Sunday, February 28, 2010

ELCA Wins By Losing


Not so dumb.


Many assume that ELCA is suffering terrible losses due to its polarizing vote on homosexual clergy, even though the vote was only one more step in a long list of leftward shifts, which began with Franklin C. Fry's efforts against inerrancy in the ULCA.

Large congregations are leaving ELCA and many are holding back their congregations. The final result will be:

1. ELCA will have little opposition when future votes are taken.
2. ELCA will control vast pension assets.
3. ELCA will continue to receive benefits as members die with irrevocable trusts in place or wills left unchanged.
4. ELCA will own and control its own property.

These results are equivalent to the Book of Concord wing, admittedly small, winning control of everything from the Presiding Bishop's office down to the ELCA church camps, a clean sweep.

ELCA is not so dumb. Incompetent, apostate, and disgusting - but not dumb. The more they lose, they more they dominate what remains. They are standing at the door, shouting, "Bye bye!" as they see some depart and trip up others who want to leave. If an ELCA pastor tries to take his congregation through the exit votes and fails, he or she is doomed from that moment on.

So far, no ELCA bishop in office has shown the spine of Episcopalian bishops who have taken entire districts out of their denomination.

Reminiscere Sunday, The Second Sunday in Lent



The Holy Trinity, by Norma Boeckler


Reminiscere Sunday, The Second Sunday in Lent


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

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

Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time


The Hymn #652 I Lay My Sins on Jesus 1:24
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
The Gospel
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn # 454 Prayer Is the Soul's Sincere Desire 1:41

Was Jesus a Faith-ian?

The Hymn # 281 The Savior Calls 1:29
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 # 374 Grace Tis a Charming Sound 1:91

KJV 1 Thessalonians 4:1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. 2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: 4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: 6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. 7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

KJV Matthew 15:21 Then Jesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. 22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. 23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us. 24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. 26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. 27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. 28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Second Sunday In Lent
Lord God, heavenly Father, grant us, we beseech Thee, by Thy Holy Spirit, that He may strengthen our hearts and confirm our faith and hope in Thy grace and mercy, so that, although we have reason to fear because of our conscience, our sin, and our unworthiness, we may nevertheless, with the woman of Canaan, hold fast to Thy grace, and in every trial and temptation find Thee a very present help and refuge, 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.


Was Jesus a Faith-ian?
Recently, a seminary graduate with three years of parish experience used “faith-ian” as a term of mockery. He wanted to mock justification by faith, but he ended up mocking his own lack of discernment and his own limited education.

This miracle story is often described as “the Canaanite woman” because the main point involves her and her responses to Jesus. This is often included among the hard sayings of Jesus because He appears to be aloof, even rude to her. Each miracle has one or two main points. One issue in this miracle is Jesus’ mission to His own people, and how that expanded. The other issue is God’s apparent lack of concern.

This is the kind of Gospel story that becomes a snare for rationalists. When they feast on the Word, they do not know what they have, so they use the truths of Scripture to mock the Word of God. This always attracts a following, so they think themselves very wise.

Jesus appears to be callous in this miracle, which goes against our perception. But the Word reveals the true portrait and not a sentimental one, so we have to find out why this particular miracle is so important that it was included, when many others might have described in its place.

First of all, a Gentile woman implored Jesus to cure her daughter, who was grievously vexed by a devil. We can imagine the torment of a neurological disorder or demonic possession, one as bad as the other. For example, in one rare disorder, the body sends horrendous pain signals to the individual because the chemical path is dysfunctional. There is no actual pain, but the child feels intense pain nevertheless.

The woman called out to Jesus and used His Messianic title, Son of David, but Jesus did not even respond.

The disciples interceded with Jesus, to silence her by giving her what she wanted.

And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

Jesus answer was worse than silence.

24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

He offered a reason for rejecting her, and many people crumple when rejected twice in a row. Fear of rejection is one of our greatest fears, and this happened twice to this mother who only wanted her child cured.

The Canaanite woman asked Him a second time, worshiping Him:

25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

The next response was the worst of all. Jesus made a comparison. Healing His own people was caring for His children, but healing her daughter was taking bread away from children to throw it to the dogs. We do not understand “dog” to be a great insult, but it is hardly a flattering term. Then and now, “dog” is the worst kind of insult among Jews and Muslims.

