Thursday, April 30, 2009

One Hundred WELS Positions To Be Eliminated

The WELS income freefall is so steep that perhaps 100 positions will be eliminated. Some may see that as a catastrophe, but what is the advantage of paying a full-time salary and benefits to a Lutheran who promotes the empty doctrine of Fuller Seminary?

I would love to discover some DMin from Fuller, a Baptist or Pentecostal, secretly advising his followers:

The Lutherans have more followers than any other Protestant group. I think we should copy the Means of Grace, the liturgy, the Creeds, and their hymns. I have had with Fanny Crosby hymns - up to here! I cannot sleep at night reading the Book of Concord. There is nothing like it in all of Schwaermerdom.

Of course, we have to ease people into this. If anyone says, "You have been reading Luther," deny it three times, with curses.

We will get our people trained at...Wait at minute. There aren't any Lutheran seminaries left. How did that happen?

We will have to form our own Luther study groups and Book of Concord societies. I got the legal papers together to form the North American Society for the Means of Grace.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "One Hundred WELS Positions To Be Eliminated":

So, where does a WELS reject get that bit of news from? Those of us in the trenches haven't heard anything like that, yet.


GJ - An information maven is supplied with plenty of data. If the anonymous writer is always so rude and full of misinformation, he may be short-circuiting any chance to learn anything real, relevant, and relational.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "One Hundred WELS Positions To Be Eliminated":

The parties seeking handouts show no empathy for those losing their jobs. Surely they have a convenient rationalization for their attitudes and behavior. After all, rationalization has been, is, and will continue to be their modus operandi.

Liberal President of Bowdoin College Coined the Two Justifications Loved by Rolf Preus and all UOJ Stormtroopers

UOJ Stormtroopers read Justification and Rome by Robert Preus but miss the clear, plain passages about justification by faith - rejecting UOJ.

Leonard Wood coined the double justification wording loved by the Synodical Conference, in print in English before C. F. W. Walther landed in America.

Leonard Wood, who translated Knapp's Lectures, was president of
Bowdoin College. Today that college is in the news:

...he made a translation of George Christian Knapp's Christian Theology, which became long used as a textbook in American theological seminaries. When he became president of Bowdoin in 1839, he was only 32 years old. He held his position until 1866. During his tenure, the College built Appleton Hall, the Chapel, and Adams Hall, which housed the Medical School of Maine and the undergraduate laboratories. A recipient of advanced degrees from Colby College, Harvard University, and Bowdoin, Woods died in 1878 in Boston, Massachusetts.

Welcome New Reader Kit

The Love Shack staff promises to be good while the SP is on a trip.

Kit from Wisconsin has left a new comment on your post "Is Jesus Liturgical?":

Before the WELS will grow there will have to be Qualitative Growth from within. Then the Quantative Growth may occur. I found your website yesterday. I can't stop reading.



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Welcome New Reader Kit":

Kit - welcome aboard. I too was hammered by Ichabod when I stumbled upon it googling a WELS issue. I think I stayed up until 2AM that first night trying to absorb it.

"No wonder I feel a mild rebuke in my gut when we talk about UOJ," I remember thinking.

You'll start to sense some mixed emotions, though. Pretty soon you'll enjoy finding yourself talking to your spouse like a lolcat... "Iz at ur table, stealin' ur taco belle noms."

Then you'll start noticing all the church growthy things your pastor had been doing lately. "Oh, merde, another survey?!?"

Then you'll see and understand the open chess games played at WELS HQ between the competing factions. And wonder where the money really went. Can they really spend that much that fast?

Your Ichabod transformation will be complete when you relish wondering what would happen if you mailed a "read Ichabod-expose the CORE" postcard to the older WELS donors in the Fox Valley. heh heh.

The Jelly-Tele-Tubbies Make Their Debut

John Parlow, Mark Jeske, Paul Calvin Kelm, and Kudu Don Patterson form the Gang of Four known as the Jelly-Tele-Tubbies.
One DP said, "Talking to these guys is like trying to nail jelly to the wall."

They have group lovies at Church and Change board meetings, Church and Change conferences, Church and Change pilgrimages to learn from Babtist Stetzer, Babtist Stanley, Methodist Groeschel, Methodist Sweet, and the patriarchs of Church Shrinkage - Kent Hunter and Waldo Werning.

The Jelly-Tele-Tubbies never admit their real doctrinal standards (none) and act offended if anyone questions their Lutheranity. However, they have devoted their careers to erasing all influences of Luther, the Confessions, and the orthodox Christian faith.

In addition, they live from synod, Thrivent, and foundation grants. Pretending to be great successes, they are really liabilities in every sense of the word.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The Jelly-Tele-Tubbies Make Their Debut":

Judge not lest ye be judged.


GJ - Luther wrote that false teachers are the surest sign of God's wrath. God allows false teachers to smite and flail those believers who were too timid to argue for sound doctrine.

The Wisconsin pastors and Doctrinal Pussycats knew 20 years ago that the Shrinkers ran the synod. The Love Shack only needed to make the DPs cower. The DPs intimidated the parish pastors into silence and cooperation. Like their Missouri counterparts, the WELS DPs were "helpless" to deal with adulterous and false-teaching clergy (often the same thing) - but full of the Spirit and God's righteous wrath whenever some poor bloke dared to question a syllable from The Love Shack.

Slick Brenner predicted this for WELS while the Shrinkers mocked him for being a traditional Lutheran. They called him a "legalist."

The Savior warned believers to judge between sound and Satanic doctrine, to avoid evil. He did not say, "Think not," or "Discern not," or "Study the Word not."

From Paul McCain's Concordia Publishing House: Batman Theology

Real, Relevant, Relational

Product Description
The Dark Knight, one of the highest grossing films of all times, is filled with images and themes which reflect our Lutheran Confessions. The use of the film as a vehicle for discussion of theological concepts helps make this study of interest to those who might not otherwise attend a Bible class on the Lutheran Confessions.
The flexible sessions allow this study to be used in both small group and larger Bible class settings. Depending on the level of discussion, the six sessions could easily expand to provide additional weeks of instruction.
Participant pages
Leader discussion guide
Customizable PowerPoint

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Expert in New Testament Scholarship Got Justification Wrong - WELS AnswerMan

WELS AnswerMan

Q: In Bible class the New Testament Commentary of R.C.H Lenski was mentioned. It was commented by someone that they thought Lenski was Reformed. Could you please comment on his New Testament Commentary as well as on his denominational/synodical affiliation? I love using his commentary in my personal devotions, but I would like a bit more info on where he came from and what his various doctrinal/theological biases (read quirks) were.


A: R.C.H. Lenski was trained as a pastor at the old American Lutheran Church seminary in Columbus, Ohio, and eventually became a professor there. This was at the time when the ALC was still fairly conservative and before it joined with the more liberal LCA and AELC to become the ELCA.

Lenski's commentary was for the most part very good. Most WELS pastors acquired a set of Lenski's commentaries and used them as one resource for NT study since these commentaries reflected a conservative Lutheran theology. One major drawback of Lenki''s commentaries was his rejection of universal justification - a belief shared by most ALC pastors of his time.


GJ - The Wisconsin Synod, like Missouri, likes to pride itself on its ability to study the Bible. For both synods and many in the ELCA, Lenski is the ultimate 20th century New Testament scholar. No one else provided extensive exegesis for the entire New Testament. There are some shorter commentaries, but nothing like Lenski.

Lenski knew the history of dogmatics quite well, as shown in his comments on various passages.

Notice that AnswerMan did not address the real issues, but danced around them as maladroitly as Rolf Preus and Wilken did on the radio show.

AnswerMan should have said,

  1. "We think God declared everyone free from sin, whether they believe or not. Lenski refuted us with Biblical scholarship.
  2. We think everyone in Hell is a guilt-free saint, but Lenski showed that was impossible.
  3. We think everyone is already saved, but Lenski undermined our opinions with scholarship.
  4. We think Lenski is a great Biblical scholar, but we prefer the decision theology of J. P. Meyer, because J. P. taught at The Sausage Factory."


rlschultz has left a new comment on your post "The Expert in New Testament Scholarship Got Justif...":

"This was at the time when the ALC was still fairly conservative and before it joined with the more liberal LCA and AELC"........"

