Monday, August 31, 2009

Perish Assistance in WELS


"Just read the C&C brochure on Ichabod. I don't think I'll sleep. I'm surprised I didn't receive a brochure. Our congregation used ___ and ___ with Perish Assistance - worst thing to ever happen to us."

***

GJ - The details are horrible to read, about how WELS spent enormous sums driving the congregation into the dumper. Multiply that many times over - that is the Church and Chicanery legacy.

---Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Perish Assistance in WELS":

Parish (sic!) Assistance
at our congregation started about 10 years ago - $10,000-$15,000. It reorganized our entire council structure into what I would describe as an unethical mess. We then spent about $15,000 with a company to see how much money we could raise, and recently received a $50,000 grant from Thrivent to hire a firm to help us raise money for a building project. Church membership over the 10 years has decreased significantly, as has the number of families with children in the congregation to the point that there are only about 70 K-8 children here out of about 900 souls. I've heard of positive results from P.A., though I can't give you any names. I would not recommend it to anyone.

***

GJ - I have more details from the source, but I am going to leave what is posted above as it is, without clarifications. The Shrinkers are more than willing to extend the Left Foot of Fellowship to anyone who questions them. Like the indulgence trade that started the Reformation, this is false doctrine mining the gold of faithful Christians.

Wherever Perish Services lurk, WELS congregations find the following, so beware:
  1. Enormous fees for fund-raising, including a commission on the profits. As Kelm explained, "No, this is a non-prophet organization. Your spelling is off."
  2. New buildings and remodeling projects as a Means of Grace. Build it and they will come is a fatuous Hollywood slogan. Pass the popcorn, because that will not happen.
  3. Entertainment-style services, man worshiping himself rather than God's grace coming to people through the Means of Grace.
  4. How can we hide the Sacraments better?
  5. The liturgy is a real downer. Let's leave people upbeat and positive.
  6. Division, alienation, loss of membership in the name of growth.
The wreckage left behind by Perish Services is a tribute to Church and Chicanery, because one is the lobby for the other, as the Chicanery website shows. The agenda is Fuller Seminary, Willow Creek, and the newbies on the block - Groeschel, Stanley, Beeson, Driscoll, Sweet, and other idiots.

Sore Losers


The poor losers at Sickabod are whining again. They were trounced and humiliated at the WELS convention while people continuously downloaded and posted to this blog. The fact is - the pleasant and Gospel-oriented people in WELS, laity and pastors alike, enjoy Ichabod. I get long personal emails and phone calls from them.

Sickabod does me a great favor by displaying their utter lack of reading comprehension. They remind me of the Canadian who was telling me how superior that educational system was. I asked, "Then why did your Prime Minister go to Harvard Law instead of the University of Toronto?" He continued his memorized speech when I said, "We have double the percentage who go to college." He countered, "But you have more people in America." Thus Sickabod - not just wrong on all the facts, but buffoonishly wrong. I graduated from a Jesuit school! I teach at a Babtist school! I am fired from UOP - but I was chosen to mentor new faculty there - in their graduate school. Can you find 15 things wrong in each paragraph at Sickabod? If not, you are not up on Googling.

In contrast to the affable Gospel-centered WELS people, the works-salesmen at Church and Chicanery do not represent WELS at all. They are a cancer growing from the Pietism that some elements never gave up completely (unionism, Reformed doctrine, shunning). I had cancer many years ago - just a minor basal cell carcinoma. Still, it had to be cut out.

False doctrine is a cancer, according to the Word of God. False doctrine needs to be diagnosed and removed. There is no other option.

I have lawyers in my family, which is good for several reasons. One is that I get plenty of legal advice. Another is that I know when people have overstepped the boundaries of civil law.

---

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Sore Losers":

Your analogy is not that smooth; what do you do when the cancer has spread and it is not possible to remove it? There's also cancer that no matter how many times it is removed it comes back in different forms on different organs. There is no cure for cancer, only management techniques. The good news is, God saves us from all kinds of cancers, even false doctrine.

***

GJ - Not my analogy.

KJV 2 Timothy 2:17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

The word "canker" is translated in modern versions as gangrene or cancer.

Faith in the Holy Trinity Means Trust in God's Word


The next book, cover design by Norma Boeckler


The unionists want us to believe that the differences between Lutherans and the Reformed are minor, easily overlooked, and no barrier to joint education and religious projects (on Reformed terms alone). As David Valleskey said, "They are Christians, too. We can learn from them."

One General Council theologian said, "I admire everything about the Reformed - except their doctrine."

The Zwingli-Calvin doctrine of the Word is anti-Biblical, so this is not a matter of comparing brands or franchises.

The Scriptures are the revealed Word of God for the Reformed, but they deny the divine efficacy of the Word. Their famous comparison is - The Word is like a statue of Mercury, which only points the way. In contrast, Isaiah 55 and many other passages consistently teach that God's will is accomplished through His Word alone.

The Church Growth obsession with methods is based upon the Reformed lack of trust in the Word. The poor dears actually think that God relies on them to make the Word relevant, reasonable, and attractive. If I said they were trying to market the Gospel, the Chicaneries would rise up as one and condemn me. But Missouri and WELS have both promoted "Marketing the Gospel," the actual name of the blasphemous video. True, this was when the dark shadows of Gurgle and Mueller passed over the land, but it remains a recent memory.

If we say that we believe in almighty God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - but prop up His Word with gimmicks, slogans, and marketing, we are contradicting ourselves. That contradiction is why Shrinkers become atheists. Their foundation is sinking sand. Rationalism begets more rationalism until nothing is left. Besides, there is the nagging reality that all the Shrinker principles--so carefully noted and taped and written down and memorized and recited--are bogus. How does a deluded Shrinker go back to the liturgy he raucously mocked for many years? How does a Chicanery build a congregation with vanished money, without the Word? How can synodical royalty admit he is a beggar, like the rest of us? (Luther died with a scrap in his hand - "We are all beggars.")

God's divine power is so great in His Word that He overcomes the frailty and weakness of His followers to accomplish His will through the Word - without fail. A Shrinker says, "Not Thy will but mine." A believer says, "Not my will but Thine."

The Shrinker motto is bound to disappoint in time, because delusion has a way of multiplying until Satan takes away the blinders to let the deceived see what they have done - ruined marriages, ruined families, ruined congregations, lawsuits, failure, humiliation, despair.

Believers bear the weight of the cross daily, and our Old Adam complains eloquently. But God surprises us by answering our prayers before we ask them, by adding abundance to anything we request, and by giving divine wisdom in the way He answers.

Paul made it simple in telling the Corinthians - sow abundantly to reap abundantly. Any gardener or farmer knows that. Abundant proclamation of the Word yields an abundance of spiritual fruit. There is no other way.

God is patiently waiting for Shrinkers to see the folly of their ways. WELS members and pastors can help by attending the next Shrinker convention in November and confronting the Chicaneries with their false doctrine.

Happily, the Chicaneries have listed their favorites in their new brochure. It is not too late to rescue them from doctrinal error. Sometimes they arrive locally too, like the cultists at the door. Trusting God's Word means applying it to brothers living in error.

You may snatch them from a future of atheism, lawsuits, and despair.

---

rlschultz has left a new comment on your post "Faith in the Holy Trinity Means Trust in God's Wor...":

Thanks for the link to the Chicaneries' brochure. They may have disinvited Ed Stetzer, but it is still a Chicanery conference. There definitively is an overtone of undermining the public office of the holy ministry with all of the lame leadership workshops offered. Yes, folks, everyone is indeed a minister, or at least, a leader. From the beginning of the brochure, you can see how the issue has been framed in terms of Church Growth. There are WELS congregations on life support. But, lets look at the ones that have grown numerically and learn from what they have done. There is also the implication that these are the ones that have been blessed because they have been doing church right. Who needs Stetzer when you have Hunter, Becker, Lampe, Stroh, et al?