26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.

That should have been her final defeat. But she took the words we see as insulting and used them to ask again:

27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the [little] dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.

Jesus commended her for her faith and her daughter was immediately healed.

28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

We can see from the entire miracle that Jesus was not lacking in compassion. In fact, He never rejected a single plea for help. We have to look at the context of this healing to see what is being taught by this exchange.

On one level, Jesus seems to be limiting His mission to the Jewish people alone. But that does not hold true. There is one path to salvation shown by this exchange. The non-Jewish woman acknowledged Jesus as the Messiah – Son of David. She worshiped Him as God. Finally, Jesus commended her faith. Therefore Jesus is the Savior – not by reason of birthright (by being a Jew) – but through faith in Him. Therefore, no one is excluded by reason of birthright. This woman prevailed because her sincere faith in Him would not let her give up. In other words, this was not the virtue of the woman, but her trust in the true nature of Christ, which is all compassion.

Meaning of the Miracle
This miracle also has an important message for all who think they are being ignored by God in their prayers. Silence seems to be the answer at first. Then, when others seem to have their prayers answered in abundance, God’s answer seems to be – “You are not one of the Chosen.” In fact, many nominal Christians are only too glad to see misfortune as a sign that someone else is cursed. They may offer many insights about this, such as saying, “You don’t believe hard enough,” or “You go to the wrong church,” or “God must be punishing you.”

Those insights would be difficult to match up with the lives of the early Christians or Christ Himself. The saints were not spared at all. Those who led the church through the Reformation suffered every type of persecution, torture, and death.

The woman is an example of one who saw, through the eyes of faith, the true nature of Christ. Why would she stop asking if she saw every response as additional signs of His Messianic role?

I saw the funniest example of this when a little girl asked her father 10 times in a row for treats. Every time he said “No!” she grinned and asked again. He finally said “Yes,” proving that she knew his true nature.

Translating the answers Jesus gave, we can see the following lessons.

God’s silence does not mean a lack of attention or compassion. That by itself is an answer for a period of time. We cannot fathom God’s wisdom so we trust in His wisdom rather than in ours. God allows many episodes like this in our lives so we can see how God instantly solves problems we cannot possible solve ourselves. Each episode deepens our trust in Him and His abiding love, especially when we see that His solutions work when ours do not.

“Throw it to the dogs” is a good remedy against thinking that God prefers some over others, especially some as opposed to us. That may be our perception for a long period of time, but our view from the outside is often wrong on all essentials. Why do they have five healthy children and I have none? Or - why are they so healthy and ours are full of complicated problems? Human reason and experience will see only problems. Faith will see blessings not given to others who take their benefits for granted.

Faith-ians
I know that generations of Lutheran pastors from the LCMS, WELS, and ELS have been trained to make fun of justification by faith. They do not understand the order of salvation, which explains why they fall for anti-Christian fads like Church Growth.

Briefly, this is it:
The Holy Spirit works through the Law to crush our sinful pride and show us our sin. However, the Law can only prepare us for the Gospel. The Law is useful and spiritual, but limited.
The Holy Spirit works through the Gospel Promises to plant faith in our hearts. This faith is trust in the mercy, love, and goodness of God, as shown in the crucifixion of Christ. The Holy Spirit distributes these Promises through the Word and Sacraments, sustaining our faith.

Much more could be said, but it is worthwhile to remember that Jesus said:

O woman, great is thy faith.

That must make faith something good in the eyes of Christ. In fact, Jesus marveled more than once at the faith of individuals, showing us that trust in Him is very good indeed. Since this faith is the work of the Holy Spirit, it is a gift of God and not a work of man.

Since Jesus commended faith and others deride faith, that must make them anti-Christians while they pose as Christians, wolves in sheep’s clothing. We are warned against them.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Reefer Madness - Explains Everything For Us


Smoke gets in your eyes, and in your brain.



Long-time cannabis use linked to psychosis: study

(AFP) – 13 hours ago

WASHINGTON — The longer people use cannabis or marijuana, the more likely they are to experience hallucinations or delusions or to suffer psychosis, according to a study released Saturday.