How about?
There was a time when the WELS was still fairly conservative before it joined Willow Creek, Fooler Seminary, and some of their pastors became card carrying members of the Ed Stetzer Fan Club. Back then, there was hope because there was much opposition to false doctrine.

Humble Suggestion For Reducing Pork in the Synod Budget

Church and Change's Campaign To Oust the Synod President

I could not find a photo of Gurgel on the Holy Word, Austin website, so I had to PhotoShop Kudu Don Patterson into this picture.
Gurgel squandered the MilCraft estate
and got the synod into a losing lawsuit.
Gurgel went through the Schwan grants
and devoured designated funds.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The CORE's Real Message":

It is evident that the C&Cers have set-up their southern headquarters at Patterson's church with the arrival of president in exile Gurgel.

Patterson's odious network and web of control sprawls further than even you know.

Patterson has been following the lead of Jeske and aspires to become a TV evangelist..through his own radio/tv programming..."a reason for hope" As you listen to Patterson's and Jeske's messages it is hard to tell if they are Lutheran or Methodist.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The CORE's Real Message":

You got it. With Kudu Don all the synod will get is someone with a big head.


GJ - Karl Gurgel was told to leave the office of Synod President, WELS. If not, the alternative suggested was unpleasant.

Gurgel's return as a pastoral member of Patterson's staff is a clear message to all the Shrinkers - Patterson is his man to oust SP Schroeder.

Gurgel's 14 years of incompetent leadership closed Northwestern College in the name of saving money. (Mark Jeske loved the idea.) SP Mischke let Church Growth doctrine take over WELS, but Gurgel fanned the flames and emptied the coffers to support it. First Veep Wayne Mueller ran the show, according to some observers. When Wayne quit in a huff, after Schroeder became SP, pastors and laity were overjoyed.

Why is WELS paying back WELS in the current budget crisis? Because Team Gurgel spent designated funds on their pet projects, blamed the synod treasurer, fired him, and went their merry way. The treasurer drove Gurgel to work every day, but good ol' Karl had no trouble throwing his friend under the bus.

Gurgel and Patterson share the same stewardship concept. Holy Word has 500 members, many of them wealthy. Patterson owns two properties - his ranch and his suburban house. But Patterson needs synod subsidy so he can have a free vicar each year.

Gurgel's participation in the Church and Change campaign shows that he has no respect for the office he once held. A parish pastor has barely begun to get settled after two years in a new church, something Gurgel might remember from long ago. A synod leader is going to need even more time to accomplish anything.

Mormon Beehives Prove They Are Also Schwaermer

Joseph Schmidt sent me a link to a Mormon beehive doorknob. The linked photo seems to be protected, so I decided not to copy it.

I was going to mention Mormon fondness for the beehive symbol. Here is an interesting article from Mormon No More. Mormon girls were trained to be busy as bees.

Note the beehive in the center. Milwaukee.

Readers might assume this beehive is at The Love Shack, WELS headquarters, but it is found at the Public Service Building where the trolleys gathered. Now it is the WE Building. I hope they do not have two buildings in a row.

The caption seems to be wrong. This appears to be the Beehive House.

"The Bee Hive, Masonically, is an emblem of Industry....When and why the hive of the bee entered Freemasonry as a symbol no one knows....In the book, The Early Masonic Catechisms, the bee in Masonry is mentioned as early as 1724..." (The Craft and Its Symbols, by Allen E. Roberts, Macoy Pub., 1974, p.73)
Utah Lighthouse Ministry

There is also the Beehive House, with the symbol on top. I decided not to buy the stock photo for $49! I found one for free.

The Beehive House was built in 1854 and served as the official residence of Brigham Young when he was President of the LDS Church and Governor of the Utah Territory from 1854-1877. The home has now been restored and furnished to reflect living conditions of that period. Visitors can step back in time during a free 30 minute tour of the house. Things To Do in Salt Lake City

Beehive House

It was a good tour, too; I'd never felt so inspired by Brigham Young. The way he lived his life was just amazing. Did you know that he'd let his children interrupt him at any time, for any thing? That's the kind of father I want to be, though I'd definitely have to practice a lot of patience.

One thing he said really hit me, though: "Eight hours of work, eight hours of sleep, eight hours of play." It's perfect! Since hearing that, I've tried to live it.
Nathan Cunningham


GJ - Brigham Young had around 55 wives - the exact number is unknown.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Issues Etc Needs $300K a Year To Help Teach Universalism?

Norman Teigen (left) and Rolf Preus

This episode of Issues Etc (audio linked) asked for $300,000 from congregations to continue their world-wide ministry. Holy moly, I am blogging for free and they are soliciting a small fortune to support the doctrinal foundation of ELCA and the Church Growth Movement.

Pastor Rolf Preus and Pope John the Malefactor (Little Sect on the Prairie) agreed about everyone forgiven without faith, without the Means of Grace, but Pope John kicked out Rolf anyway, by threatening Rolf's congregation.

Rolf has been stuck on Universal Objective Justification for a long time. In this interview, Todd Wilken scattered rose petals before this ambiguous and misleading presentatation of false doctrine.

Rolf danced around the central tenet of UOJ, which is found in the Brief Confession of the LCMS - that God has declared the entire world free of sin. Although Rolf kept insisting that message is found in the New Testament, he did not identify a single verse where God said, in effect, "I don't care if you have never heard the Gospel or never believed the Gospel, you are all forgiven anyway. Faith in My Promises is irrelevant."

Someone who separates grace from the Means of Grace is an Enthusiast.

In a startling display of doctrinal ineptitude, Wilken and Preus tried to associate Calvin's limited Atonement opinion (Christ dying only for the elect) with justification by faith.

Neither pastor conceded that Lenski wrote consistently against their UOJ opinion, that Rolf's dad repudiated UOJ in his final book, Justification and Rome.

UOJ is from Pietism, from Reformed doctrine. Clearly, Walther borrowed UOJ from his Pietistic circle. Double justification was in print in America before Walther landed in Perry County. Norwegian Pietism was quite comfortable with this new, oddball twist on justification.

The dishonesty of this conversation shows a studied indifference to scholarship. Unfortunately, graduates of The Surrendered Fort are full of themselves, because the faculty teaches them that they are the greatest. (Ditto - Our Lady of Sorrows, St. Louis; The Sausage Factory, Mequon; The Little Schoolhouse on the Prairie, Mankato; and The Beehive, Eau Claire). Wilken and Preus imagine there are two sides to the issue: UOJ and Calvinism.

A Lutheran layman recently made this point, and a Jew in my class said almost the same thing - there is no scholarship among Protestants today.


rlschultz has left a new comment on your post "Issues Etc Needs $300K a Year To Help Teach Univer...":

Many years ago, I had objective justification explained to me this way by a vicar from the Sausage Factory, "we are all saved, but unbelievers forfeit their salvation". Make sense to those who accept UOJ, I guess.


GJ - I removed the Issues, Etc. icon from the blog. Wilken's poor grasp of Christian doctrine is additional evidence of the state of Lutheran apostasy.


L P has left a new comment on your post "Issues Etc Needs $300K a Year To Help Teach Univer...":

This is the reason I am not able anymore to be a supporter though they were instrumental in my becoming Lutheran. I used to send support and listen, now I just listen.

This has made me sad. Because as I listened, they are talking about 2 justifications, one without faith, the other through faith. This is logically inconsistent. Either you are justified without faith or justified through it.

They get into this conundrum because they collapse Atonement with Justification.

Calvinists collapse the two also but arrive at another conclusion.

Amazing, these Lutherans are doing the same - collapsing Atonement with Justification.


The CORE's Real Message

DK's Inner Speech Writer

Luther identified Enthusiasts as Schwaermer, because they were always buzzing around someone's head.