***

GJ - And be truthful. Ski netted 9 members (probably transfers from WELS) after spending $250,000 - figures revealed at the church where he was called and is listed as a pastor - St. Peter, Freedom, WI.

Gunn started revising his resume once the outside money dried up. Whoa - I thought that was a successful stealth mission to emulate.

IBM - First Photo of a Molecule



A team from IBM captured its first photo of a molecule. Unfortunately, the photographer sneezed when snapping the picture.

Boomers waited all their lives for this?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

ELCA Church at the Crossroads


 
Rev. Richard Mahan
South Charleston, WV
richmahan@sttimothy.com

• Practical Evangelism: Anyone Can Share the Good News of Jesus
• How to Evangelize My Neighborhood?
On August 13, the 2003 Churchwide Assembly adopted “Sharing Faith in a New Century: A Vision for Evangelism in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.” The strategy calls on the ELCA to “train disciples by equipping people of all ages to be faith-filled witnesses to God as revealed in Jesus Christ.” To help with this equipping, the ELCA Evangelism Partners Network is a group of skilled evangelism practitioners who are ready to provide workshops and seminars on practical evangelism skills for ELCA synod or cluster gatherings.

To schedule a partner in evangelism for a
workshop or seminar, contact:
Kathryn Love
ELCA Division for Congregational Ministries
8765 W. Higgins Road, Chicago, IL 60631
800-638-3522, ext. 2102 or
kathryn.love@elca.org
 

St. Timothy Church at a crossroad
By Alison Knezevich

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In the cornerstone of St. Timothy Lutheran Church, two dates are engraved.

In 1948, members broke ground on Ohio Street in South Charleston. In 2004, they held their first service at a new church built on a hilltop off Corridor G.

Now, the congregation - and other Lutheran churches around the country - have reached another point in their history.

Earlier this month, leaders of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) met in Minneapolis and voted to allow gays and lesbians in lifelong, monogamous relationships to serve as clergy.

St. Timothy's pastor, the Rev. Richard Mahan, received national attention when The Associated Press quoted him calling homosexuality "immoral and perverted" at the ELCA assembly.

He got more notice after he hung black cloth over the word "Lutheran" on the church's signs, in protest of the vote.

It's not clear whether St. Timothy, which has nearly 400 members, will separate from the ELCA. During the past week, Mahan has declined media requests for comment. And several church members told the Sunday Gazette-Mail they don't know what direction the congregation will take.

Bishop Ralph Dunkin of the ELCA's West Virginia-Maryland Synod plans to meet with Mahan in the next few weeks.

"I know that Pastor Mahan took the decisions very hard. I think he's personally hurt," he said. "I think part of Pastor Mahan's struggle is, how do we show that we disagree or dissent without leaving? And covering up the sign is one way to do it."

Reactions have been mixed among Lutherans, Dunkin said.

"We have some pastors who will celebrate this decision, and their best friends will be on the other side," said Dunkin, who also voted against allowing sexually active gays and lesbians to serve as pastors.

In Dunkin's synod, many don't accept the decision, he said.

"Our congregations are very conservative," he said. "I think one of the real divides of our church is that the urban areas have been discussing this for 40 years. This synod only been talking about it since 1997."

Dunkin said the ELCA always has welcomed gays and lesbians. Before the assembly's vote this month, they could serve as clergy if they took a vow of celibacy.

"A lot of our people, they're just not ready to go to the next step," he said.

Church leaders still have to work out details and write policies related to the assembly's recommendations - a process that could take nine months, Dunkin said.

The decision won't force any church to hire sexually active gay pastors, said ELCA spokesman John Brooks.

"The policy of the ELCA has always been that the congregation chooses its pastor," Brooks said. "Nothing has changed with this action."

Physically, emotionally,
Spiritually drained

The ordination of gays and lesbians has been an issue since three Lutheran organizations joined together to form the ELCA in 1988. It now has about 10,400 congregations in the U.S. and Caribbean.

It's too early to tell whether many ELCA churches will separate, Brooks added.

"We've certainly heard from a few that are deeply concerned," he said. "But it remains to be seen whether they actually decide to go ahead and do that."

If St. Timothy or any other church wants to break away, the congregation must vote to do so by a two-thirds majority, according to the ELCA Constitution. Then, church members must meet with Dunkin and take a second vote.

If the church decides to separate, the Synod Council has to grant permission for the congregation to keep its property, according to the ELCA constitution.

---

U.S

Conservatives mull future after ELCA lifts gay ban

Aug 22nd, 2009 | MINNEAPOLIS --

Even though the Rev. Mark Chavez believes the leaders of his church made a decision in direct contradiction of the Bible by lifting a ban on sexually active, monogamous gays and lesbians as clergy, he said he's staying with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

"I'm not leaving," Chavez said Friday night, promising an effort to keep the church moving even further toward what he sees as an embrace of behavior condemned by Scripture.

Chavez, of Landisville, Pa., is director of Lutheran CORE, a conservative group within the ELCA that fought the gay clergy policy. The group will hold a convention in Indianapolis in September to review its next steps, but Chavez said he thinks some ELCA clergy, congregations and individual members will walk away from the nation's largest Lutheran denomination.

The change to gay clergy policy passed with the support of 68 percent of about 1,000 delegates at the ELCA's national assembly. It makes the group, with about 4.7 million members in the U.S., one of the largest U.S. Christian denominations yet to take a more gay-friendly stance.

"I have seen these same-gender relationships function in the same way as heterosexual relationships -- bringing joy and blessings as well as trials and hardships," the Rev. Leslie Williamson, associate pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Des Plaines, Ill., said during the hours of debate. "The same-gender couples I know live in love and faithfulness and are called to proclaim the word of God as are all of us."
But the change may be too much for some Lutherans. Conservative congregations will not be forced to hire gay clergy, but opponents nevertheless warned there could be spiritual consequences for a church that strays from Scripture.

"This will cause an ever greater loss in members and finances. I can't believe the church I loved and served for 40 years can condone what God condemns," said the Rev. Richard Mahan, pastor at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in Charleston, W.Va. "Nowhere in Scripture does it say homosexuality and same-sex marriage is acceptable to God. Instead, it says it is immoral and perverted."
Mahan said he believed a majority of his congregation would want to now break away from the ELCA.

Other leaders indicated they might leave as well. The Rev. Tim Housholder, pastor of St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Cottage Grove, Minn., described himself during the debate as a rostered ELCA pastor "at least for a few more hours." The Rev. Marshall Hahn, pastor at St. Olaf Lutheran Parish in Dubuque, Iowa, said he'd need to talk to his bishop "to discuss what this means for my future with this church."

Other Christian denominations in the United States have struggled to remain united in the face of such debates. In 2003, the 2 million-member Episcopal Church consecrated its first openly gay bishop, a move that alienated American Episcopalians from its worldwide parent church, the Anglican Communion. The divide has led to the formation of the more conservative Anglican Church in North America, which claims 100,000 members.

But ELCA supporters of its denomination's change said failure to ratify it ran just as great a risk of alienating large portions of the membership, particularly younger ones.
The Rev. Katrina Foster, pastor at Fordham Evangelical Lutheran Church in The Bronx, N.Y., said Lutherans heard similar warnings about flouting Scripture when they made past changes that are now seen as successful -- chiefly, the ordination of women.

"We can learn not to define ourselves by negation," said Foster, a lesbian. "By not only saying what we are against, which always seems to be the same -- against gay people. We should be against poverty. I wish we were as zealous about that."

Under the new policy, heterosexual clergy and professional lay workers must still abstain from sex outside marriage. The proposed change would cover those in "lifelong, monogamous, same-gender relationships."

ELCA Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson said after the vote that he'd commit himself to keeping opponents of the new policy within the ELCA fold.

"For those that did not prevail tonight, are you willing to stay engaged in the conversation?" Hanson said. He added, "I'm pleading with people to stay in there with us in this conversation."