The study found that people who first used cannabis when they were aged 15 or younger were twice as likely to develop a "non-affective psychosis" -- which can include schizophrenia -- than those who had never used the drug.

The research led by John McGrath from the University of Queensland in Australia was based on a survey of 3,801 people with an average age of 20.1 years, the US-based Archives of General Psychiatry reported.

"Among all the participants, a longer duration since the first time they used cannabis was associated with multiple psychosis-related outcomes," the study said.

Of the group, 17.7 percent reported using cannabis for three or fewer years, 16.2 percent for four to five years and 14.3 percent for six or more years.

Sixty-five were diagnosed with "non-affective psychosis", such as schizophrenia, and 233 had at least one hallucination, the study said.

"Individuals who had experienced hallucinations early in life were more likely to have used cannabis longer and to use it more frequently," it said.

But the relationship between psychosis and cannabis use was complex, it said.

People who were vulnerable to psychosis, in other words had isolated psychotic symptoms, "were more likely to commence cannabis use, which could then subsequently contribute to an increased risk of conversion to a non-affective psychotic disorder," the research said.

The article said previous studies had also identified an association between cannabis use and psychosis but there were concerns that research had not adequately accounted for confounding variables.

MDivs To the Rescue


These Rock N Roll babies are sponsored by the Enthusiasm of Church Growth, UOJ, and Receptionism.


Seminary is not difficult in any denomination. Sometimes I see it listed as "graduate school" in the autobiographies of pastors. I doubt whether any university would agree. Al Gore flunked out of divinity school, but very few can make that claim. If they do, they were probably smoking as much weed as Al was.

No wonder these MDivs gravitate toward DMins, where liberal transfer policies allow them to pose as "Dr." in order to deceive congregations - and themselves. The Shrinkers love their DMins. In WELS, a DMin is prima facie evidence of belonging to the Church Growth cult. Paul Calvin Kelm is the only one who has a DMin from a nominal Lutheran school.

The Reformation was based upon scholarship. Although Luther earned his doctorate at a Catholic university, he still garnered respect for his advanced studies. In contrast, the founders of Church Growth Enthusiasm--Zwingli and Calvin--were do-it-yourself theologians who did not have PhDs in theology. Zwingli was an immoral priest and Calvin was trained in law. Calvin was an intellectual, but his rationalism kept him from grasping the essentials of Christian theology--the efficacy of the Word and the Means of Grace--which may explain his appeal to Church Growthers today.

Calvin was never ordained.

I am not sure where the anti-intellectualism of the American synods came from. Pietism is probably a good guess. They claim to have a "heart religion" as opposed to a "head religion," but their formula requires some thinking, no? It may be confused thinking, but it does involve a little more than the heart.

America is also known for anti-intellectualism, apart from any religious movements. American presidential candidates never let on that they have doctorates. Name a president and a famous candidate with earned PhDs. I thought so. That does not register in our media coverage.

The issue is not whether someone has a specific degree but whether the visible is run by theologians or politicians. I know scholarly MDivs and lazy-brain PhDs.

The trouble is that political MDivs devote themselves to getting cushy positions where they can avoid the labor of parish work. They spend so much time traveling "to serve the synod" that they come home tired from all the plane travel, coffee, and danish. They read position papers and reports, so they have no time for theological reading. Most importantly, they get their freebies from being political and keep their freebies by staying political.

MDivs who grab leadership positions simply repeat slogans from seminary or adopt the latest fad. A discerning view of their published opinions will show that their argumentation is locked at the sophomore stage of seminary education, often called the middler year. Their logical fallacies are never diluted by scholarship, quotations, or citations. They cannot even muster the courage to say what they really believe or cite what they genuinely oppose. Their slogans prove they are safe, secure, plump little church capons.

Two illustrations will suffice for now. The UOJ fanatics in WELS will say, "Have you read the WELS essays on this topic?" That is their Holy of Holies, papers written by MDivs, one who is an avowed atheist - but he was for Church Growth.

In Missouri, the same reverence is shown for synodical theses, such as the ambiguous ones on justification, to dishonor an anniversary of the Reformation. Lutherans have a habit of doing something ridiculous to mark a Reformation anniversary. We should all dread 2017. That may be when the first lesbian Synod President comes out of the closet and quits to become a priest.