DK's inner speech writer has left a new comment on your post "Church and Changer Offers More Deep, Deep, Deep, D...":

Press Release:
My fellow Confessional Lutherans,

We must not rest in our War on Error until the threat of Enthusiast Insurgence has been quelled. We know full well that those who would do harm to pure doctrine work tirelessly, and so I must ask my fellow Confessional Lutherans to meet adversity head on, sticking to the principles that have made our Church great. Even now, covert Errorist training camps in the Milwaukee region are recruiting an army of rictus-afflicted socialites, confused but well-intended college students, and those who have rejected the teachings of their youth in favor of glam-sham-flim-flam Christianity.
The time has come for all Confessional Lutherans to study the Bible and the Confessions. Arm yourselves with Truth, preparing an answer for the hope that you have--not in the machinations of human Christians, but a hope that rests purely on the efficacious work of the Holy Spirit through Word and Sacrament. Reject and fight the notion that human-born ideas and methods can make the Holy Spirit more efficient in Evangelical ventures!

With this knowledge you will then be prepared to approach your fellow laymen and pastors, encouraging those who have remained true, and gently correcting those who have turned an ear to the slippery lies of the Errorist factions. Discernment and action are necessary in these dark times, especially when considering the future generations of Confessional Christians. Above all, most importantly, PRAY for your fellow Christians and PRAY for the Errorist cells that so threaten our fair church.

We will prevail with God's direction and help.
God bless the Confession Lutherans of America!

More Anonymous Spiritual Wisdom--Cloaking False Accusations, As Usual

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Brief Autobiography":

So sad Pastor Jackson. Your postings indicate that you are bitter. This is just plain sour grapes. Do you put as much time in at (sic) church as you do maintaining this blog? You are on the edge... Thou shalt not bear false witness..


GJ - The accusatory posts make me chuckle, but I post them so the readers can see how nasty and cowardly the Church Shrinkers are. I am still waiting for them to give their names, addresses, and email addresses. I hear from confessional Lutherans all the time. They phone, write, and send me emails. I have not met most of them face to face, but I know them from their many personal emails.

The apostates have spent an inordinate amount of time trying to silence Lutheran orthodoxy. I wish they knew a few more logical fallacies than the ad hominem and the straw man.

Have the readers noticed that the Shrinkers have no defense, no positive witness? Their method is to brag about themselves and attack anyone who doubts their glory.

Paul Tiefel in the CLC (sic) used to quote Pieper to the effect that false teachers are Christians too. Just as charming as his cousin James Tiefel, Paul constantly justified his Xeroxing of the Reformed and Roman Catholics. He also loved the cryto-Calvinists and Unionists in WELS. If people dared to question any WELS Shrinker, Tiefel and his buddy David Koenig jumped on them like hobos on a hotdog.

There is a great divide across the Lutheran landscape. Most of the synodical leadership is Reformed and lying about it. The synodical leaders are protecting and promoting the false teachers - and deceiving everyone about it. All the seminaries teach Reformed doctrine and practice.

Great Idea


dk, in a moment of genius has left a new comment on your post "Time of Enthusiasm":

This comment is to every anonymous poster who is a C&C Enthusiast. We confessional Lutherans are fine to let you remain anonymous if only you leave the WELS and join Elmbrook. If you choose to stay in the WELS and continue in errorist teaching then I must request that you give up anonimity so that we can warn our children about you.

Church and Changer Offers More Deep, Deep, Deep, Deep Insights for Bored-Again Lutherans

Real, Relevant, Relational

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Time of Enthusiasm":

The only thing that is piling up is the crap that this blog dishes out. GJ, SJ, DOW, BM, and the rest can't stand the fact that Time of Grace, The CORE, St. Marcus, Parlow, Church and Change, etc., are actually making a difference and are reaching people with the Gospel.


GJ - Collecting bored-again Lutherans for a rock service is not my idea of evangelism. As someone noted, the CORE makes the ELCA churches in Fox Valley look confessional.

and the Brew Crew pulls off the win. nice work guys!
about 11 hours ago from TweetDeck
make that 5 runs!!
about 11 hours ago from TweetDeck
SOOOO excited about the Brewer's 8th inning comeback right now - tacked on 4 runs. can they finish strong?
about 11 hours ago from TweetDeck

Interview prep to find the Suffragen Bishop of the Popcorn Cathedral of Rock:

1. What's your favorite baseball team? Give three reasons why.
2. What's your favorite baseball star's lifetime batting average?
3. What is the best rock station in America? Explain.
4. What are the Four Noble Truths of Buddha?
5. How many books by Drucker do you own?
6. Name the most influential emerging churches in America.
7. How can we make the Word effective?
8. Is popcorn better with coconut oil, canola oil, or peanut oil? Explain.
9. Beer and popcorn. Good combo or not?


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Church and Changer Offers More Deep, Deep, Deep, D...":


Don't look now but your WELS training is showing. This is obvious when a one paragraph statement is met with a response that is four times longer and has nothing to do with the original paragraph.


GJ - I was just demonstrating how to copy and paste honestly, legitimately. Of course, you can start your own blog and demonostrate the proper way to do this sort of thing. I am sure everyone in Pewaukee will read it.

Drew Lomax Quoting Ichabod Citing Herescope

Drew Lomax

Drew Lomax has a blog on Lutheran doctrine. He quoted a recent Ichabod copy and paste from Herescope, which was found by a reader.

Naturally, I am waiting for a Church and Changer, three sheets to the wind, posting an angry comment, asking "Why can you copy and paste?"

The short answer is, "We give credit where credit is due."

Secondly, "We copy good material. You copy garbage."

Monday, April 27, 2009

Bailing Water: Rock and Roll

WELS Pastor Mark Freier did "Rock and the Christian's Role" for the synod. He does atheist weddings now.

Bailing Water has some good material about Rock Music. The comments have appeared and disappeared so often - I thought I was looking for Brigadoon. Here are some:

Anonymous said...
Joe, I only ask out of boredom, not thinking it will effect anything, but if someone took a Rammstein tune and used "solid" gospel lyrics with it, would that be acceptable in church?

What about the beats and instrumentation associated with Madonna, Britney Spears, Lady Ga Ga or Elton John? OK for church as long as the lyrical content is "solid"?

Do you see any difference between "Indescribable" and "Salvation Unto Us Has Come"?

Is it just a false conception that rock and roll has been historically associated with rebellion? Is it only the lyrics that make something "solid"?

And do you think there is something that defines historic and/or confessional Lutheran worship?


April 21, 2009 9:06 PM

Freddy Finkelstein said...
Angry Andy uses the phrase “Cultural Discernment.” This is important. This entire discussion was opened by TIMiAM's post regarding the satanic nature of popular music, and I have made the point on this blog, rather recently in fact, that the pagan signature on popular Western culture is now unmistakable, and ought to be recognized as such and regarded with all seriousness. Modern entertainment forms, being distinctly pagan, should not be invited into the Church. The forms and expression of the Church ought to remain as distinct from Society as our true citizenship. We are not of the World, only in it, and we are only in it temporarily.

There was a time when Western culture was overtly Christian. Western cultural forms and Christian forms were similar enough that the Church could adopt cultural forms with little incongruity. Such is no longer the case. While Christian apologists will point to the fundamentals of Western society as Christian, referring to “borrowed capital” from 2000 years of Christian influence, today such capital is only thematic and abstract, institutional in a broad but non-specific and virtually indiscernable sense. Even in an apologetic application, Christian influence in Western society needs to be drawn out and obviated. Today, we are principally a pagan society with Christian overtones.

So how is it that the Church on earth, laymen and pastors alike, can exercise “Cultural Discernment?” How can we equip ourselves to judge cultural forms, given that we are all a product of modern culture, and that aspects of it permeate our thinking and reasoning? Some will say that we need to immerse ourselves in the Bible, and only the Bible, and that nothing else matters. While I appreciate, and don't entirely disagree with this, we have to admit that given this approach, even Scripture will be, and is, twisted by our cultural bias to permit what has become for us culturally acceptable and desirable. Only those things directly prohibited in Scripture will be grudgingly avoided, while everything else will be uncritically embraced, or at most regarded with the ambivalence of “personal choice.”