***
GJ - I published a chapter in "Out of the Depths of ELCA" about this, 22 years ago. The movement has been pan-denominational.


The Twelfth Sunday after Trinity




Cover by Norma Boeckler

The Twelfth Sunday after Trinity

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/bethany-lutheran-worship

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 8 AM Phoenix Time


The Hymn #479 Zion rise 2:13
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 2 Corinthians 3:4-11
The Gospel Mark 7:31-37
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #469 Glorious things 2:26

Ministration of Righteousness

The Hymn #442 Lord of glory 2:61
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 #508 Thou whose almighty Word 2:7

KJV 2 Corinthians 3:4 And such trust have we through Christ to God-ward: 5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; 6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 7 But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: 8 How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? 9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. 11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

KJV Mark 7:31 And again, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, he came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. 32 And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. 33 And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; 34 And looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. 35 And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain. 36 And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; 37 And were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

Twelfth Sunday After Trinity
Almighty and everlasting God, who hast created all things: We thank Thee that Thou hast given us sound bodies, and hast graciously preserved our tongues and other members from the power of the adversary: We beseech Thee, grant us Thy grace, that we may rightly use our ears and tongues; help us to hear Thy word diligently and devoutly, and with our tongues so to praise and magnify Thy grace, that no one shall be offended by our words, but that all may be edified thereby, through Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

The Ministration of Righteousness
This Epistle is one of the great Bible passages on the importance of the Gospel, without denigrating the Law.

The history of Christian doctrinal conflicts is full of extreme positions being taken, usually as a reaction to some error or weakness. A reaction to a weak position does not create a strong, orthodox position. It often generates another problem to be faced.

Luther properly divided the Scriptures into Law and Gospel. Unionistic Protestants like to say there are few differences between the Lutherans and them, so why not just agree with them? That is like saying men and women have hundreds of similarities, so why not overlook the differences and declare one gender?

The differences between Lutherans and other Protestants add up, and so do the differences between Book of Concord Lutherans and the rest.

Let’s start with Law and Gospel itself. No other Christian confession emphasizes this so much. In fact, they really do not use those categories in any consistent way. For example, Karl Barth—theologian of Fuller Seminary—began one of his volumes this way: “The gift is a demand.” So he was saying (via his mistress Charlotte Kirschbaum, who wrote most of his Dogmatics) that the gift of salvation imposes a Law demand on all believers. For Lutherans, that is a clear confusion between Law and Gospel, turning the Gospel into Law.

Non-Lutheran Protestants impose Law demands on believers to prove outwardly that they are believers. For example, they must not smoke, drink alcohol (not even communion wine) use tobacco, dance or watch dancing, or participate in the theater in any way (including Disney movies). The essence of Lutheran Pietism is a list of outward signs of inward sanctification, while relaxing doctrinal standards and neglecting the Means of Grace.

Among Lutherans, Law/Gospel confusion can be found in various forms.

To emphasize the greatness of the Gospel, some Lutherans become anti-Nomians and declare, “There is no Law. It is obsolete.” This is appealing because anti-Nomian attitudes lead to hedonism, universalism, UOJ.

Clever anti-Nomians even use Paul’s inspired words to turn his doctrine upside-down. They say, “The Law is a pedagogue or tutor that leads us to Christ.” So the Law no longer has any function once we are believers. But I have found these anti-Nomians are the most legalistic people around, and quick to condemn anyone who does not fall for their claptrap. Oh, they have shiploads of Law for those people.

That is where the anti-Nomian position harmonizes the UOJ of WELS/ELS/LCMS with the Gospel reductionism of ELCA. They have the same message – “Everyone is forgiven by God’s grace.” Each sect says they others are bad because of outward behavior, either promoting sodomy or not promoting sodomy, advocating close communion or advocating open communion. But the apostates of each group like working together because they agree on basic doctrine – Everyone is forgiven, everyone saved – the Gospel is telling people this message that they are already forgiven, saved, going to heaven.

Paul’s message in this lesson is very much condensed, which is why Luther saw more Gospel in the Epistles than in the Gospel narratives themselves.

In II Corinthians, Paul is defending himself against false teachers by teaching the congregation what a faithful ministry is. The accusations were about the shortcomings of Paul, including his chronic illness (which is never disclosed to us).

Those now familiar with Pietism can see the Pietistic argument – “You are outwardly defective in these ways so you are not a real minister or the right one.” America is Pietistic to a fault, which is why a lying murderous scoundrel has to be buried as a saint to make his followers feel good. I finished watching the latest Kennedy funeral thinking, “He was just too good to be sullied by association with the rest of us. Heaven may need some new laws passed before he will step inside.”

“Our sufficiency is of God.” Those familiar with the efficacy of the Word know what this means. A careful reading will show a perfect harmony between faithful ministry, the work of the Holy Spirit through the Word, and the effectiveness of the Gospel.

A wrong (Reformed) view of the Gospel is that we must make it alive, germane, relevant, appealing. A good Reformed minister, like the late D. James Kennedy, is one who is good at packaging and selling the Gospel. I mention him because I liked him and admired what he did – to an extent. I did not admire his doctrine at all.

Opposition to the Word never takes the form of “I hate the Scriptures.” People will say, “The announcements are too short or too long.” And they work over the minister and each member of his family. This is funny when a member of the church is busy wrecking it, because the same people then say, “He is a charter member of this church,” conferring sainthood on demonic activities. But such are God’s ways, that He turns destructiveness into new blessings and moves the Gospel to another place and new people.

“Our sufficiency is of God” is just the opposite of worrying about “how well we are doing.” Looking for outward signs of success is typically Pietistic and bound to lead into doctrinal error and apostasy. The Old Adam wants an Old Adam minister who appeals to his carnal nature with spiritual-sounding words.

6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.

There are many ways to rewrite this and keep the same meaning. Ministers of the Gospel are ministers of the Holy Spirit. The Law kills but the Holy Spirit gives eternal life through justification and salvation.

9 For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. 10 For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. 11 For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

We Are All Paul Gerhardt Now:
Going Galt in Obama's America


Everyone has been deeply affected by the economic crisis, losing income and equity at the same time. My friends have been laid off or had their wages severely cut. I expected the same.

Teaching income decreased by 50% almost overnight. I expected some decrease, which is why I began again with life insurance. For several months, I was actually too busy teaching to get involved in sales. But both schools are expanding their faculties to have full staffs when the Boomers retire or reach room temperature. Enrollments are probably weak, too, although no one is saying so. Educators in Phoenix are being bumped at all levels, whether in public schools or higher education.

So we are short-selling our house and moving near our son's family in Arkansas. We expect to be there fairly soon. The politicians have fulfilled one promise - affordable housing is available everywhere.

All my work is online, so moving anywhere with broadband is relatively easy. I will still be blogging, conducting worship services, and teaching.

I have been greatly encouraged by some recent trends in one corner of Lutherdom, especially by the number of readers who want to do something about anti-Confessional strategies. For the last few years, a few drama queens have tried to paint me as the Freddy Krueger of WELS, but their convention voted otherwise. I see church institutions as representing a lot of individual moments where people respond to doctrinal issues or duck them. Naming the anti-efficacy error and citing the Means of Grace are both good indications for the future of WELS, if pastors and laity follow up.

"Going Galt" is a new trend. That means producing less income to starve the government of tax revenue. Or, in many cases, finding ways to live on far less income.

Readers can contribute to the move by donating to Bethany Lutheran Church, 6421 W. Poinsettia Drive, Glendale, AZ, 85304.

More details will follow.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Interesting Parallel



Thursday afternoon, libertarian journalist David Weigel sent out a message on Twitter that struck me as profound: "The proliferation of liberal media watchdogs has led to much, much, much more repetition of what conservatives say."

From The American Spectator

The most amusing example was the fake Ichabod copying my Photoshops (many done by others) and repeating my work, drawing more attention to the original blog.