Calvin was not ordained.

ELCA Continues To Wreck Congregations




Another story shows that ELCA continues to wreck and divide congregations. That is not necessarily bad, but ELCA has portrayed itself as a model of peace, unity, diversity, and participatory democracy. Ha!

The ELCA convention vote was steamrolled by the Presiding Bishop, previous ELCA bosses, and a host of political lobbies. I read about a huge donation given to one group to help the lobbying effort.

For some reason, there are never viable groups to oppose the radical factions of denominations. WELS has the toxic Church and Change and many offshoots, but no Book of Concord organization. Missouri has Jesus First, DayStar, and the SP's office, but no organized opposition.

Some lobbies own schools, which they use to promote their opinions and to recruit new zombies for their movement. Church Growth owns Martin Luther College, Wisconsin Lutheran College, and Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.

In Missouri, the cool pastors join Eastern Orthodoxy or the Church of Rome.

ELCA has finally become so obnoxious to its pastors and members that a massive revolt is just starting. The linked article is just a small indication.

ELCA has a great system for imposing apostasy, although its efficacy has now blown up in its face:

1. A new political issue is introduced as equivalent to the Gospel.
2. Massive amounts of publicity are devoted to proving that there is only one possible position on this topic, although much is said about listening, discerning, debating, and voting.
3. The leaders pretend to be neutral while pushing this agenda.
4. Even a murmur of dissent invites silence, shunning, punishment, and ridicule. (No, not just in WELS. In ELCA, too!)
5. Once the new cancer has been transplanted, the issue is studied. This is very costly and involves, for instance, 10 people on a commission who are already committed to the issue, plus 1 person against, for balance.
6. Various convention votes are promoted to settle the issue, but only after all opposition has been quashed or de-railed. In ELCA, for example, the bishops have no say, and their magazine might be called The Alternative Lutheran.
7. If the first convention vote is not entirely successful, addition votes are taken in future years until they can prove that 67% of the votes are in favor of the pre-ordained decision.

The question is whether Lutherans in the old Synod Conference are going to continue to fund apostasy while the radicals take their synods to new depths of depravity, aping ELCA.

I wrote about this 23 years ago, publishing a book length manuscript on how this works in ELCA. I also published Liberalism: Its Cause and Cure, a book the Shrinkers tried to suppress at NPH.

Luther - On the Wrath of God

"We have the comfort of this victory of Christ--that He maintains His Church against the wrath and power of the devil; but in the meantime we must endure such stabs and cruel wounds from the devil as are necessarily painful to our flesh and blood. The hardest part is that we must see and suffer all these things from those who call themselves the people of God and the Christian Church. We must learn to accept these things calmly, for neither Christ nor the saints have fared better." Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 263. Exaudi John 15:26-16:4.

"Neither is he [Satan] truthful; he is the spirit of lies, who, by means of false fear and false comfort having the appearance of truth, both deceives and destroys. He possesses the art of filling his own victims with sweet comfort; that is, he gives them unbelieving, arrogant, secure, impious hearts...He can even make them joyful; furthermore, he renders them haughty and proud in their opinions, in their wisdom and self-made personal holiness; then no threat nor terror of God's wrath and of eternal damnation moves them, but their hearts grow harder than steel or adamant." Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 302. Pentecost, Third Sermon John 14:23-31.

"Half the sins which the world has learned of its lord and master, the devil, consist in lying and deceiving, and that in the name and appearance of truth. The other half, which is easier to recognize, consists in wrath and its fruits. And this class is usually the result of the other. The world, for its own advantage, lies and deceives; and when it sees mankind acting in opposition to its wishes, or beholds its lies exposed and its schemes thwarted, it begins to rage in wrath against God, endeavoring to avenge itself and inflict harm, but fraudulently disguising its wicked motive under the plea of having good and abundant reasons for its action." Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 312. Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity Ephesians 4:22-28.



---

Mary Thompson wrote:

The subject today, titled: "ELCA Continues to Wreck Congregations" opens with the following statement: "ELCA has portrayed itself as a model of peace, unity, diversity and participatory democracy. Ha!" Their claims of peace, unity and diversity is a sham for all to see, but THEY HAVE SUCCEEDED in being a model of "participatory democracy" and all its destructive implications. Your seven point explanation of the modus operandi of ELCA is "participatory democracy" in action, for Participatory Democracy is not as most people think, participation in representative democratic governance. Few realize that the term, Participatory Democracy was coined in the 60's by the Students for A Democratic Society in their Port Huron Manifesto with SDS members Tom Hayden, one time husband of Jane Fonda, and radical leftist.