In my opinion, the answer lies in historical contrast. Supposedly, our pastors have a broad Liberal Arts education, an education of the Great Tradition (a good thing for pastors, especially, to have). Yet, most (that I have met) are culturally illiterate, unable to discuss literature, art, or music in any objective sense, and instead are captive only to the popular forms of their youth – which even by modern standards are no longer relevant. Without the Latin once required for pastoral studies, it seems that most are unable to comprehend the vast history of Western culture from the context its native idiom. The laity, for lack of any such education, suffers all the more. In my opinion, for us to become effective judges of modern culture, we must understand it from the standpoint of its foundation and development through history. We must become students of Western Civilization. The application of Biblical norms does not skip 2000 years to become applicable only today; rather, today is a product of 2000 years of applying Biblical norms. Let's understand that first.

Freddy Finkelstein

April 21, 2009 9:11 PM

Freddy Finkelstein said...
Another theme that has been sounded on this blog entry is that of Confessionalism. Why do we have Confessions and what is their purpose? What authority do they have?

I have often heard, and offered in this forum, the following explanation: "To establish Fellowship and enjoy Unity, it is not enough to say, 'I believe everything the Bible says,' for the very next question is, 'What do you say the Bible says?' Confessions, not the Bible, answer this second question." An appeal to the Confessions of a Church Body distinguishes those who commonly subscribe to them from the heterodox, and confirm their unity under those Confessions. They are definitive in every sense. Klemet Preus, in his The Fire and the Staff: Lutheran Theology in Practice makes this point rather directly.

Charles Porterfield Krauth, in his definitive Conservative Reformation has much to say about this Confessional Principal, as well. Therefore, in the interest of providing a "historical" commentary on the role of our Confessions -- that is, our Creed -- I offer the following excerpt from Ch. V this work. It is rather lengthy, and I apologize for that. Nevertheless, it is important to understand the independently normative nature of our Confessions, and C.P. Krauth does a better job of explaining it than anyone I have read thus far. Pay attention, especially, to the last sentence.

"The thetical statements of the [General] Council and the declaration which follows, exhibit, as we believe, the relation of the Rule of Faith and the Confessions, in accordance with the principles of the Conservative Reformation. Accepting those principles, we stand upon the everlasting foundation – the Word of God: believing that the Canonical Books of the Old and New Testament are in their original tongues, and in a pure text, the perfect and only rule of faith. All these books are in harmony, each with itself, and all with each other, and yield to the honest searcher, under the ordinary guidance of the Holy Spirit, a clear statement of doctrine, and produce a firm assurance of faith. Not any word of man, no creed, commentary, theological system, nor decision of Fathers or of councils, no doctrine of Churches, or of the whole Church, no results or judgments of reason, however strong, matured, and well informed, no one of these, and not all of these together, but God's word alone is the rule of faith. No apocryphal books, but the canonical books alone, are the rule of faith. No translations, as such, but the original Hebrew and Chaldee of the Old Testament, and the Greek of the New, are the letter of the rule of faith. No vitiation of the designing, nor error of the careless, but the incorrupt text as it came from the hands of the men of God, who wrote under the motions of the Holy Spirit, is the rule of faith. To this rule of faith we are to bring our minds; by this rule we are humbly to try to form our faith, and in accordance with it, God helping us, to teach others – teaching them the evidences of its inspiration, the true mode of its interpretation, the ground of its authority, the mode of settling its text. The student of theology is to be taught the Biblical languages, to make him an independent investigator of the Word of the Holy Spirit, as the organ through which the Spirit reveals His mind. First of all, as the greatest of all, as the groundwork of all, as the end of all else, we are to teach God's pure Word, its faith for faith, its life for life; in its integrity, in its marvelous adaptation, in its divine, its justifying, its sanctifying, and glorifying power. We are to lay, as that without which all else would be laid in vain, the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets – Jesus Christ being the chief corner-stone.

"Standing really upon the everlasting foundation of this Rule of Faith, we stand of necessity on the faith, of which it is the rule. It is not the truth as it lies, silent and unread, in the Word, but the truth as it enters from that Word into the human heart, with the applying presence of the Holy Ghost, which makes men believers. Faith makes men Christians; but the Confession alone marks them as Christians. The Rule of Faith is God's voice to us; faith is the hearing of that voice, and the Confession, our reply of assent to it. By our faith we are known to the Lord as his; by our Confession, we are known to each other as his children. Confession of faith in some form is imperative. To confess Christ, is to confess what is our faith in him. As the Creed is not, and cannot be the Rule of Faith, but is its Confession merely, so the Bible, because it is the Rule of Faith, is of necessity not its Confession. The Bible can no more be any man's Creed, than the stars can be any man's astronomy. The stars furnish the rule of the astronomer's faith: the Principia of Newton may be the Confession of his faith. If a man were examined as a candidate for the chair of astronomy in a university, and were asked, 'What is your astronomical system?' and were to answer, 'I accept the teaching of the stars,' the reply would be, 'You may think you do – so does the man who is sure that the stars move round the world, and that they are not orbs, but gimlet-holes to let the glory through. We wish to know what you hold the teachings of the stars to be? Do you receive, as in harmony with them, the results reached by Copernicus, by Galileo, by Kepler, by Newton, La Place, and Herchel, or do you think the world one great flat, and the sun and moon mere pendants to it?' 'Gentlemen,' replies the independent investigator, 'the theories of those astronomers are human systems – man made theories. I go out every night on the hills, and look at the stars as God made them, through a hole in my blanket, with my own good eyes, not with a man-made telescope, or fettered by a man-made theory; and I believe in the stars and in what they teach me; but if I were to say or write what they teach, that would be a human creed – and I am opposed to all creeds.' 'Very well,' reply the examiners, 'we wish you joy in the possession of a good pair of eyes, and feel it unnecessary to go any further. If you are unwilling to confess your faith, we will not tax your conscience with the inconsistency of teaching that faith, nor tax our own with the hazard of authorizing you to set forth in the name of stars your own ignorant assumptions about them.'

"What is more clear than that, as the Rule of Faith is first, it must, by necessity of its being, when rightly used, generate a true faith? But the man who has true faith desires to have it known, and is bound to confess his faith. The Rule cannot really generate two conflicting beliefs; yet men who alike profess to accept the Rule, do have conflicting beliefs, and when beliefs conflict, if the one is formed by the Rule, the other must be formed in the face of it. Fidelity to the Rule of Faith, therefore, fidelity to the faith it teaches, demands that there shall be a Confession of the faith. The firmest friend of the Word is the firmest friend of the Creed, first the Rule of Faith, and then the Confession of Faith.

"What shall be our Confession? Are we originating a Church, and must we utter our testimony to a world, in which our faith is a novelty? The reply is easy. As we are not the first who have used with honest hearts and fervent prayers, the Rule, so we are not the first who have been guided by the Holy Ghost in it to its faith. As men long ago reached its faith, so long ago they confessed it. They confessed it from the beginning. The first adult baptism was based upon a 'human creed,' that is, upon a confession of faith, which was the utterance of a belief which was based upon a human interpretation of divine words. The faith has been confessed from the beginning. It has been embodied in a creed, the origin of whose present shape no man knows, which indeed cannot be fixed; for it rose from the words of our Saviour's Baptismal Commission, and was not manufactured, but grew. Of the Apostles' Creed, as of Him to whom its heart is given, it may be affirmed that it was 'begotten, not made.' The Confession has been renewed and enlarged to meet new and widening error. The ripest, and purest, and most widely used of the old Confessions have been adopted by our Church as her own, not because they are old and widely received, but because they are true. She has added her testimony as it was needed. Here is the body of her Confession. Is her Confession ours? If it be, we are of her in heart; if it be not, we are only of her in name. It is ours – ours in our deepest conviction, reached through conflicts outward and inward, reached upon our knees, and traced with our tears – ours in our inmost hearts. Therefore, we consecrate ourselves to living, teaching, and defending the faith of God's word, which is the confessed faith of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Fidelity to the whole truth of God's word requires this. We dare not be satisfied simply with recognition as Christians over against the Jew, because we confess the Rule of Faith, of which the New Testament is a part, has taught us faith in Jesus Christ; we dare not be satisfied simply with recognition as holding the Catholic Faith as embodied in the three General Creeds, over against heresies of various forms and shades. Christian believers holding the faith Catholic we are – but we are, besides, Protestant, rejecting the authority of the Papacy; Evangelical, glorying in the grace of the Gospel; and Lutheran, holding the doctrines of that Church, of which the Reformation is the child – not only those in which all Christendom or a large part of it coincides with her, but the most distinctive doctrines, though in the maintenance of them she stood alone. As the acceptance of the Word of God as a Rule of Faith separates us from the Mohammedan, as the reception of the New Testament sunders us from the Jew, as the hearty acquiescence in the Apostles', Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds shows us, in the face of all errorists of the earlier ages to be in the faith of the Church Catholic, so does our unreserved acceptance of the Augsburg Confession mark us as Lutherans; and the acceptances of the Apology, the Catechisms of Luther, the Schmalcald Articles, and the Formula of Concord, continues the work of marking our separation from all errorists of every shade whose doctrines are in conflict with the true sense of the Rule of Faith – that Rule whose teachings are rightly interpreted and faithfully embodied in the Confessions afore-mentioned. Therefore, God helping us, we will teach the whole faith of His word, which faith our Church sets forth, explains, and defends in her Symbols. We do not interpret God's word by the Creed, neither do we interpret the Creed by God's word, but interpreting both independently, by the laws of language, and finding that they teach one and the same truth, we heartily acknowledge the Confession as a true exhibition of the faith of the Rule – a true witness to the one, pure, and unchanging faith of the Christian Church, and freely make it our own Confession, as truly as if it had been now first uttered by our lips, or had now first gone forth from our hands.