That is the Wesley maxim that I try to follow - "If you can't convert them, at least make them angry." Angry people repeat to themselves and each other what upsets them most. When cultists call on me at the door, I do my best to leave them seething and shouting at me. People may find it difficult to imagine me having this effect - but six cultists have left my home shouting insults at me.

Doctrinal apostates are usually political Leftists as well. One Chicanery jumped in to defend the honor of Trust-fund Ted Kennedy. Nihil nisi bono (nothing except good said about the dead) only applies to honorable men.

There are Chicanery minders who check this blog daily so they can react, also so they can warn their pals about being named. One person has rigged Google to report when his father's name shows up on Ichabod. Don't worry - drunk driving does not qualify for a post.

Ted Kennedy--chuckle--Liked To Hear and Tell Chappaquiddick Jokes




Newsweek’s Ed Klein (told interviewer) Katty Kay about Kennedy’s love of humor. How the late senator loved to hear and tell Chappaquiddick jokes, and was always eager to know if anyone had heard any new ones. Not that Kennedy lacked remorse, Klein quickly added, seeming to intuit that my jaw and perhaps those of other listeners had just hit the floorboards. I gather it was a self-deprecating maneuver on Kennedy’s part, exercised with the famous Kennedy charm, though it sounds like one of those “I guess you had to have been there” things.

Link to quotation  


Notice on the audio that Ed Klein, a top editor at Newsweek, chuckled when he began to mention Kennedy's favorite jokes.


---

Mild Colonial Boy, Esq. has left a new comment on your post "Ted Kenneday Proved Why Felons Should Not Be Defen...":

I believe Pastor Jackson's comments are completely justified - after all, as I've seen written elsewhere, If they want to continually bring up Camelot, they should also mention the Lady in the Lake.

A poem by Hilaire Belloc seems appropriate.

Epitaph on the Politician Himself

Here richly, with ridiculous display,
The Politician’s corpse was laid away.
While all of his acquaintance sneered and slanged
I wept : for I had longed to see him hanged.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ted Kenneday Proved Why Felons Should Not Be Defended and Absolved




Chappaquiddick - the Kennedy legacy - will never be forgotten.
GQ on Teddy.


Ted Kennedy died today. Someone joked he was so drunk he didn't know that Ted is short for Theodore, not his actual name Edward.

Ted should serve as a prime example of why parents should not cover up the crimes of their children. Of course, his father Joe Kennedy made his money with Mob, in the liquore trade. Joe cheated his closest friends so often that one person said, "I don't know why he is swindling me. I'm not one of his friends!" Joe disgraced himself during WWII as the ambassador to England.

Joe drove his sons to compete for fame. Joe Junior blew himself to bits on a ridiculous mission, trying to compete with Jack, whose incompetence was turned into fame by daddy's bought-and-paid-for media friends. Jack got his PT boat rammed by Japanese because he killed the motor. The valve covers had to be lifted before accelerating. JFK did not do that and made his boat a sitting duck for a destroyer. But that became the PT 109 story, good for stories, souvenirs, and more lies.

So Joe Jr. had to compete and died.

Ted's birth was some kind of a deal made between daddy and Rose, who was a gothic horror story all by herself. He ran from the police, cheated at Harvard and got caught, and became a senator because of his last name.

The press absolved the Chappaquiddick scandal. They still play it today as a "tragedy." When a Kennedy skies into a tree, after being warned repeatedly, it is also a "tragedy." No wonder their booze and drug-soaked family is so tragic.

A Skakel murdered the girl next door in Greenwich. Robert Kennedy married Ethel Skakel.

One Kennedy drove recklessly and disabled a girl for life. He came to the hospital to scream at her.

I have seen many church leaders cover up for their felonious clergy friends. Like evil Joe Senior, they do these men no favors. They only set them up for a bigger fall, but the wolves take along a number of victims too.

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Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Ted Kenneday Proved Why Felons Should Not Be Defen...":

Can you not even pay respect to the deceased at least for a few hours or so? Even if you disagree with this man and his behavior, respect is clearly not a concern of yours.

***

GJ - Ted murdered a young woman. He left her in a partially submerged car. She did not drown. There was not a drop of water in her lungs. She slowly asphyxiated as she reached up for air. There is plenty of evidence to suggest two accidents, the second one staged. The car was destroyed. Mary Jo's clothing was destroyed. The parents were paid off but clearly outraged.

Ted did drugs with his own children and was on the property when a party girl was assaulted or raped by his younger nephew - on Good Friday.

I have no respect for Ted and no one else should, either.

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Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Ted Kenneday Proved Why Felons Should Not Be Defen...":

"Can you not even pay respect to the deceased at least for a few hours or so?"

Sure I can. I mourn the senseless murder of unborn children everyday. Speaking of which, let us peruse Teddy's voting record on abortion:

(if this doesn't Kelm the right way see: http://www.ontheissues.org/Senate/Ted_Kennedy.htm)

Voted NO on defining unborn child as eligible for SCHIP. (Mar 2008)
Voted NO on prohibiting minors crossing state lines for abortion. (Mar 2008)
Voted YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Apr 2007)
Voted NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006)
Voted YES on $100M to reduce teen pregnancy by education & contraceptives. (Mar 2005)
Voted NO on criminal penalty for harming unborn fetus during other crime. (Mar 2004)
Voted NO on banning partial birth abortions except for maternal life. (Mar 2003)
Voted NO on maintaining ban on Military Base Abortions. (Jun 2000)
Voted NO on banning partial birth abortions. (Oct 1999)
Voted NO on banning human cloning. (Feb 1998)
Rated 100% by NARAL, indicating a pro-choice voting record. (Dec 2003)
Expand embryonic stem cell research. (Jun 2004)
Sponsored bill for emergency contraception for rape victims. (Sep 2006)
Rated 0% by the NRLC, indicating a pro-choice stance. (Dec 2006)
Ensure access to and funding for contraception. (Feb 2007)

I would say RIP but I'm sure Ted is facing his maker and has lots of explaining to do.

Birth Certificate Revealed!

Born Lutheran - a claim few in WELS/ELS/LCMS can make.


I just wanted to show how easy it is to display one's own birth certificate. The Democrats sued John McCain to prove he was qualified to run for president, since he was born in the Panama Canal Zone. The Panama Canal Zone birth happened precisely because his father was serving his country in the Navy.

Obama has never displayed his actual birth certificate. That is just one issue involving the least-known US president in history. There are numerous Obama family stories (in Kenya too) about Obama being born in Africa when his hippy mother flew there to reconcile her marriage to Obama's putative father. There are no Jackson family stories about me being born in another location, not even about being born at First Moline Hospital, next door to Lutheran.

More importantly, all the evidence points toward Obama having another name and citizenship in Indonesia. He had to be a citizen to go to school there. He was registered there as a Muslim, adopted by his mother's second husband, having an entirely different name. And yet he has disclaimed his Muslim faith, even while promoting it and mentioning "my Muslim faith" himself (in an interview, corrected only by the interviewer). He has sworn many times (as I have) that he has never had another name. I have to swear that when I get licensed in life insurance. Swearing otherwise is a felony - each time.

That fact would make Obama's presidency questionable. The mainstream media is concentrating on the birth when citizenship is the real issue. What were the legal issues when Obama came back to live with his grandparents? Did he get a scholarship for foreigners at Occidental College? Records are hidden. Even yearbooks are hidden. He is the man nobody knows - Occidental, Columbia, Harvard Law.

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raklatt has left a new comment on your post "Birth Certificate Revealed!":

Had I been born in Illinois, I would rather have a certificate from the institution sure of the fact, rather than from the county clerk's office where I might be shown to have voted several hundred times in any given election, postmortem.

***

GJ - William F. Buckley's father is quoted as wanting to be buried in Chicago, where he could continue voting forever. JFK won through the crooked vote counts in Chicago and Texas. Ike wanted Nixon to have a recount, so egregious was the cheating.