Participatory Democracy is a dialectical process of managed change and governance adopted not only by ELCA, but also WELS who chose to use PPBS in late 60's as their Participatory Democracy system. The system has essentially been superimposed over formerly representative governance universally in civil government at all levels, schools, business, NGO's and organized religious institutions. It's dialectical method is neither known, understood Nor recognized by people other than the elite perpetrators and facilitators who function as change agents as those affected wonder what happened and watch their foundations of society and churches be destroyed under them.

Some who have done the research and homework who tried to explain the system and accompanying terminology, have been met with deaf ears, disinterest, or disbelief, and with disdain, ridicule and dismissal by the those who perpetrated and continue to facilitate the dialectical system. Until it is understood that methods are not necessarily neutral, nothing will be corrected.


Rogue Lutheran Back on the List


M. Reu. Every pastor should know who this is.


I looked for an update on Rogue Lutheran saw that the blog was omitted during the last revision.

That was an accident.

If you know about additional blogs on Lutherans, let me know.

If ELCA gets more interesting, I may link their news service. I post more than they do!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Stars and Stripes Forever




I never thought this would be tried on an organ. Wait for the piccolo solo to be played. That is the biggest surprise.

Take that, Norman Teigen.



I usually do not like piano transcriptions of music. They sound like Cliff Notes, if you get my metaphor. I like this Horowitz transcription. The piccolo solo is played beautifully. On another YouTube, a tuba player tried to play the piccolo part. Readers will have to look that one up on their own.

News from The CORE


There is no news.


The CORE continues to burn through $20,000 a month, but they cannot update their sorry excuse for a website.

One event still listed on the calendar is dated December 7th - Koine Rock N Roll.

The ecumenical Living Last Supper was five days ago.

By now people have noticed how lazy and lethargic the Emerging Church people are. They are so spent from all their conferences and planning that they never get any real work done.

Most of their real work is done in secret. I have to admit that. They never cease their attempts to undermine Lutheran doctrine and worship. And they are just as shameless as they are restless. Paul Calvin Kelm cannot get any traction with a copied Bible study called "Fuel," so that qualifies him for a full-time job doing the same at Wisconsin's Little College - WLC.

WELSians who just fell off the beet wagon should pay attention to the Changers at work. The Changers howl about a sprinkle of light discipline and call it "unbrotherly." Their chorus of outrage is always pitiful, even though they are untouched, as Kelm and Stroh have proven.

But the Church Growth Shrinkers are nasty, dishonest, ruthless, and unscrupulous. They never stop driving people out for being Lutheran. They never stop grabbing money for themselves so they do not have to do any real work.

The crypto-Calvinists were just the same, but why bring up a topic WELS never studies? The crypto-Calvinists had the real Lutherans exiled and in prison while they promoted anti-Lutheran doctrine. It was only by accident that the ruler found out about their designs.

Everyone knows what Church and Change is like. Their favorite leaders have been quoted ad infinitum and ad nauseam on this blog.

A more conservative Pietism will not save the Synodical Conference from its Pietism and Enthusiasm. The DPs and board of doctrine types who parade around as the saviors will not make any difference. If the old Synodical Conference cannot get past institution-worship and ancestor worship, they will simply follow ELCA down the drain, a little later, a little poorer.

The era of Pietism, the fetid womb of the Synodical Conference, has to be renounced as another dark age of the Lutheran Church, as as the Age of Rationalism was. Lutherans must study, for the first time, the Book of Concord, and examine current topics in the light of the Confessions.

The Book of Concord has enough in it for people to study the rest of their lives. Most pastors have not even begun, so how will they lead the flock if they have hobbled themselves with ignorance?

WLC - Wisconsin's Little College - News


Mark Braun is infamous for promoting the Fuller Seminary (Reformed) concept of "soil testing."
Not every Lutheran is convinced.
Some actually read Matthew 13.