From The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology: as Represented In the Augsburg Confession, and In the History and Literature of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, by Charles P. Krauth, D. D. J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia, 1871 (pages 165-169)

Freddy Finkelstein

April 21, 2009 9:50 PM

Angry Andy said...
Freddy said " we must become students of Western Civilization"

...interesting that The Core says essentially the same thing: "We must become students of our culture" but for the opposite reasons that Freddy suggests. Go Freddy!

But if you want to be fastidious about the supposed Satanic roots in rock n roll, what about this Blog's reader "TimiAm"?

I see his moniker as a misuse of Gods name. Same with Popeye and several other popular songs who's lyrics use 'I am" as the central theme.

That happens to be God's name for himself. I don't think it proper to go bandying that about.

April 22, 2009 6:44 AM


GJ - We had absolutely no rock music in our house. We played classical music and hymns on our stereo. We never played rock on the car radio. We like some pop music, but the message of rock, especially now, is essentially Satanic. Children who grow up with classical music and great Christian hymns (not the arky-warky ditties) will develop a great love for good music.

Time of Enthusiasm

"I'm too sexy for the WELS, too sexy for the WELS, too sexy..."

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Parsing the Call":

off subject perhaps,
but did you know that a top administrator at St. Marcus school isn't even
a Christian?

Good job Henry Tyson
Good job Mark Jeske

...oh wait, that's right, Mark Jeske no longer chooses to acknowledge his call to St. Marcus, giving his time to time of grace


GJ - I was going to mention that the official WELS site links to Time of Enthusiasm--for worship--and again to the commercial enterprises of TOE, but Jeske does not reciprocate. He pulls money from WELS donors and then gets grants from all the foundations and $250,000 from Thrivent.

Can anyone tell he is a Lutheran or WELS from his broadcasts, which are subsidized and supported by WELS?

He is a stealth leader of Church and Change, with no less than three staffmembers serving on the board, though Ski left for A-town and Bruce Becker left the board (or at least the board webpage).

According to Jeske, everything has to change. Is anyone perplexed that his former assistant pastor was trained by Stanley, Groeschel, and Granger Community Church for the Popcorn Cathedral of Rock ministry?

WELS is clearly divided and devouring itself on its own website, which happens to be run by a Bill Hybels devotee.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Time of Enthusiasm":

Jeske is a joke. I hear the Crystal Cathedral needs a new worship leader since dad kicked the son to the curb. Maybe we can send Jeske a job application for this position.

The Twenty-five Most Copied False Teachers: Church and Change Slobber List, Ski and Katie Twitter List

Groeschel, Stanley, and Groupie. Oh my!

Stanley and Groupie. Oh my!

"Extra butter? Aw - right!"

Look over this list and compare it to the Church and Change Slobber List, or the names being followed by Ski and Katie: (Edmond, OK) :: Craig Groeschel
>> other achievements include being one of
— the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04, ‘05, & ‘06
— the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06

2.Granger Community Church (Granger, IN) :: Mark Beeson
>> other achievements include being one of
— the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04 &Â ’05
— the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘06

3.North Point Community Church (Alpharetta, GA) :: Andy Stanley
>> other achievements include being one of
— the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04
— the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06

4.Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX) :: Ed Young Jr.
>> other achievements include being one of
— the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04, ‘05, & ‘06
— the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06

5.Mosaic Church (City of Industry, CA) :: Erwin McManus
>> other achievements include being one of
— the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06

6.Seacoast Church (Mt. Pleasant, SC) :: Greg Surratt
>> other achievements include being one of
— the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘05 & ‘06
— the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06

7.Community Christian Church (Naperville, IL) :: Dave Ferguson
>> other achievements include being one of
— the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04
— the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘06

8.National Community Church (Washington, DC) :: Mark Batterson

9.Mars Hill Church (Seattle, WA) :: Mark Driscoll
>> other achievements include being one of
— the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘05 & ‘06
— the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06

10.New Hope Christian Fellowship (Oahu, HI) :: Wayne Cordero
>> other achievements include being one of
— the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04, ‘05, & ‘06
— the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06

11.Mars Hill Bible Church (Grandville, MI) :: Rob Bell
>> other achievements include being one of
— the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04
— the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06

12.The Potter’s House (Dallas, TX) :: T.D. Jakes
>> other achievements include being one of
— the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04 & ‘06
— the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06

13.Crossover Church (Tampa, FL) :: Tommy Kyllonen

14.Church of the Open Door (Maple Grove, MN) :: David Johnson
>> other achievements include being one of
— the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04

15.Redeemer Presbyterian Church (New York, NY) :: Timothy Keller
>> other achievements include being one of
— the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06

16.Healing Place Church (Baton Rouge, LA) :: Dino Rizzo
>> other achievements include being one of
— the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘06

17.The Journey Church (New York, NY) :: Nelson Searcy
>> other achievements include being one of
— the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘05

18.Saddleback Church (Lake Forest, CA) :: Rick Warren
>> other achievements include being one of
— the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04, ‘05, & ‘06
— the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06

19.North Coast Church (Vista, CA) :: Larry Osborn
>> other achievements include being one of
— the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04
— the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06

20.Willow Creek Community Church (South Barrington, IL) :: Bill Hybels
>> other achievements include being one of
— the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘05 & ‘06
— the 50 Most Influential Churches in ‘05 & ‘06

21.Imago Dei Community (Portland, OR) :: Rick McKinley

22.Christ the King Community Church (Mt. Vernon, WA) :: Dave Browning
>> other achievements include being one of
— the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04

23.Radiant Church (Surprise, AZ) :: Lee McFarland
>> other achievements include being one of
— the 100 Fastest-Growing U.S. Churches in ‘04, ‘05, & ‘06

24.Living Word Christian Center (Forest Park, IL) :: William Winston

25.The Sanctuary (Santa Clarita, CA) :: Marty Walker

Parsing the Call

Swine Flew: Porkbarrel Projects

This is how the "call" went out and was accepted:

------------------------ C A L L S A C C E P T E D -----------------------
Skorzewski, Rev James R, St Peter - Appleton WI, 09/09/2008
To start daughter congregation, Solid Rock Ministries

The Enthusiasts already had a Solid Rock Ministry, so this project became The CORE.

The WELS Yearbook PDF, which enjoys plenary inspiration, has the following information about St. Peter:

Saint Peter [PreK & S] 920-733-7225; Fax: 739-3615

Christenson Christian J, Glende Timothy P,

Skorzewski James R -- [E] 8, 10:30, Thur 6:30pm (8, 10, Thur


N2749 French Rd Freedom WI 54913-8919.

I thought St. Peter was keeping The CORE at arm's length, but this suggests Ski is on the pastoral staff. This is not shocking, whatever it means, because Tim Glende grew up in a WELS/non-WELS congregation where Floyd Luther Stolzenburg set up shop as a Church Growth expert. In WELS, that means an unemployed guy who was kicked out the LCMS ministry--for cause--and divorced by his wife. After that fiasco, which was transformed into a pastoral call by VP Paul Kuske, anything else looks rock solid in comparison.

