Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Brief Autobiography":
Fascinating! I didn't realize when I first stumbled onto your site here that you're the same Jackson who wrote the book on LIBERALISM, which I devoured about 15 or so years ago after a Lutheran friend gave it to me as a gift (I even visited some WLS churches as a result!).
Kudos to you for not kowtowing to the PC that has infected way too many denominations. Keep fighting the Good Fight.
GJ - It's good to hear from readers. Another reader of Liberalism left the LCA, etc. When I was still in the LCA, I was given boxes of books left behind by a Missouri pastor who left the ministry. One two-volume set was edited by John W. Montgomery. One of the authors was an LCA pastor I knew, so I paid special attention to it. That certainly started me on the way toward leaving the LCA.
Given the Church Growth obsession of the Mischke administration, it is astounding that any criticism of the fad escaped the editorial gaze.
But alas, the CG network has flourished in WELS ever since. They now own the offering-supported college and seminary. There is no anti-CG lobbying group, but WELS CG has:
- The Love Shack Staff
- FIC, the Quarterly, and the ELS periodicals
- New Ulm and Mequon
- Wisconsin Lutheran College, managed by CrossWalk in Phoenix
- Pope John the Malefactor
- Church and Chicanery
- Pots of Pietism
- Time of Gath
- Prayer Warriors Institute
- and introducing Men of the Word.
I was told that the Arizona-California-Las Vegas District of WELS was on CrossWalk like a hobo on a hotdog. Obviously not. The Disciples denomination was still having meetings about Jim Jones when the massacre took place in Jonestown. As Luther said, murdering souls is far more dangerous.
I have a letter from an ELS pastor, 1996, thanking me for fighting against CG in the ELS and WELS. Paul McCain's example is instructive. I have several letters from him, thanking me for fighting CG. "I hope it does not infect the ELS," he wrote on November 4, 1991, from his first and only parish. Nine years of Barry-McCain did nothing but bless the CGism and unionism of Missouri. The ELS is thoroughly infected, even under the watchful eye of its Doctrinal Board. Every synod has a doctrinal board, staffed with clerical capons, to ensure the safe and peaceful growth of apostasy.
Writing makes a precise mind because an orderly argument must be formed out of many complicated issues. Patterson's janisarries were howling yesterday, so I must have done well. Nevertheless, I am an abject failure on this topic. I have written against WELS-ELS-LCMS CG since 1988 or so. In 21 years, every slimy appendage of CG doctrine has extended itself into church institutions. Where are the DPs? Cheering for Church Growth.
Reformed doctrine is bad enough, separating the Holy Spirit from the Word, denying the efficacy of the Word, mocking the Sacraments. But Fuller's agenda is far worse than than, and conservative Lutherans have embraced it through extensive training at Pasadena, Willow Creek, and Trinity Deerfield.
The conservative Lutherans all celebrated the 300th anniversary of Paul Gerhardt, a pastor who actually resisted Reformed doctrine. I wanted to attend those LCMS-WELS-ELS seminary chapel services, to see if anyone was laughing out loud.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Writing Makes a Precise Mind": CG. . . I respectfully take issue with you on this post. I do not believe that the ELS gas a Church Growth mentality. It has some other mentalities, I admit, but I don't see Church Growth as part of the program.
I see the ELS as not being oriented to the serious study of theology and of being susceptible, to some degree, towards unthinking right-wing politics. Also, I wish that you would discontinue the use of the mocking title which you give to the President of the ELS, John Moldstad. Other than that, I don't have anything to say because I don't know the people that you write about.
The Lincoln Town Car is so cool. I wish you many months of driving pleasure. Norman Teigen ELS layman (Disclaimer: Although I should probably be so labeled, I am not a spokesperson for the ELS. No one in the ELS listens to me anyway, so it is probably just as well.)
GJ - Norman Teigen is a good example of how CG advances. It cannot be true so it is not true. And yet, the Little Sect on the Prairie has its own Emerging Church, with their ELS pastor, Nathan Krause, as a featured speaker at Church and Change.
The Teigen family experience is instructive. When B. Teigen wrote correctly that the Synodical Conference erred in teaching the Receptionist heresy, the ELS leadership pounded him. The WELS/ELS people still claim, "We do not know the exact moment." I wonder what they would have said at the Last Supper when Christ spoke - This is My Body. As disciples, they would have said, "But we don't know the moment." Or they might have said, tentatively, "It depends on what the meaning of is is."
Moldstad earned his title, Pope John the Malefactor. As someone in the ELS observed, the synod has not yet recovered from his explusion of pastors and the exodus of congregations. Moldstad mocked the divine call and all the congregations when he threatened River Heights with, "Fire the pastor or I will expell you from the ELS." I would kneel before him and kiss his papal ring if he would only acknowledge the efficacy of the Word alone and act accordingly with his CG pastors. As a novelist observed, it is my job to "laugh mankind out of their favorite follies and vices." And - "It is much easier to make good men wise, than to make bad men good." (Fielding)
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Writing Makes a Precise Mind": Rev. Jackson, I, too am an ELS layman and I find what you say about the ELS to be right on. Mr. Teigen obviously has his head in the sand. I see the ELS as being hell bent into Church and Change, what with the example of Rev. Nathan Krause and Abiding Shepherd Lutheran Church.
The last convention of the ELS pretended not to know what pastor and congregation were being discussed when an issue regarding the use of the historic liturgies in mission congregations was brought to the floor. There are relatively many confessional/liturgical pastors/congregations in the ELS. Most of them are NOT in the state of MN, sad to say. It's probable that NONE of them are in the state of MN. It's so very sad to see the synod that took a stand in 1917, separating from the Norwegian Synod, now going the way of the apostates that they supposedly left behind. It's certainly difficult for a layman to know where to turn. It is my fervent prayer that the pastors and congregations of the ELS cease any leaning to C&C and return to the historic liturgies, and that they stress the Means of Grace. ELS congregations must also cease promoting the farce that is Time of Grace. ELS congregations must first and foremost take care of the feeding of the sheep and lambs of their flocks and hold their shepherds to that task.
GJ - It is a sin to "name names" in synod discussions. That way the real issues can be dodged. However, the Shrinkers name names all the time. When John Lawrenz was outraged by Harold Sauer's moderate and edifying essay, he complained about Sauer "naming names" while running the retired pastor into the ground. Oh yes, Sauer was not there "to defend himself," another complaint from Shrinkers, but only if they are the alleged victims. People have told me about meetings they attended where I was named and obviously not there to defend myself. The key tactic is to turn CG criticism into the most horrible sin ever committed and the author/speaker into the most egregious sinner since Judas Iscariot.