Paul Calvin Kelm

1. Kelm will be responsible for and take over the Sunday night praise services at the college. Strobel has been leading the contemptuous worship services. Kelm, who has worked with Ski, will take it much farther into Schwaermerland.

2. Kelm will hold small-group Bible studies, focusing on "Christian Leadership" or "servant leadership," with the goal of eventually helping student leaders to hold their own Bible studies. Will women teach men? They already do in WELS.

3. Kelm will start being Number Two in mid-March. He turned 65 in December. His house is up for sale in Green Bay, so he plans to stay in Milwaukee.

WLC is the synod's center for apostasy. They used to be ahead of the Sausage Factory, but Mequon has gone over completely to Fullerism. Ditto MLC. If the synodical higher education system cannot teach Lutheran doctrine, they ought to sell the campuses to some of the for-profit online schools.

The two most famous lecturers at WLC have been Martin Marty of ELCA, long ago denounced by WELS, and Archbishop R. Weakland, the Roman leader known for his homosexual affair covered over with hush money stolen from church funds. Actually, Weakland followed the WELS playbook quite well, so that is probably why they sought him out and paid him to be a featured speaker.

WELS Shrinkers are featured in FIC. WELS felons are never named.


Archbishop Weakland is grateful.

ELCA Leaders Play Rough - No Wonder the "Conservative" Leaders Admire Them -
They Love Rough Sects



ELCA to the Scriptures: "You fracture me."


Read this link about ELCA taken over and property and not returning phone calls.

Keep Up with Lutheran News Links


Admit it. You like the LOLcats, too.


I cut out the blog list and realized how much I used it. I like Lutheran News, which is a blog of Lutheran blogs. It picks up blog posts from the entire spectrum, including your favorites, which are already linked. Linking promotes more reading and more search engines finding and more linking and reading, like Dune and that berry juice.

The final result is that active bloggers occupy the top position in Google searches, whether they are web, image, or blog searches.

The WELS emerging apostate churches yak about outreach, but they never seem to get their blogs going. If their Twitter addresses are discovered, the messages stop. One can only guess that they despise the Parable of the Sower and the efficacy of the Word.

I have had a good time searching through the open pages of Facebook, yet another web feature. Many of the best and brightest of the Church Apostate are too dumb to lock down their information. They will not let me be a friend, but they open up their lists of friends, their wall comments, and their photo albums. I will reveal more later.

All the Fuller classes in the world will not make WELS friendly to non-relatives. Love is the fruit of the Gospel, so love is lacking in UOJ sects.

More ELCA Self-Destruction


His Grace, the Presiding Bishop of ELCA, managed the lavender takeover of his denomination.


ELCA continues to ape WELS, ELS, and Missouri by rewarding the guilty and punishing the innocent.

Now there is a flurry of restorations in ELCA. Congregations and pastors under their fake discipline have been reconciled to the ELCA leadership, which shepherded a statement at the August 2009 convention allowing this to happen. The ELCA bishops showed signs of resisting so they were by-passed completely.

I could list the announcements of the new order. One woman pastor was officially out of ELCA for about 10 years, because of her lesbian partner, but now the bishop is preaching her into heaven for her humility, her witness, and her blah blah.

One shockaroo was finding an LCA pastor who left the organization at the same time I did. He was a married man. Mrs. Ichabod and I knew him as someone on the far Left of the Left Wing. He was in another denomination for a number of years and now is back with ELCA, because ELCA welcomes him.

Meanwhile, ELCA is pounding congregations - like Faith in Moline, just because the Faith members said they would have the bishop arrested if he showed up on their property.

ELCA has a dual message. One is: "Few churches are leaving ELCA, and we recognize their rights. We just want to have a conversation with them before they vote the second time."

The second message is: "We will fight you in every way possible, enlist our corporate lawyers, block, dither, obfuscate, deceive, slander, and rage in public against you, in His Name. Amen."

One article gave the projected loss at 5%, which is a new case of whistling past the graveyard. The Northern Illinois District cut their budget by 40% already, suggesting the losses may be a wee bit larger than 5%. ELCA canned 47 staff at once.