Trinity Lutheran Church in Appleton, Wisconsin

Kurt & Mary Beth Kovanen


GJ - Note to all concerned: I have labeled this ELCA because it is the ELCA (Trinity) church in town. I do my homework! Did I say it was WELS? No. Did I imply it? No. Did I link it properly, as I always do? Yes.


I saw the post on Trinity (ELCA) in Appleton. But you called it "the" ELCA church in town. There are over a dozen ELCA congregations in this area...THREE of them are very near The CORE in location - Trinity, Zion and First English. Zion also has a female minister. So does First English.


GJ - And WELS/LCMS/ELS all work with ELCA through Thrivent, which is also in town. Thrivent has created a pan-Lutheran denomination by waving fives and tens at congregations. The conservative synods all work with ELCA on ELCA's terms. Even the Pharisees of the Church of the Lutheran Confession (sic) join in.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

New Hope in Melbourne, Florida To Be Given the Left Foot of Fellowship

Not that New Hope Church in Melbourne, Florida.

Church giving 'great sex' sermons might get booted

MELBOURNE, Fla. – A church giving sermons about sex may have to find a new home. Brevard Public School District's risk-management department has threatened to boot New Hope Church out of Sherwood Elementary because of a worship series titled "Great Sex for You."

Church leaders mailed 25,000 fliers, asking residents "Is Your Sex Life A Bore?" The three-week program kicked off inside the school auditorium. Pastor Bruce Cadle had said the Christian church has been "shamefully silent" on the taboo topic.

Mark Langdorf, the director of risk management, says the mailers generated complaints, were not appropriate for elementary school children and shouldn't be used to advertise the sermon in the school.

Langdorf says the church's lease contract is under review.


GJ - I can find a wealth of material for Church and Change to copy at the other New Hope websty:

our pastor
Bruce Cadle: Pastor Bruce's casual teaching style, real life illustrations and sense of humor will help you not only learn the Bible but also apply it to your daily life.

Bruce has been married to Valerie for thirty-two years. They have two children and five grandchildren.

Bruce is also the ultimate Cubs fan!

internet campus
Welcome to the Internet Campus of New Hope Church! This Campus exists to help unbelievers and believers become followers of Jesus Christ.

Our Internet Campus is not meant to be a replacement for attending New Hope in person, but it is a viable option any week that you are not able to attend our Melbourne Campus.

While you are here please:

1.Submit your Connection Card so we'll know you you attended our Internet Campus today.
2.Submit your prayer requests at the bottom of the connection card so our Prayer Team can pray for you.
3.Listen to our streaming sermons, or download an mp3.
4.Download an outline of the sermon so you can take notes that will help you apply the message to your life.
5.Use the Online Giving link to give your tithe or offering. The technology and manpower required to offer our Internet Campus is very expensive and can only be provided with the generous gifts from our church family.
6.Tell A Friend! Use the Tell a Friend link to invite someone you know would benefit from a specific message.
Thanks for visiting the Internet Campus of New Hope Church! Please return often!

small groups
The best way to grow spiritually is by spending time with other Christ followers. Our Small Groups meet every week to have fun together, grow together, learn together, pray together... Try out one of our groups this week!

Mon 6:30 PM Beachside led by Rusty and Kristy Stuart (321.777.5138) map
Mon 7 PM *Young Couples/Singles led by Pastor Luke (321.591.5905) map
Wed 10:30 AM Seniors led by Ralph McLaughlin
(321.327.4566) map
Wed 7 PM *North Melbourne at Brian Odaffer’s
(321.508.4853) map
Wed 7 PM *Prayer Team map
Wed 7 PM *Financial Peace University [get more info] map
Thu 7 PM Celebrate Recovery [get more info] map
Thu 7 PM Ladies Group at Judy Wirth's
(321.242.9965) map
* Nursery Provided

student ministry
New Hope is a cool place for teenagers!

Our Youth Group meets Sundays at 6PM at Club625. Your teenagers will discover God's purpose for their lives and experience God's power in their lives.

Internet Conversion by Making a Decision


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "New Hope in Melbourne, Florida To Be Given the Lef...":

Your readers can see for themselves with this post, GJ, how deceptive you really are. I hope the readers who think your on the up-and-up will finally have it sink in what kind of person you really are. Too bad they have never met you personally. It would take even less time for them to figure out what makes you tick.


GJ - Someone has a bad case of the Mondays.

God Wants You To Copy Sermons from Rev. Craig Groeschel, United Methodist, Disciples of Christ

@bridalstylist - Gotta come by The CORE 2nite 2 see. Or download the podcast sermon latter this week. from TweetDeck in reply to bridalstylist

Rainy and cold in A-Town this morning. Just doing a little sermon prep for tonight's message - Urban Legends - God Wants You To Be Happy .
about 8 hours ago from TweetDeck - Sermons contributed by Craig Groeschel. Sermon Series: Urban Legends. You will hear people talk about this. ... it is very common to hear that there are many different ways to God. ...Groeschel bio. - 85k - Cached - Similar pages -

Mad Church Disease: Overcoming the Burnout Epidemic by Anne Jackson and Craig Groeschel (Hardcover - Feb 1, 2009)
Buy new: $16.99 $13.2534 Used & new from $8.95
Get it by Tuesday, April 28 if you order in the next 25 hours and choose one-day shipping.
Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping.

The Suffragen Bishop of the Popcorn Cathedral of Rock: RT @flowerdust: In better news...get Mad Church Disease for $11.99 from Catalyst. Currently cheaper than Amazon!
1:48 PM Apr 23rd from TweetDeck

Shooting the Breeze: Sermon Synopsis 9/21 - God wants me happy. Here is the urban legend: God wants you happy. God has good things in store for you. God wants you to enjoy your life. God wants you to prosper in every ... - 127k

Lighthouse Baptist Church of Harrisburg, PA Sermon Podcast ...Series: Urban Legends. Lighthouse Baptist Church - Pastor Kevin Brown. Download 1 - God Wants You to Be Happy 06-10-2007 (29.24 MB) ... - 6k -

Door of Hope - God Wants Me to be HappyHere's today's Urban Legend: God wants me to be happy. Well doesn't he? Doesn't God want our happiness? Actually, it's a trick question. Sometimes you will ... - 37k - Cached - Similar pages -

Sermon Audio, Sermon Video, Live Broadcasting - Christian Teaching ...Urban Legends: God Wants You Happy ... If you are visiting the Sermon Network to enjoy sermon audio and sermon video, or to find Christian podcasts and ... - 57k - Cached - Similar pages -

Shooting the Breeze Blog // Recent Blog Entries // sermons ...Before we get into today's urban legend let me ask you a question: I am curious as to how many of you ... Sermon Synopsis 9/21 - God wants me happy ... - 33k - Cached - Similar pages -

Woodbine United Methodist Church - Pace, FloridaMar 7, 2009 ... Gifts of the Season is a series of sermons about the gifts God gives us at ... Urban Legends: God Wants Me to Be Happy Urban Legends: Debunking the ... In "More than you Can Bear", Pastor Alan explores the cliché that ... - 46k - Cached - Similar pages -

Urban Legends Pt 2 - God Wants Me to be HappyIn part 2 of The Urban Legends series Pastor Wayne talks about the commonly held myth that, "God wants me to be happy." God wants more than that for you. ... - 19k - Cached - Similar pages -

[PDF] God Wants You Happy.pubFile Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - View as HTML
URBAN LEGENDS—2. GOD WANTS YOU HAPPY. Tailor the following questions to fit the needs of your group. Start with a. BREAKING THE ICE question, then get real ... - Similar pages -

PodcastDirectory Episode: April 22, 2007 - Urban Legends: God ...Urban Legends: God Wants You Happy, is the third of the Urban Legends sermon series. This message is based on Selected Scriptures. Play in your Iphone. - 12k


GJ - Isn't Leonard Sweet a United Methodist?

Do you wonder why they all look alike? They have the same parents.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "God Wants You To Copy Sermons from Rev. Craig Groe...":

By all means we must comply with our Holy Mother Church.

