd Bentley has entered into an unhealthy relationship on an emotional level with a female member of his staff. In light of this new information and in consultation with his leaders and advisors, Todd Bentley has agreed to step down from his position on the Board of Directors and to refrain from all public ministry for a season to receive counsel in his personal life.

On behalf of the Fresh Fire leadership and the Board of Directors we wish to apologize to our friends and partners and to the larger body of Christ and to ask for your forgiveness. We are truly sorry for the pain many of you must feel and so regret that in the midst of great revival, the enemy has found a way into our camp. To those who have stood by us, we wish to thank you for what in many cases has been years of support. Thank you for your financial giving towards the vision of this ministry, and thank you especially for your prayers. For those of our partners, friends and supporters who may be struggling with the recent disclosures and finding continued support of this ministry in conflict with either conscience or conviction, we release and bless you with all our hearts and trust that God will redeem in your hearts the good that He has accomplished in your lives through this ministry. It is our sincerest hope and prayer that the Lord bless you and bring you into your fullest destiny in Him.

When this ministry was initially birthed in May of 1998, Todd had but one simple desire in his heart – to see the world come to know Jesus. Now, only 10 years later, Fresh Fire Ministries has grown to become a Resource Center that is literally reaching out to all the corners of the Earth. There have been dozens of associate ministries, scores of interns and hundreds of graduates from the Supernatural Training Center. Over 60 nations have received a combined total of more than five million dollars in humanitarian aid and we have seen well over one million conversions for Jesus Christ.

And so, the question can well be asked... where do we go from here? It is true that we are deeply saddened by these recent events, but it hasn’t shaken our faith in either God or His goodness towards us and with the help of wise and compassionate leaders within the body, we will do everything within our power to see our brother and sister healed and restored.

As a ministry, we can not forsake the vision and heartbeat upon which Todd Bentley founded Fresh Fire Ministries which is simply this:

Matthew 10:7-8
And as you go, Preach, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand” Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. While Todd and Shonnah each go through the necessary steps towards restoration and wholeness, we are compelled, with the resources with which God has entrusted us, to continue to spread God’s love and power all over the world.

There are many noble activities and endeavors in which Fresh Fire Ministries is involved, initiated by Todd, and to which we are still committed. We have the Supernatural Training Centre, our school of ministry, already in it’s fourth full year and with more than 50 students already enrolled we’re believing for an amazing year of biblical instruction, practical application and encounters with the presence of God. Many mature and gifted speakers and associates, graduated interns and teachers filled brim-full with the DNA and fire of this ministry are ready to pour revelation and passion into the hungry hearts of this coming year’s student body.



Bentley could start a Church Growth agency, with his sordid past.

Bentley's board of directors lied about his adultery for him, and he isn't even from the Michigan District of WELS. "The statement released by Fresh Fire Ministries on Tuesday emphasized the separation was not due to infidelity by either spouse."

One man sat up in his coffin and began praising the Bentley ministry. It's true, because I saw it on YouTube. Well, OK, I saw Bently screaming out the story. Ri-cheer, you skeptics:



A little self-promotion from a lady Pentecostal minister is posted here.

This is about Bentley's Emma the Angel. Seriously.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Is Ed Stetzer Lying About the Church and Change Conference?



Stetzer used this painting of Luther on his blog.



A Little Love for the Lutherans?
Monday August 4, 2008 ~ 8 Comments
I like Lutherans.

In one of my first blog posts (about one year ago now), I wrote about my time speaking with their leadership at Concordia University. I talked about what I learned from one of their bishops and how they rebuked me.

I am excited about speaking to the Missouri Synod Lutherans North American Mission Executives in St. Louis in April 2009.

Also, I will be with another tribe of Lutherans in 2009. In this case, I will be with some Wisconsin Synod leaders at a meeting hosted in Milwaukee by a group called WELS Church and Change in November 2009.

(I am sure that someone will tell me the differences along the way, and it may include a famous episode of the T.V. show Cheers, where Woody and his fiancé discover they are from different Lutheran denomination.)

My favorite Cheers / Lutheran exchange:

Woody - "Ask her why she thinks the Book of Concord is not in line with the Scriptures!"
Kelly - "Because it's not."

Woody - "HERETIC !!!"


Good people, those Lutherans.

And, they (the Missouri Synod) have a plan for planting 2000 churches by 2017, the anniversary of something in Europe.

So, I received the email below and answered with some ideas from Planting Missional Churches. However, I think it would be helpful to hear from you on some of the job descriptions you would want for a core team. I will probably use them for an article as well, so be sure to put your name a church if you have any insights.

Here is the email. Please take a look and let's give a little blog help to some Lutherans who love Jesus and want to plant churches.



My name is Dick Evers, and I am part of The 72-Partners on the Road (formerly Harvesters for Christ) a ministry of LCMS World Mission.

It is our understanding that you have considerable expertise in church planting.
The 72 teams provide training to existing congregations to begin, enhance or revitalize their outreach activities. You can check out our website: www.lcms.org/The72. There are about 70 of us, located in various areas of the country.

Our ministry was recently asked by the LCMS to get involved with our congregations who want to sponsor a church plant. We are trying to establish a training program for The 72 teams who will work with the congregation and the church planters. As you will note from the attached "Areas of Training" information which discusses what we do, we believe we can be of real help to the church planting teams and the church planter.

We understand that the congregation is to provide a "core" group (40 members or more) and a launch team to work with the church planter. However, we are not exactly sure of the responsibilities of the core group and the launch team. We want to gear our training to help both groups be better prepared, as well as the church planter. We will be only acting in a "helping equip" role, not doing any supervising.

Can you give me any direction as to how we might find the basic "job descriptions" of the "core" group and the launch team? By knowing more about what the core group and launch team are supposed to do (or what additional help they could be to the church plant with more training), we can modify our existing modules, or create new ones, to help equip them.

Any information or direction you can provide us on how to find the "job descriptions" or any other comments you have that might be helpful to us would be greatly appreciated.

May God continue to bless your ministry,

Dick Evers
The 72-Partners on the Road

***

GJ - Church and Change fans have been trying to deny their 2009 conference is planned, even though it was discussed by the WELS COP and posted as a date on Stetzer's calendar. Thanks to my extensive research, we now have a date when the conference invite was firmed up - August 4, 2008.

Remember that when Church and Change denies the obvious again.

Of course, Missouri is lapping this up, too. As Luther said, when the Means of Grace are ignored, all kinds of foul errors rush in to take their place.

But Wait! There's More!

Board Reader

Thread profile page for " Just committed to speak for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod in Fall of 2009. 08:02 PM July 26, 2008 from web " on http://twitter.com/edstetzer. This report page is a snippet summary view from a single thread " Just committed to speak for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod in Fall of 2009. 08:02 PM July 26, 2008 from web ", located on the Message Board at http://twitter.com/edstetzer. This thread profile page shows the thread statistics for: Total Authors, Total Thread Posts, and Thread Activity, which are reported in a table below.