Voter fraud is now institutionalized.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Elvis Has Left the Building:
So Has Community of Joy, Glendale, Arizona


I tried to kelm the Community of Joy blog, about the vote to leave ELCA, but they make that very difficult.

Here is the link.

I phoned Parlow for some tips because Kelm was busy working on his resume. Here are the introductory paragraphs, which I was able to copy after all - thanks guys:

The Results Are In!

Dear Family and Friends of Joy,

I am eager to share some good news with you. On Sunday afternoon, June 28, a victory for the ultimate authority of God's Word was enthusiastically and overwhelmingly supported by God's people who participated in our congregational gathering. A defining Bible verse for what God did is recorded in Romans 8:37: "No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us."

The result of the vote to end our affiliation with the ELCA was 174 in favor and 11 opposed. Imagine, 94% of those present were eager to move into relationships and partnerships that are more aligned with Joy's vision, values and mission. This is a significant step into a future filled with unlimited opportunities to experience God's blessings of obedience and righteousness.

Three other major decisions were made. Joy committed to enter into a relationship with a spirit-filled Lutheran association known as the LCMC (Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ) by a 98% margin. This part of the Body of Christ is very closely aligned with Joy's vision, values and mission.

snip snip

Get ready...the best is yet to be!
With joy and enthusiasm,
Pastor Walt

***

GJ - For years the LCMC has been gathering strength by taking out the biggest ELCA churches, a statistic mentioned obliquely in ELCA statistical reporting.

Read their website and note the photos being displayed.

ELCA has done exactly what the United Methodists did. By driving out the conservatives, the remaining membership becomes even more buoyant (pun intended) and reaches ever greater heights of euphoric Leftism. "No one can stop us now."

More Information on Theology of the Cross

NPH News - August 25, 2009

Finish your summer with this popular Impact series book.

Featured Item

The Theology of the Cross Cover Art

The Theology of the Cross: Reflections on His Cross and Ours

by Daniel M. Deutschlander

Are you living under the theology of the cross or the theology of glory? This new book looks at Christian doctrine and reminds readers that all biblical doctrine relates to Scripture's central teaching that God sent his Son to save lost sinners. However, it also deals with the seeming paradox between the theology of the cross and the theology of glory. Sinful people tend to overlook the cross and its demands. As a result they take their eyes off Jesus and turn their attention to themselves. It is a rich study of a weighty theological issue and a worthy addition to a professional or personal library. For further comment on this volume, from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Professor James Korthals, click HERE.
Paper cover, 292 pages
View sample pages.
Listen to radio interview with Daniel Deutschlander.
CC15N0746, $17.99.

"These are the last days of a mad, old world." - Martin Chemnitz

The Martins has left a new comment on your post "ELCA Approves Homosexual and Lesbian Partners in t...":

Bless you sir,After searching out ELCA recent rulings,I find your Blog and am blessed and encouraged.The Truth must be spoken and I find that in this place!!!

***

GJ - Opinions about this blog vary, but I am glad for support of traditional Christianity wherever I find it.

Mainline Leaders Desert Obamessiah During His Giant Conference Call To Promote Cuban Health Care in America

American Spectator

As is frequently noted, mainline Protestant denominations -- the prominent ones being the United Church of Christ, the Disciples of Christ, United Methodists, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian (USA) and the Episcopal Church -- may be losing their once dominant status, but they are still filled to the brim with aging middle and upper class white seniors. Precisely the kind of people who have been in the headlines for showing up in a fury at all these healthcare town hall meetings with members of Congress.

Which may explain a curious point. Of the 16 people who participated on the phone call with President Obama only one -- Dr. Sharon Watkins, the General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) -- was the head of one of these major denominations. The heads of the Methodists, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Evangelical Lutherans and United Church of Christ were either not invited or declined an invitation to speak. They did allow the names of their denominations to be listed as a "call sponsor" -- but there was literally no voice to be heard from people who are never shy about this sort of thing.


***

GJ - I noticed ELCA was mentioned above. Presiding Bishop Hanson has political commentary on everything, always consistently from the far Left perspective. Cuban Health Care is an ideal soapbox for him, except his members are also the very ones doomed by Obamessiah.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Semper Fi


I, David William Hedrick, a member of the silent majority, decided that I was not going to be silent anymore. So, I let U.S. Congressman Brian Baird have it. I was one questioner out of 38, that was called at random from an audience that started at 3,000 earlier in the evening. Not expecting to be called on, I quickly scratched what I wanted to say on a borrowed piece of paper and with a pen that I borrowed from someone else in the audience minutes before I spoke. So much for the planned talking points of the right wing conspiracy.

A Cross Word for the Day


Thinning My Library


Sunflower, by Norma Boeckler


I am reducing the number of books in my library. Previously I reduced my theological collection. Now I am selling literature and history.

My new teaching assignments gave me a chance to face my ignorance about many subjects. I was drafted into teaching world religion, which I still teach often. Studying Islam forced me into Byzantine history, so some classics in the field became my lifesavers - Gibbons, John Julius Norwich, etc.

I enjoyed smoking cigars and reading outside as I retooled my brain. However, my eyes began to rebel against teaching online and reading so much. Also, I gave up cigars some time ago, since scientists could not discover cigar anti-oxidants or bioflavonoids to justify them. I did suggest to critics that they were all-natural, contained no caffeine, and employed poor people in Central America.
Now books have to fulfill a number of criteria to stay in my library:

  1. Large print and good margins to spare my eyes. I have a Limited Edition Club copy of Pilgrim's Progress that I would never give up.
  2. Enduring classic.
  3. Very important - a book I will read again many times. I have a nearly complete set of Dickens, from Easton, but I am not going to wear my eyes out on his work, as much as I admire his books.
So I have many excellent books that miss out in one category or another. Gibbons I will read again, but not that edition. I have read Morris on the British Empire at least three times, so that is enough.

Here are the main categories of my collection:

  1. Literature - short stories and novels, including most of Dickens from Easton (leather).
  2. History - Greek, Roman, Medieval, and especially English. I have the fabulous Folio Society 10-volume set of English history, plus some others, such as the Morris set on the British Empire, the three-volume set on Charles I and II, Carlyle on the French Revolution, etc.

Send a comment with your name and email address, if this intrigues you. Tell me your area of interest above (literature, history, particular interests), and I can give more details. I will not publish the comment, but I will give you more titles by email. These books are in almost perfect condition.

Easton books are all leather-bound. Folio Society books are high quality productions, but not leather. I would rather sell a group at a time (English history, Medieval history, literature) than one book at a time. The price would be good - plus shipping. I do not like Franklin leather-bound books because their print is too small. I have some oddities, such as a book by D'Israeli's father. Tiny print, beat-up book, but the content is fascinating.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Eleventh Sunday after Trinity

Cover by Norma Boeckler


The Eleventh Sunday after Trinity

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/bethany-lutheran-worship

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 8 AM Phoenix Time


The Hymn #197 Where Wilt Thou Go 1:2
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 Corinthians 12:1-11
The Gospel Luke 19:41-48
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #237 All Glory Be To God 1:12

Justification by Faith Alone

The Hymn #192 Awake My Heart 1:22
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 #200 I Know My Redeemer Lives 1:80

KJV 1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

KJV Luke 18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Eleventh Sunday After Trinity
Lord God, heavenly Father, we beseech Thee so to guide and direct us by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may not forget our sins and be filled with pride, but continue in daily repentance and renewal, seeking our comfort only in the blessed knowledge that Thou wilt be merciful unto us, forgive us our sins, and grant us eternal life; through Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.


Justified by Faith Alone

Luke 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

We are born Pharisees. Our inherent nature is to be Pharisaical. Knowing this, Jesus made this particular sentence the ending for two different parables.

The other is even more pointed, for the Savior puts us all in that situation.