""Polish Catholic church cracks down on copied sermons"

By Monika Scislowska (AP, April 25, 2008)

Warsaw, Poland - There's a new commandment for Polish priests: Thou shall not lift. The Roman Catholic Church in this nation has published a new book that tells priests how to find inspiration in already published sermons without breaking the law by lifting passages from them verbatim.

The book, "To Plagiarize or Not to Plagiarize?" is an attempt to set boundaries in the wake of pulpit plagiarism claims that have hit not just Catholic clerics in Poland but ministers from other Christian denominations in the United States.

Temptation is just the click of a mouse away as more and more churches post their sermons online, not to mention the availability of books and church-sponsored magazines that provide inspiration for sermons.

There is a thin line between drawing inspiration and lifting the text outright, said the Rev. Wieslaw Przyczyna, one of the book's editors.

In Charlotte, N.C., the Rev. E. Glenn Wagner, a former senior evangelical pastor at Calvary Church, admitted lifting parts of sermons and resigned in 2004. Also, the Rev. Robert Hamm, the former senior minister at the United Church of Christ in Keene, N.H., admitted to similar accusations and resigned the same year.

Paul Hasser of the Center for the Liturgy of St. Louis University in Missouri said he remembered seeing priests reading their Sunday sermons directly from a book when he was a boy.

"That bothered no one then," said Hasser, who runs the Center's sermon Web site.

But with the quick dissemination of sermons on the Internet, and the involvement of copyright law, times have changed.

Now, in Poland, a priest caught using a plagiarized sermon can face stiff fines or even as long as three years in prison, though no one has actually been charged or sentenced.

The concern about ensuring that priests follow a righteous path is what led to the publication of the church's book last month, said Przyczyna, who helped edit the 150-page text that is available to Poland's 28,000 priests for about $13.

Przyczyna, a sermon expert at Krakow's Pontifical Academy of Theology, told The Associated Press that existing sermons can be used _ "but according to rules" that forbid a word-for-word citation without properly acknowledging their source.

"You need to give a clear signal: The text is not mine," he said. "If priests lack this kind of sensitivity, they should at least be afraid of the law."

In Poland, he said more and more clergy and churchgoers have reported a "spreading problem" of the lifting of sermons, but no precise research has been done and exact figures are just guesses.

It is an issue that is particularly sensitive in this country of 38 million people, where more than 90 percent of the population is Catholic and many attend Sunday Mass. Priests enjoy great moral authority, especially in rural areas.

Przyczyna said that offending priests "were not aware" that "they were acting immorally and ignoring the copyright law" but "believed they were using the Church's public domain."

"Saying a sermon means bearing witness to one's own faith, and how can you do that using someone else's text?" he said. "It is falsehood creeping into the preaching of truth that God is."

Przyczyna recounted a recent encounter with a nun in Krakow who said she had stopped attending Masses by her favorite priest after he delivered _ word-for-word _ a sermon she'd seen on the Internet written by someone else.

Parishioners at another church _ suspecting their priest of plagiarizing _ attended Mass with their own copies of a sermon posted online for that specific Sunday.

When the priest delivered it verbatim, they met with him afterward and privately rebuked him for the plagiarism.

The concern is not just local. The Biblioteka Kaznodziejska, a bimonthly magazine that publishes sermons, was checking whether a Polish text offered for the February edition was actually a translation from the Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, an aide to Pope Benedict XVI.

It's chief editor, the Rev. Maciej Kubiak, said that the people lifting sermons mostly have been young priests in cities who are Web-savvy but lack experience in speaking publicly.

"You see it in their approach to the Internet: You can draw freely from whatever is there," Kubiak said. "Preparing a sermon means an effort but you must be honest in it."

For others, though, the issue pales to other concerns, such as fighting poverty and spreading the faith.

"It sounds like tabloid news," Jozsef Szikora, president of the Association of Hungarian Catholic Journalists, told AP, adding he had not heard of any plagiarism among priests in his own country.

Przyczyna, though, hopes the book will increase awareness about plagiarism and cause priests to "be afraid and embarrassed" to speak someone else's words without due credit."



Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "God Wants You To Copy Sermons from Rev. Craig Groe...":

Will they copy Joel Osteen next?


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "God Wants You To Copy Sermons from Rev. Craig Groe...":

What an admission! The CORE receives no inspiration from the Word of God and must copy others. Sausages from the Sausage Factory offer only malnutrition.


GJ - Vegan sausages - almost like the real thing.


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "God Wants You To Copy Sermons from Rev. Craig Groe...":

Ever wonder why Lutheran pastors dislike Luther? Then read the following:

"Pastor’s Perspective
October 28, 2007
Luther on Lazy Pastors and Preachers
Filed under: Church History, Luther, Pastors, Preachers/Preaching — Jim Kang @ 11:05 pm

Luther pleaded with ministers to be diligent in their study. He said:

Some pastors and preachers are lazy and no good. They do not pray; they do not read; they do not search the Scripture… The call is: watch, study, attend to reading. In truth you cannot read too much in Scriptures; and what you read you cannot read too carefully, and what you read carefully you cannot understand too well, and what you understand well you cannot teach too well, and what you teach well you cannot live too well… the devil… the world…and our flesh are raging and raving against us. Therefore, dear sirs and brothers, pastors and preachers, pray, read, study, be diligent… This evil, shameful time is not the season for being lazy, for sleeping and snoring [Quoted in John Piper, The Legacy of Sovereign Joy (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2000), 101]."


Joseph Schmidt's Blog

Joseph Schmidt and I have a common interest in great hymns and good music. His blog shares the name given to Martin Chemnitz by the papists:

Sceleratissimus Lutheranus - The Most Villianous Lutheran. The title given to the great Lutheran theologian Martin Chemnitz by the Roman Catholics after he wrote his masterful work, The Examination of the Council of Trent.

He has posted videos of Catholic, Lutheran, Protestant lessons.

He doesn't hide his name, so I know he isn't a Church and Changer.

PS - I got a Church and Chicanery girly-man upset with this post. He sent an obscene comment, not worth posting. I imagine it was my reference to good music. That really sets off people who have spent too much time near huge amps and bad musicians.


Anonymous Girly-Man wrote: I'd rather be a girly-man that (sic) a... [more obscenities]

Swine Flu Outbreak:
An Old Story for WELS

Notice that faithful piggy--second from the bottom--gets nothing.

rlschultz has left a new comment on your post "Swine Flu Outbreak:An Old Story for WELS":

The second one from the bottom reminds [me] of the famous pig from Charlotte's Web. The young girl saves him but the parents advise her not to because because he is the runt of the litter. When the faithful one is rescued, the 400+ pound sow that is nursing the rest of the piglets will roll over and crush the rest of them. This has been known to happen often in the barnyard. This image also reminds me of the line from George Orwell's Animal Farm - "all pigs are created equal. Some are more equal than others."

Misericordias Domini, The Second Sunday after Easter

The Shepherd and His Sheep, by Norma Boeckler

Misericordias Domini, The Second Sunday after Easter

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 8 AM Phoenix Time

Mid-Week Lenten Services are Thursdays at 6 PM.

The Hymn #201 Jesus Lives 2.81
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual 1 Peter 2:11-20
The Gospel John 10:11-16
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #A Hymn of Glory 2:93

The Hired Hand vs. The Good Shepherd

The Hymn #205 The Day of Resurrection 2:90
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn #656 Behold a Host 2:39

KJV 1 Peter 2:11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13 Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14 Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 17 Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. 18 Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19 For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20 For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.

KJV John 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. 12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. 13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. 15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Second Sunday After Easter
Lord God, heavenly Father, who of Thy fatherly goodness hast been mindful of us poor, miserable sinners, and hast given Thy beloved Son to be our shepherd, not only to nourish us by His word, but also to defend us from sin, death, and the devil: We beseech Thee, grant us Thy Holy Spirit, that, even as this Shepherd doth know us and succor us in every affliction, we also may know Him, and, trusting in Him, seek help and comfort in Him, from our hearts obey His voice, and obtain eternal salvation, through the same, Thy Son Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

The Hired Hand vs. The Good Shepherd

Once I got an anonymous email telling me that Jesus was never negative, but he must have forgotten this passage and many more like this. This lesson is a warning against the hired hand and the wolf who devours and scatters the flock.

