Didja wonder why a WELS pastor copied Mission Covenant leader Swindoll's devotional?
How a WELS college could invite a Roman Catholic archbishop to lecture about religion?
Answer - the Lutheran organizations in America are not Lutheran at all. They are Pietistic sects with some Lutherans scattered among them.
America is a Pietistic nation, with the Methodists and Babtists dominating the scene, the Lutherans imitating them as much as possible.
Division among the so-called Lutheran groups is not according to doctrine but according to Pietistic standards.
The so-called conservative groups distinguish themselves from ELCA, but they work with ELCA anyway.
The so-called conservative groups maintain an official stance of not working with each other, but they do anyway.
Pietists do a lot of pretending about their standards. A dry town or dry county will feature lots of ways to enjoy a bountiful supply of beverages. For instance, Benton County considers every restaurant a private club. All the customers sign the members' registry to allow some members to order alcoholic drinks. I have seen Elvis' signature, so it is true that he is still alive.
The nominal Lutherans seldom acknowledge their own heritage today. They consider the Book of Concord to be old-fashioned, boring, and irrelevant. They know more about Groeschel than Luther. They make fun of doctrinal knowledge while extolling their "relationship with Jesus." As one Pentecostal said about his students, "Are they tight with Jesus? You know the trouble starts when they are not tight with Jesus." Luther said - "They talk about Jesus all the time, but they tear down the bridge, the Means of Grace, to reach Him."
Why are the Lutheran pastors running to Fuller or Rome? Because they are Pietists seeking the True Pietism, the Holy Grail of Schwaermer-Vision.
Why are all these conservative Lutherans so happy to worship with Babtists, Pentecostals, papists, and Eastern Orthodoxists? They never had a problem with false doctrine, because Pietism teaches love above sound doctrine and love as the path to manufacturing disciples.
Why does WELS praise its own shoddy educational system and hate anyone for having a real education? Answer - They want the conformity of Pietism rather than the doctrinal knowledge of the Lutheran Church. Pietists will agree among themselves that no one can drink alcohol and be a true believer, so everyone pretends to be dry. WELS takes this another step by introducing alcholism as an important step in conforming, during college or prep school. Instead of being a dry hero, their leaders are falling-down drunk heroes.
Here is a guide to the real attitudes in the Union of Pietistic Sects:
ELCA - We are honest about what we believe and practice, so we have the real Gospel. Everyone is following our example, even though they deny it. Imitation acknowledges our purity.
WELS - We are so pure than no one is in fellowship with us, including the unreliable and loosey-goosey ELS. We do not acknowledge our bi and homosexual pastors so we can praise ourselves for not being ELCA. We thank God every day we broke with the Missouri Synod. We saw the dangers of unionism long before we enjoyed the pleasures of Fuller. But that is another story. If we attend lots of Schwaermer schools and churches, it is never within the bounds of fellowship. If you question that, you have already broken fellowship with us, so begone.
ELS - We are so pure that we congratulate ourselves every day, privately, that we are not WELS. Yes, we are the abused spouse of WELS, but that is our cross to bear for holding up the light of the Confessions, to shine whenever it seems expedient.
CLC (sic) - We may be even more corrupt in doctrine and practice than anyone can imagine, but no one brags about fellowship more than we do. Like the Hapsburg dynasty in Europe, we have unity through intermarriage. If a pastor's daughter has an oopsie baby, we adopt him out to a CLC (sic) family. The only people who leave the CLC do so via a coffin or the Left Foot of Fellowship. Our summer camp college in the woods is so small that proximity leads to marriage, even if the other person is a cousin six ways from Sunday. Proof of our orthodoxy Pietism - We are not ELS or WELS or LCMS. Therefore, we can indulge in every false doctrine without being tainted by those evil groups that we covet.