Their main problem at the moment is the withholding of funds. The larger the congregation, the more likely it is to withhold funds and vote on leaving. ELCA is facing a superfluity of small congregations with pastors in rainbow colored stoles. The good news is that Pastor Cedric and his Life Partner will not need an altar guild. They will fuss over the decorations all week long.

What can WELS learn from this debacle? First of all, very few are going to join WELS upon leaving ELCA, no matter how apostate WELS wants to be. All the baby-steps toward ELCA--including women pastors, open communion, and Church Growth--will not avail.

WELS will plummet even faster if the leaders and members continue to take a soft approach on their apostates and a hard approach on those who dare to mention the horrible legacy of Mischke and Gurgle. At the moment, with Kelm and Stroh in the catbird seats, Jeske and Becker running loose, Patterson coiled to strike, and the schools in a flat spin, the future is certain.



WELS Does Not Need Women's Ordination - They Already Have Women Pastors



WELS does not need women's ordination to have women pastors,
thanks to Larry Olson, Church Growth,
and apostate leaders.



Brett Meyer has left a new comment on your post "When Rockers Age, They Lead Polka Masses":

I might have read this on a bathroom stall:

For a good laugh - http://www.lutherquest.org/discus40/messages/13/86750.html?1267154435

***

GJ - Notice that the LutherQuest (sic) discussion includes ELS Pastor Jay Webber, co-worker with Roger Kovaciny and Floyd Luther Stolzenburg.

Was Webber on the ELS Board of Doctrine when WELS/ELS discussed women consecrating Holy Communion, the fruit of Olson's Staff Ministry efforts?

The two denominations solemnly declared a moratorium on this practice. Doubtless a condemnation trembled on their lips, but was never spoken. The clergy on doctrinal boards are selected for their ability to condemn everything except false doctrine.

The Berg who wrote the article in question, quoting John Brug at the Sausage Factory, is the son of Norm Berg, WELS heresiarch in charge of spreading Church Growth through the national mission board.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

None Dare Call It Karma - ELCA District Slashes Budget While Bashing Straight Congregations


The Bishop Leads His Flock To Perdition - Gary Wollersheim

Northern Illinois Synod financial cuts


February 24, 2010

Dear Leaders of the Northern Illinois Synod and Congregational Presidents, Vice Presidents, Treasurers:

Grace, mercy and peace be unto you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

I am writing to report that the Northern Illinois Synod Executive Committee recently made some difficult decisions concerning the Synod spending plan for 2010. Cuts were necessary because the Statements of Intent received from our congregations were about $400,000 short of the budget, which was approved at last year’s Synod Assembly. In fact, anticipated Mission Support for 2010 is approximately $194,000 less than last year’s actual income. I believe this shortfall in Mission Support is due to the challenging economic times in which we live and also because there are 15 congregations in Northern Illinois that have chosen to withhold Mission Support.

I give God thanks for the generosity of the vast majority of our Northern Illinois Synod congregations. For even during these difficult economic times, many individuals and congregations have sacrificed to keep their pledges at the same level as last year. Some were even able to increase their giving. Thank you for this encouragement and for your faithfulness in responding to God’s mission.

The cuts in our 2010 spending plan fall into four main areas:

First, we will make cuts in terms of the operation of the Synod offices. Sandy Musch, Assistant to the Bishop, has graciously offered to reduce her work to three-quarters-time during Fiscal Year 2010. We will not replace two part-time Conference Assistants to the Bishop. Office hours for support staff will be reduced. And again, as last year, all staff salaries will remain frozen.

Second, all Northern Illinois Synod Committee budgets will be reduced by 25%. This affects important programs of the Synod such as seminary scholarships, social ministry grants to congregations and support of the companion synods and congregations in India and Tanzania .

Third, our agencies and institutions will be cut by 25%. I have heard that some agencies and institutions are receiving direct gifts from congregations that are withholding Mission Support. However, in this time of great need, this cut still represents a significant decrease from our Synod budget.

Fourth, even though we will continue to forward 55% of our Mission Support for Churchwide ministries, the actual amount of dollars will be less. This saddens me because Churchwide has already been forced to make significant staff cuts, including in the Global Missions and Evangelical Outreach and Congregational Ministries units.
Finally, some of you may wonder if I am discouraged by all of this. Well, I must admit there are days. But, at the same time, I am prayerfully confident that the economy will improve, that congregational conflict will taper off, and we can soon concentrate more fully on the work that God has graciously given us to do. Most importantly, at the end of the day, I look to Jesus, the “founder and perfecter of our faith.” And I pray that, by God’s grace, we may fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith.