In this Gospel lesson, Jesus compares His own role to that of the hired hand. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

When people follow a hired hand, someone who wants to fatten himself as a minister, they fall prey to several evils at once. The hireling does not protect them against the wolf, but abandons them to the wolf, who destroys the souls of some and scatters the rest, who are utterly lost and confused.

Church history has many examples of charismatic figures who spoke in God’s Name and led people into destruction. One was Thomas Muentzer, who incited the Peasants Revolt in Germany. When the battle came, he ran away and hid in a pile of hay. Thousands died - and many went back to the Church of Rome, blaming Luther for the slaughter. Luther is still blamed for the battle today, because Muentzer was a Protestant. Muentzer claimed to received his instructions directly from God, not from the Scriptures, so he was an Enthusiast of the worst sort.

Today many of the hired hands are watching their empires collapse. They fleeced millions of dollars from people to build palaces that would proclaim God was on their side. They borrowed millions more for the mortgages, which are now in default. When the house of cards blows down, the sheep are that much more a prey for the anti-Christian cults. If a sect is authoritarian and abusive, its members are trained to respond to the same kind of leadership from a clearly anti-Christian cult, like the Mormons or JWs.

Many religious leaders today portray Jesus as so loving that He would never speak against anything. They want their flocks to be as indolent and spiritually lazy as they are. And many prefer that as well. There is much less trouble when religious indifference is taught and practiced.

In the “Godspell” movie, the Jesus figure tells the Parable of the Last Judgment. The sheep and the goats are divided according to their good works reflected their faith in Christ. At the end, the sheep are invited into Paradise. Next, the goats are also invited. The message – it does not matter what people believe and do.

Jesus repeatedly warned His followers against false doctrine. Matthew 7 is well known but mostly ignored in application:

KJV Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Paul also used the figure of the wolf:

KJV Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.

The Reformation was a time of constant trial for all the religious leaders. When Luther died, the unity he created by preaching the Word was wrecked by weak and false teachers. The weak ones gave in to the false teachers inside and outside the flock. And yet, all those problems led to the Book of Concord, thanks to the leadership of men who were faithful to the Lutheran Reformation: Chemnitz, Chytraeus, Selnecker, Andreae.

As anyone can see, one error leads to another. My original training was in the LCA, which never took the Book of Concord seriously. I owned the Tappert edition but no college or seminary course dealt with the content of this great theological work. That reflected the general attitude in the LCA that nothing after 1530 (the Augsburg Confession) mattered. Also, no one wanted to identify with the Missouri Synod.

The biggest wave of apostasy has swept over all churches in America because of “one man, one book, and one seminary.” (Someone coined that phrase, but I cannot remember who.) The man was a sociologist, McGavran, who earned a secular PhD from Columbia University. The book was Understanding Church Growth. The seminary was—and is—Fuller in Pasadena.

“Donald McGavran is the father of the movement.
C. Peter Wagner is its systematician.
Win Arn has introduced America to church growth principles.
And Lyle Schaller, not really connected with the roots of the movement, is a guru of church planning whose advice is respected by those who are at the root of the Movement.”

The concept was simple – use statistical methods to find trends in the Christian church and copy “what works.” That quickly led to marketing methods, dropping anything suspected of being a “barrier to church growth.”

For Lutherans to adopt this, they first had to overcome their resistance to unionism and start listening to false teachers. They knew it was wrong so they lied about it.

The false teachers flattered them, saying, “You are in a Biblical church. Just do the right things and you will grow faster than weeds.” The right things meant dropping the liturgy, getting rid of the great hymns, and turning the sermon into a pep talk: how to have more time, how to have more friends, how to be happy.
The false teachers all hated Lutheran doctrine and spread their loathing to their Lutheran converts. The Lutheran gurus began saying or thinking, “Lutherans are not evangelistic. We have to be just like the Baptists.”

Willow Creek started in a movie theatre, so that is the venue to covet. Rent a theatre and all will be well.

My wife and I were at a Starbucks. Right behind us was a coffeehouse minister, talking to a woman. When she left, he ordered his third cup of coffee. No wonder they have closed over 600 Starbucks. Another factor in the closings would be the so-called church where they offer couches and coffee during the service. As WELS pastor Randy Hunter says, “It works.” Whenever churches compete for commerce (gambling, restaurants, coffeehouses, entertainment) the Gospel loses.

Institutions rise and fall. One of the greatest empires of all times – Great Britain – is only a shadow of what it was 100 years ago. Macy’s, one chain we shop at, is ready to close. Their ads recently said, “We have always been there – and in the movies too.” Not always. The existence of a given congregation or denomination is temporary.

The Word of God remains forever. This is a life or death issue. When falsehood is taught, souls are gathered by Satan. The purpose of the true Church is to preach the Word and administer the Sacraments in accordance with the Scriptures.

The parents of our very good friend died a few days ago. Church was important to them. They saw the gradual demise of the ALC and the confusion in the Missouri Synod. I once wrote an article that seemed too academic for most people, about how the ALC declined. They were on the phone when it came out – they loved it because they saw it happen around them.

When someone in the family dies, the message of the Gospel is the only comfort we have. Everything else is transitory. No one says, “But they were at a very large church,” anymore than they say, “But they were in a small church.”

The central unifying event of the Christian Church is the resurrection of Christ. He died on the cross for the sins of the world, but no one knew it at the time. The disciples were afraid and locked in a room, a week after the resurrection. After repeated resurrection appearances and training by the risen Lord, the disciples began to teach all that the Holy Spirit gave them to remember.

Are we to think that the atoning death took place on a random date and not recognize the liturgical calendar? One of the most important details of the crucifixion is the piercing of Jesus (fulfilling the Scriptures), because of the Jewish high holy days. The next event was Pentecost, another Jewish holiday, when the Holy Spirit sent them out to preach.

The Pentecostals never celebrate Good Friday – too Catholic. They never celebrate the Day of Pentecost – too Catholic. The Pentecostal/Baptist break with the liturgical year is accompanied by a similar break with the Sacraments and the efficacy of the Word. Everything we associate with orthodox Lutheranism is faithful to the Old Testament, from the efficacy of the Word to the nature of Sacraments (God’s Word plus earthly elements). The Old Testament is liturgical, high church, with a definite calendar – but those who claim to be Biblical break with all that in favor of their emotionalism.

Knowing the Word is effective at all times, we know that proclaiming the resurrection of Christ is eternal-life giving. Wherever the Gospel is preached, death is conquered as souls are snatched away from Satan.

John 10:14
I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

This verse alone is a source of great comfort. Jesus knows every single believe by name. When we are baptized, we are given a Christian name, or christened. That means every soul has a name. The very fact that we respond with delight to the Savior’s voice means we belong to Him. We cannot believe on our own. Christ plants faith in our hearts through the Word. Through this faith we receive all the benefits of the Christian faith. As Luther said so tenderly, “He is just as anxious for us as we are for Him.”

Just the opposite is true of those who reject Christ. I have known many of them, and I have seen pastors turn into enemies of Christ. Instead of gladly hearing the voice of their Master, they cringe and reject His message. They mock His death and resurrection. They openly doubt the existence of God or the reality of His love. All the blessings of the faith are curses to them because they belong to their Father Below.

Jesus made so many comparisons, to help us understand our relationship to Him. Anyone with animals knows how this works. We give our animals names, and those names matter. Our Cattle Dog lies on the carpet, looking at me, waiting for my next words. So I say, “Are you being a good Sassy?” The tail thumps. If I type too long, she reaches from the bed and taps my shoulder for attention. And of course, when she is guilt of an infraction, she does not want to be anywhere close.

John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

We do not come to Jesus. He comes to us through the Word and Sacraments. As our Good Shepherd, He provided for us before we existed. His Gospel provisions are an example of the abundance of God’s love, because His Word is full of promises and blessings. He surrounds us with many opportunities to hear the Gospel and to speak about our hope. God’s efficacious Word alone is evangelism, gathering into one flock the true Church, made up of those who trust in the merits of Christ alone for their salvation.