From WELS Together:
COP addresses important issues
From the office of President Mark Schroeder
The Conference of Presidents (COP) held its quarterly face-to-face meeting last week. Here's a recap of the most important matters discussed.
Doctrine and practice
One of the most important roles of the COP is to oversee doctrine (what we believe and teach) and practice (what we do in applying our beliefs). When it met, the COP had a lengthy discussion about the importance of retaining our unity in both areas.
Some congregations, in a desire to reach as many people as possible with the gospel, have been considering some new and different approaches and methods, especially in the areas of worship and outreach. Cautions and concerns have been voiced about some of these trends. Expressing the commitment to maintain our synod's faithfulness to the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions, the COP concluded that "the underpinnings of 'non-traditional' type of worship cannot be ignored" and that we need to be careful to "walk the 'narrow Lutheran road' between legalism—and ignoring and failing to admonish where practices are contrary to or dangerous to the principles of gospel proclamation and the efficacy of the means of grace."
As a result of this concern, the COP resolved that "an ad hoc committee be convened in consultation with the [COP] doctrine committee that can . . . address this issue and produce a study document that can be shared with circuits and also congregations for study and careful evaluation of practices in worship, sacraments, outreach, organization, music selection, etc."
The theme of the 2009 synod convention will be "Christ's Love, Our Calling." The COP directed that two essays be presented to the convention expanding on this theme. The first essay dealing with Christ's love will focus on the efficacy of the means of grace, in which God conveys his grace to us through Word and sacrament. The second essay, dealing with our calling, will have an emphasis on the many aspects of the Christian's calling, including a focus on the call to faith, the call to proclaim the gospel, the call into the public ministry, and the Christian's vocation. These essays, in keeping with the recommendations of the Ad Hoc Commission, will form the basis for two years of synodwide Bible studies in circuits, conferences, and congregations.
GJ - Hey convention essayist guys. You are welcome to hook a few hundred quotations from this blog or from http://www.gljackson.com/books.htm to get links without the pop-up ads.
Yes, I published about this topic in 1991. Wally Oelhafen, Fred Adrian, and Roger Kovaciny went ballistic at the pastors' conference when I gave the Cure chapter from Liberalism: Its Cause and Cure. And yes, there was a concerted effort to boot me from WELS the moment the book came out. For some reason, NPH kept delaying the printing. Backroom brawling? I think not. All the WELS pastors agree about doctrine - that is what John Seifert and John Lawrenz told me.
And I published more in Thy Strong Word, with hundreds and hundreds of quotations. That was 2000 or so. The reception was, shall we say, frigid. Once I had to help a CLC (sic) pastor give a paper on the Means of Grace. He did not learn anything about it at their plywood seminary, where each seminary class of one can graduate summa cum laude.
The WELS essays are significant in turning away from the icky and silly Reformed-Pentecostal themes of the past ("Going, Growing, Glowing").
The Biblical message of the Word alone being effective is long overdue.
WELS has the chance to invite its synodical conference partners back to sound doctrine.