KJV Luke 14:8 When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; 9 And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. 10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. 11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

Pharisee and the Roman Empire Tax Collector (Publican)

I love the old words in the KJV. Some people want to tamp them down and make everyone sound like a surfer dude from California. The KJV is one of the two foundations of the English language, along with Shakespeare.

Many writers still refer to the publican, but those raised on the NIV cannot grasp what that term means, though Google gives 5 million hits on the word.

Crucial to the story is the seething resentment felt toward tax collectors for the Roman Empire. They were contractors, or tax farmers (the French term). They got to keep the extra and could extract large amounts from people. Added to that insult was the reminder that the taxes supported the hated Roman Army in their land. The destruction of Jerusalem, predicted by Jesus, came from a religious revolt where the Jews first defeated a small Roman Army. That got Rome’s attention, and they came in for a long siege, leaving “not one stone on another.”

So this parable is told making the most evil and hated person the very man commended by Christ. And he is another Jew.

Two men went to the Temple to pray, so they were both Jews. The Pharisee thanked God that he was not like other men, naming carnal sins and the tax collector as an example. Secondly, the Pharisee prayed about his good works, rather humorous – as if God is gratified.

Luke 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. Clearly his prayer was an example of exaltation. If it sounds odd to listeners to hear so much self-praise – how many times have similar words been used by laity and pastors alike? My special favorite is bragging about one’s parents and grandparents, as if good works were retro.

Naturally the false teachers certify their virtue by naming all the glorious things they have produced or bought or leased, such as sub-woofers, enormous sound systems, large campuses with multiple buildings. They photograph well. I stepped into Saddleback Church while a “paid-for conference” was going on. It was simply a large boxy room, an assembly hall with a stage.

But we also have to look at our tendency to justify ourselves, as this Pharisee was doing. That is easy to detect when we name the great things we have done, especially for God, instead of being thankful God has given us the opportunity to glorify His Name in various ways. Since anything done in faith glorifies God, nothing legitimate should be looked down up. Luther often mentioned the ordinary servant cleaning the floors (in faith) glorifying God just as much as anyone else. That was especially important then, because Germany was so class conscious. In fact, when the German scientists came over to America to build our first rockets (which we neglected after Goddard invented them), Werner von Braun would not worship with his fellow Lutherans because that would be unseemly. He joined a Presbyterian church. So Luther was really confronting the pride of his own congregation when he taught them how ordinary workers and even babies glorify God in faith.

Is the pastor of a large congregation better than someone shepherding a small one? Attitude suggests they are much better, but that is not Scriptural. I enjoyed an article by the pastor of a large church who subbed at a small one for several months. He was going to turn things around with his superior management skills. He confessed in the article that the most he accomplished was getting the church a bit cleaner. (I could have done that. In fact, I have done that. I mastered the art of buffing floors, changed bulbs, killed weeds, swept, etc.)

The Tax Collector
In contrast to the publican, the tax collector did not look up into heaven, but beat himself on his chest and said:

God be merciful to me a sinner

One man justified himself while looking down on the carnal sins of others (not realizing that our interior sins are often the worst and least obvious).

The other man, in faith, asked God for the forgiveness of his sins. Jesus said – The tax collector went home justified, but the Pharisee did not.

One reader and participant in our services gave me an edited copy of the Brief Confession of the LCMS. All he had to do was eliminate the ridiculous wording of the “entire world being forgiven of its sins” and the paragraph was sound doctrine.

Christ has earned our forgiveness with his death on the cross. The Gospel message is all forgiveness. Forgiveness does not require the Law. However, the Law teaches us how much we need the Savior.

One minister shocked (in a positive way) a member by saying, “I know I am going to heaven.” The member asked him about why he was so sure. The minister, a leader in the ELCA evangelism program said, “Because I love Jesus and I am a good person.” The poor confused member thought that was a good answer, because it was the Old Adam of the pastor speaking to the Old Adam in the member.

Now there is a Pietistic answer packed with false doctrine and Pharisaical works-righteousness. “I love Jesus” is the proof of one’s relationship to Christ, according to the Pietists. “I am a good person” is the Pietistic requirement of works. It is easy to see why the Pietism of ELCA dissolved into various kinds of activism, all promoted in a very sentimental and vague way. I read the comments of an ELCA pastor I knew at Yale. He concentrated on his feelings without mentioning he supported homosexual activism by having a “Reconciled in Christ” congregation. The latest actions “had to be passed because of hurt feelings, alienation,” and other psychobabble.

How much different it would be to have a mainline minister say, “We love Jesus because He first loved us.” Pietistic pride is just the opposite of the Scriptural message.

Would it not be a great change for the confused conservative Lutherans to extol the Word of God as the absolute and sole foundation for all Gospel work? And to let God accomplish what He will without trimming, hedging, watering down, and adulterating the Word?

I am reading Reu’s book on Luther and the Scriptures, thanks to the person who found a bargain copy and told me how to get one at almost double the price! (Only $9, but still…) Reu’s content is not new to me. I have admired his writing for a long time. I enjoyed being reminded of Luther’s complete trust in the Word and Will of God.

In the last 50 years, people have defended the inerrancy of the Word in various denominations. One Lutheran group (FELLP), like Fuller Seminary, could not even support genuine inerrancy. Fuller began with a weak version of inerrancy and soon repudiated that version, in angry and venomous words. They didn’t have time to argue inerrancy – they had a “mission” to accomplish. This is the main idea – inerrancy means nothing unless the Word is also effective.

To say the Word is inerrant and say it is dead without man’s help (Reformed view of the Word) is to render the entire argument meaningless.

The Word of God is not only a perfect revelation of God but also a powerful, two-edged sword. The Word is not an iron statue that merely points the way (Reformed view) but a divine energy moving people to do His will. Simply reading the Word of God has a powerful effect on people.
Preaching against false doctrine is Law preaching, and it has a powerful effect. Denouncing false teachers and quoting them will always make them angry, often angry enough to get even. That anger will make them think over what they have taught, leading them to repentance or to greater hardness of heart.

Luther’s Reformation began because he said – The pope is teaching false doctrine. People and knew the Gospel, even though it was hardly taught. But some did teach the Gospel and Spalatin helped Luther understand forgiveness. No one in Luther’s time was saying, “But the pope is against the Gospel. Some of our great theologians are completely in error.” That ignited the Reformation.

Luther was unmovable about obeying and believing the Word of God in its entirety. The Formula of Concord quotes him (with approval) saying that those denying the Real Presence will expect no fellowship with him. How different that is from the new WELS VP who suggested that his fellow pastors had much to learn from those same false teachers. That is how Valleskey became seminary president, by saying the same things.

Meanwhile, in the LCMS, the St. Louis seminary president sat in awe of Leonard Sweet and put a video up on their website so everyone could see him with his mouth hanging open, listening to the Space Cadet Methodist.

False teachers are filled with pride. They also fill their followers with the same kind of pride.

Genuine humility is an attribute of Christ:

KJV Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Paul referenced the humility of Christ:

KJV 2 Corinthians 10:1 Now I Paul myself beseech you by the meekness and gentleness of Christ, who in presence am base among you, but being absent am bold toward you:

James commended this attitude among Christians:

KJV James 1:9 Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: 10 But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away.

Those who have received much in their spiritual gifts should also share in those gifts, even if it comes at a price. We should say, “Look at what God has done,” not at what we have done.

Forgiveness of sin comes from God’s grace. First He willed that His son died for our sins. Then He provided pastors and teachers for His Word and sent them out with the Gospel. Like Jonah, many thought they would go the opposite direction, but God willed otherwise.

The Gospel is God’s grace. We are forgiven our sins because of His love and mercy for us. In His Word, He has given us thousands of examples of this love and mercy. Best of all, He has bound His Holy Spirit to the Word, so we never doubt the source and power of the Gospel in the Means of Grace.

