Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Koeplin Essay Found! in the Ichabod Archives":
I believe that some who comment on this blog are to Lutheranism what the John Birch Society is to politics. As Birchers find a communist under every stone, some on this blog find a "Church Growther" in every comment that does not come from themselves.
I frequently attended Atonement when I was at the seminary. When Koeplin said that he was trying something "new and different," he was talking about things like singing "All Glory be to God on High" in place of the "Gloria in Excelsis" in TLH page 5 and page 15liturgy. I assume that some bloggers on this site would include Dr. Martin Luther as a raving WELS Lutheran "Church Growther", because as a PC he actually wrote chorales to take the place of liturgical chants -- fool that he was.
Some time ago, I wrote that I thought that the WELS would profit most from an every member visit from July 1 through December 31. Someone ripped me apart as a stark raving liberal who has never spoken out against Church Growth in WELS. I have, in fact, spoken against it with many at the "Love Shack," with district leaders, with my congregations, at conferences, and with those espousing it. I may have even spoke (sic) against it directly with more individual WELS "Church Growthers" than the person who accused me of being complacent. I have also paid what I consider rather high prices for my comments against Church Growth.
I certainly agree that Church Growth is a major, if not the number one, issue in WELS. I am not at all in disagreement with Ichabod and I enjoy the clever way Ichabod presents the issue. However, I do take exception when people who are on the right side and who have been addressing the right people are accused of complacency and "aiding and abetting" the Church Growth movement in WELS by people who are reading more into statements than is really there.
I believe that all bloggers need to be careful not to read all blogs through Church Growth sunglasses. It makes you sound foolish and extreme, when you want to sound wise and level-headed as we face root out this error.
GJ - If you want a John Bircher, email James Heiser, Archbishop of ELDONA. He is a trainer and recruiter for the JBS. But - shhh - it's a secret. Everything is a secret in ELDONA.
I thought your idea about an every member visitation was a good idea (assuming it is done correctly). I can imagine a lot of pastors resisting the work. They should look at what they are doing that is really important. I can only think of: preaching original sermons, teaching the Word, and visitation.
I vicared with an old fashioned pastor who believed in constant visitation in homes, hospitals, and nursing homes. I always visited a lot and I thought it was essential pastoral work.
Your comments were terribly general. Someone may disagree and sound fairly caustic, but that is part of anonymous blogging. You should see what I delete every day. It is good not to take a few remarks in the wrong way. Calling the others "John Birchers" is a logical fallacy. It is better to identify a specific remark and explain why it may be wrong.
I teach online at two universities. Feelings are often hurt because of the nature of the medium, almost anonymous. Blogging is similar.
The Glory Has Departed
Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence
Bethany Lutheran Worship on