This lowliness or humility of Christ - which is commended in the Gospel for today – how do we receive it? Christ comes to us in the Gospel, the invisible Word of preaching and the visible Word of the Sacraments. He imparts His nature to us, so we are not only justified by faith, but we are also made more loving, patient, generous, kindly, and peaceful – and more humble.


Quotations

"The Third Article the adversaries approve, in which we confess that there are in Christ two natures, namely, a human nature, assumed by the Word into the unity of His person; and that the same Christ suffered and died to reconcile the Father to us; and that He was raised again to reign, and to justify and sanctify believers, etc., according to the Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, III. #52. Of Christ, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 119. Romans 4:25; 2 Corinthians 5:19ff.

"Faith is that my whole heart takes to itself this treasure. It is not my doing, not my presenting or giving, not my work or preparation, but that a heart comforts itself, and is perfectly confident with respect to this, namely, that God makes a present and gift to us, and not we to Him, that He sheds upon us every treasure of grace in Christ."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. 48, Of Justification Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 135.

"Now we will show that faith [and nothing else] justifies."{that faith justifies italicized} Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. 69, Of Justification
Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 141.

"We do not believe thus {that faith is just a beginning of justification} concerning faith, but we maintain this, that properly and truly, by faith itself, we are for Christ's sake accounted righteous, or are acceptable to God. And because 'to be justified' means that out of unjust men just men are made, or born again, it means also that they are pronounced or accounted just. For Scripture speaks in both ways. [The term 'to be justified' is used in two ways: to denote, being converted or regenerated; again, being accounted righteous.] Accordingly we wish first to show this, that faith alone makes of an unjust, a just man, i. e., receives remission of sins."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. 71, Of Justification. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 141.

"It is, therefore, needful to maintain that the promise of Christ is necessary. But this cannot be received except by faith. Therefore, those who deny that faith justifies, teach nothing but the Law, both Christ and the Gospel being set aside."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. #70. Of Justification, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 141.
"In the Epistle to the Romans, Paul discusses this topic especially, and declares that, when we believe that God, for Christ's sake, is reconciled to us, we are justified freely by faith."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. 87, Of Justification Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 147. 2 Corinthians 5:19ff.

"But since we receive remission of sins and the Holy Ghost by faith alone, faith alone justifies, because those reconciled are accounted righteous and children of God, not on account of their own purity, but through mercy for Christ's sake, provided only they by faith apprehend this mercy." Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. #86. Of Justification.
Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 147.

"The Gospel teaches that by faith we receive freely, for Christ's sake, the remission of sins and are reconciled to God."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, XV. #5. Human Traditions, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 317.

"Also they teach that the Word, that is, the Son of God, did assume the human nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin Mary, so that there are two natures, the divine and the human, inseparably conjoined in one Person, one Christ, true God and true man, who was born of the Virgin Mary, truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, that He might reconcile the Father unto us, and be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men."
Augsburg Confession, III. 1. Of the Son of God, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 45.

"Therefore there is here again great need to call upon God and pray: Dear Father, forgive us our trespasses. Not as though He did not forgive sin without and even before our prayer (for He has given us the Gospel, in which is pure forgiveness before we prayed or ever thought about it). But this is to the intent that we may recognize and accept such forgiveness."
The Large Catechism, The Lord's Prayer, Fifth Petition, #88, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 723. Matthew 6:12

"This article concerning justification by faith (as the Apology says) is the chief article in the entire Christian doctrine, without which no poor conscience can have any firm consolation, or can truly know the riches of the grace of Christ, as Dr. Luther also has written: If this only article remains pure on the battlefield, the Christian Church also remains pure, and in goodly harmony and without any sects; but if it does not remain pure, it is not possible that any error or fanatical spirit can be resisted. (Tom. 5, Jena, p. 159.) And concerning this article especially Paul says that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump."
Formula of Concord, SD, III. 6, Righteous of Faith before God, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 917.

"These treasures are offered us by the Holy Ghost in the promise of the holy Gospel; and faith alone is the only means by which we lay hold upon, accept, and apply, and appropriate them to ourselves. This faith is a gift of God, by which we truly learn to know Christ, our Redeemer, in the Word of the Gospel, and trust in Him, that for the sake of His obedience alone we have the forgiveness of sins by grace, are regarded as godly and righteous by God the Father, and are eternally saved."
Formula of Concord, SD, III 10, Righteous of Faith before God, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 919.

"Moreover, neither contrition nor love or any other virtue, but faith alone is the sole means and instrument by which and through which we can receive and accept the grace of God, the merit of Christ, and the forgiveness of sins, which are offered us in the promise of the Gospel."
Formula of Concord, SD, III 31, Righteous of Faith before God, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 925.

"For good works do not precede faith, neither does sanctification precede justification. But first faith is kindled in us in conversion by the Holy Ghost from the hearing of the Gospel. This lays hold of God's grace in Christ, by which the person is justified. Then, when the person is justified, he is also renewed and sanctified by the Holy Ghost, from which renewal and sanctification the fruits of good works then follow."
Formula of Concord, SD, III 41, Righteous of Faith before God, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 929.

"But to believe is to trust in the merits of Christ, that for His sake God certainly wishes to be reconciled with us."
Apology of the Augsburg Confession, IV. #69. Of Justification, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. p. 141.
"#305. Why do you say in this article: I believe in the Forgiveness of Sins? Because I hold with certainty that by my own powers or through my own works I cannot be justified before God, but that the forgiveness of sins is given me out of grace through faith in Jesus Christ. For where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also true justification. Psalm 130:3-4; Psalm 143:2; Isaiah 64:6; Job 25:4-6 (Q. 124)."
Kleiner Katechismus, trans. Pastor Vernon Harley, LCMS, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1901, p. 164ff.

"#306. What is justification? Justification is that activity (Handlung) of God by which He out of pure grace and mercy for the sake of Christ's merits forgives the sins of a poor sinner who truly believes in Jesus Christ and receives him to everlasting life."
Kleiner Katechismus, trans. Pastor Vernon Harley, LCMS, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1901, p. 164ff.

Congregational Busywork Touted as CG Method

These little piggies are going on a diet, and they will squeal.


rlschultz has left a new comment on your post "Here's Real Church Growth for You Lazy Swine at Ch...":

Some may argue that they would feel uncomfortable with routine pastoral visits. If home visits became a common practice, the ice would be broken quite quickly. The proper responsibilities of the pastoral office can be narrowed down when it is thought of as the shepherd/flock relationship. The "everyone is a minister" approach is a devastating false doctrine. When this is taken to its logical conclusion, the congregation ends up with a plethora of committees engaged in busy work.

***
GJ - A member of St. Paul, German Village, paid my way for a local CG seminar. Naturally, Pastor Bob Schumann (ex-minister, ex-Thrivent) took laymen there. How well has that worked for the congregation? Pastor Tim Glende came from that congregation and he is one of the people behind WELS CORE in A-town.

At the seminar, the leader touted busywork as a method to keep members involved. They even have a formula for how many need to have work invented for them to make them committed to membership.

But remember, the CG wolves do not view them as sheep to be fed and guarded (John 10) but as scaffolding. Each month, hundreds join and hundreds drop away from the CG meccas. The scaffolding will get the gurus higher and higher until they can charge people excessive rates for learning how they were so amazingly successful. Granger wanted a ton of money for a few days, so pastors could watch them "do church."

Now that CORE has 15 members, they should charge people to watch them do church. Unfortunately, much of the time would be spent waving goodbye as Ski and Katie leave with Glende for another expensive CG seminar.

I just attended a business seminar. No charge. Free food half the time. We paid for the hotel and getting there. Extra expenses came from the general agent who sponsored it, not from taxing the staff and clients, but from their family funds.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Here's Real Church Growth for You Lazy Swine at Church and Change

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Institutional Idolatry Is Still Idolatry":

Faithful pastors spend time in visitation, making that a priority, instead of fobbing their pastoral work onto the laity in the name of "everyone a minister."

When I was a kid, several times a year our pastor would come to our house and just visit with the family. These visits were instigated by the pastor, not invitations to dinner by my folks. He simply wanted to be in touch with everyone, hold a family devotion, and become a friend as well as pastor. We looked forward to his visits. Now that I'm a senior citizen, I think back and compare that to my current pastor. I've been a member of his church in minnesota for over five years and to my knowledge, he doesn't even know where I live, let alone make a home visit.

***

GJ - I had a WELS transfer member from Minnesota. He never had a home visit in years. There is great truth in this - "A home-going pastor has a church-going congregation." This story saddens me. Pastoral visits build up a congregation, but the Shrinkers want the laity to do it for them. The lazy-bone fake pastors are destroying the next generations, who will neither know nor love the Scriptures/Confessions.

One famous WELS Shrinker, known all over the synod, was phoned to help in a jet crash where many were dying and wounded. I am not sure if he had members on that jet or not. But he said, "No, it's my bedtime."

ELCA Assemby Summary


But ELCA said monagamous (sic), so that may mean something else.

Did I warn everyone about this 22 years ago? I did, and not one LCA/ALC pastor responded. WELS was angry with me about "Out of the Depths of ELCA" (Christian News) for offending ELCA.

I helped with a little research for What's Going On Among the Lutherans? I heard, "That gave the ELS a bad name."

Weaselly responses get weaselley results.

***

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "ELCA Assemby Summary":

From being around liberals, I know they talk a lot about whether a congregation or synod is "ready" for women pastors, or gay celibate pastors, or gay pastors in a committed relationship, or gay marriage. Of course, what does "ready" have to to with Bible interpretation? Nothing. They assume it's cultural progress.

Swarm the Schwaermer at the Chicanery Conference

Spoiling the Egyptians


Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Try Not To Yawn as Bruce Becker Stages His Come-Ba...":

I'm praying their turnout is next to nothing.

***

GJ - The November confab is a golden opportunity for the confessional Lutherans to arrive, listen, and confront the false teachers. Some might want to listen quietly and report on Ichabod. One report (such as visiting Victory of the Movie Theater) can have enormous consequences as people learn the truth. "Regaining the Momentum" means keeping the brainwashed troops in line. They have only heard the glories of their movement, the martyrdoms of Becker and Aderman.

The poor seminarians come out of The Sausage Factory and CG vicarages with their eyes glued shut, like newborn kittens. They need to find out what is really happening in the trashed CG congregations - the lawsuits, adultery, scattered members, and hero CG pastors becoming atheists.

The "Who told you?" question (ad ichabodem logical fallacy) can be answered, "I know it from seeing it with my own two eyes. Now open yours."

Confronting false teachers is fun and inspiring. I was told, "Talk to them about it," and I did. Valleskey literally ran from me and denied going to Fuller Seminary. Later he complained, as seminary president, that I never met him, never talked to him. I had to double-time to catch him. He looked my way and put on speed, but I outflanked him. That was the Gibsonia Conference where he gave his odious Spoiling the Egyptians (Gathering Figs from Thistles) paper. And he collected a fee for it too. Not just expenses (fair enough) but a fee on top of his princely salary for teaching seminaries not to think but to obey.

Ron Roth hid from Slick Brenner. Slick spotted the "missing man's" legs behind the partition.

Once I heard from the circuit pastor that I flabbergasted WELS leaders by actually going up to them and questioning them. Since I did not follow the memorized dog notes, the false teachers were terrified of answering. Luther said that about false teachers - they do not answer.

The only Church and Change responses on Ichabod have been anonymous, nasty, vile, often full of cursing and foul language. When they tried to mount a Rock and Roll Blog, that was terminated and erased. They also dabbled in a fake Ichabod blog (plus a fake post in my name on Bailing Water). Their fake Ichabod displayed their shameless ugliness, their ignorance of theology and facts easily checked on Google - but not researched at all. They suppressed posts when people disagreed with them. They even erased the link provided by one person to my book. To top it off, they subsequently demanded free, anonymous access on this blog again. They have proven their Dreckishness.

If Church and Change believed their propaganda was God's truth, they would be bold in confessing it. Instead, they sneak around, lie about their actions and doctrine, start anonymous whispering campaigns about their opponents. When the lights go on, the cockroaches run for cover.

Another Liberal Elected Synod VP;
Income Plummets;
Closeted Heterosexuals Afraid To Speak Out


ELCA NEWS SERVICE

August 22, 2009

ELCA Assembly Re-Elects Carlos Peña Vice President

MINNEAPOLIS (ELCA) – The Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) elected Carlos Peña, Galveston, Texas, to a second term as ELCA vice president.  Peña was first elected to the office at the 2003 Churchwide Assembly.

Peña was elected on the fourth ballot for vice president with 580 votes.  He was elected over Ryan Schwarz, McLean, Va., who received 264 votes, and Norma Hirsch, Des Moines, Iowa, who received 110 votes. 

Sixty percent of the votes cast on this ballot were needed for election.

ELCA NEWS SERVICE
August 22, 2009

ELCA Assembly Adopts 2010-2011 Reduced Budget


MINNEAPOLIS (ELCA) --Voting members of the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) approved a 2010 current fund income proposal of $76.69 million for the churchwide organization, and an ELCA World Hunger Appeal income proposal of $18.7 million. They also approved a current income proposal of $75.77 million and a World Hunger income goal of $19 million for 2011.

The churchwide assembly, the chief legislative authority of the ELCA, is meeting here Aug. 17-23 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. About 2,000 people are participating, including the 1,045 voting members. The theme for the biennial assembly is "God's work. Our hands."

With a vote of 863-71 voting members approved the budget, which reflects a decrease in income expectations. The approved $76.69 million for 2010 shows a 6.4 percent decrease from the 2009 budget. The approved $18.7 million income goal for the ELCA World Hunger for 2010 represents a decrease from the $20 million goal for 2009.

In discussion leading up to the vote the Rev. John V. Carrier, ELCA Southeastern Minnesota Synod, spoke in opposition of passing the budget because it curtails giving to campus ministry, "one of the most important domestic missions of the church."

"My soul is grieved by the level of giving of less than 2 percent of what God has given," said Michael V. Johnson, ELCA Southeastern Michigan Synod. Speaking in favor of approving the budget, Johnson said, "We have to go back to congregations and teach about tithing and about what God has given us." Having gone through personal bankruptcy, Johnson said he was able to contribute 10 percent to the church, which served as an "incredible spiritual growth" process for him and his family.
Joseph S. Roberts, ELCA Minneapolis Synod, also spoke in favor. "I have been a recipient of your good gifts," he told the assembly. Originally from Liberia, Roberts said he, along with his wife and children, "walked so many months without food. We ate roots, slept on a range until we crossed into another country, where we found the Lutheran World Federation at work. I know the importance of aid, and I want to say thanks."

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The actions of the assembly mean that many of those sharing CORE’s concern “will participate in and support faithful ELCA ministries, but cannot support ELCA ministries that reject the authority of God’s word,” said the Rev. Erma S. Wolf of Brandon, S.D., vice chair of CORE’s executive committee.

While CORE’s disagreements with the ELCA run deep, Spring said he was not encouraging congregations to leave the ELCA, although he admitted that some pastors and congregations are already planning to do so.

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Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Another Liberal Elected Synod VP; Income Plummets;...":

"We have to go back to congregations and teach about tithing and about what God has given us."

What they are really saying is... shame them into giving their synod more money but don't teach them what the Bible says concerning homosexuality.

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GJ - The religious Leftists are against every verse of the Bible, but they are Fundamentalists on tithing. I remember LCA President Robert Marshall condemning people in a sermon - about whether they should tithe on their gross or net income. "Shame on you!" And he repeated, "Shame on you!" with even more emphasis. Preaching the OT Law in all its severity was his pitch, on tithing, but not on sodomy.