In Christ,

Bishop Gary Wollersheim




***

GJ - I will copy stories on all the ELCA clergy being "restored" to the clergy roster. Methinks they were not really gone, much like erasures on a hard drive. They were installed by ELCA bishops, lionized by advocacy groups, and held up as examples. Their discipline was a sham, so the restoration is also a farce. However, this particular farce is a good reminder of how ELCA works, so financial support is on a five-spin death spiral.

Hats off to my fellow Moliners for standing up to the mini-pope Wollersheim. Faith Lutheran Church in Moline, on my walk to junior high and high school, is thumbing its nose at the posturing bishop.

If some ELS congregations had done the same to Pope John the Malefactor, the only wounds inflicted would have been the bruise from him experiencing the Left Foot of Fellowship.



Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ministry of Pork



WELS Polka Worship - and Pork Chops

Polka and Pork Chops We will offer a polka-style worship service on Sunday, September 7, at 10:30 a.m. With our own members serving as instrumentalists in the worship band. There will be no Continued from page 2 Communion during this service. The 8:00 a.m. Service that day will be the regular liturgy with communion. A grilled pork chop dinner will be served after the 10:30 a.m. service in our gym. Tickets will soon be on sale for the dinner. Invite your neighbors and friends.

http://www.trinityluthbp.com/newsletters/Trinity%20news%20letter%20AUGUST,%202008.PDF

http://www.trinityluthbp.com/


Built on porkchops this church doth stand,
While younger WELS ones are rockin'.

When Rockers Age, They Lead Polka Masses


Leave The CORE alone. I mean it!


Joseph Schmidt has found a Polka Mass for aging rockers to contemplate. Yes, that is what you will look like in 20 years, warbling doggerel in the name of reaching out with relevance, transforming polka fans into polka Lutherans.

I recall linking a WELS church already doing this.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sour Note




Joe Krohn--member of Doebler's WELS Rock N Roll Church in Round Rock, Texas, and former member of Gunn's CrossWalk in Phoenix, Arizona--has euthanized his latest blog.

http://www.lutherrocks.blogspot.com had one basic message - Boycott Ichabod, The Glory Has Departed.

Nevertheless, Joe was a daily communicant at this blog. He chose a bust of Beethoven as his icon on the followers list.

He copied my use of Feedjit, so I looked at his numbers before erasing my tracks. He was lucky to get one reader a day.

Likewise, the Rock N Roll Church is fading. To boost attendance, they canned Joe as Rock-Meister.

He is no longer a follower on the fake blog or Bailing Water. Nevertheless, there must be room for another camp follower on Paul McCain's blog. Paul likes UOJ, Church Growth, and unionism just as much as Dom Perignon Patterson.

Mid-Week Lenten Service, Because We Are Not an Emerging Church, 7 PM Central



The Lost Sheep, by Norma Boeckler


Mid-Week Lenten Vespers


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

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

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 6 PM Phoenix Time

The Hymn #552 Abide with Me 2:11
The Order of Vespers p. 41
The Psalmody Psalm 2 p. 123
The Lection The Passion History

The Sermon Hymn #436 The Lord's My Shepherd 1:33

The Sermon – God's Dominant Love

The Prayers
The Lord’s Prayer
The Collect for Grace p. 45

The Hymn #281 The Savior Calls 1:29


KJV John 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

The Gospel of John is often called the Gospel of love, because the word is found there so often.

The word is over-used in our time, often applied to everything. We love this and that, we love, love, love this and that.

John’s Gospel describes God’s love and contrasts that with man’s hatred for the truth and rejection of Christ.

KJV John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

KJV 1 John 3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.

And yet –

KJV John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

This is an important contrast, because all the false religions of the world make man pleasing to God by his sacrifices, works, and endless prayers.

John’s Gospel teaches us that God loved the entire world so much that He gave His only-begotten Son. God’s love is prior and it dominates.

The Passion of Christ contrasts the steadfastness of Christ with the fickle and fearful nature of the disciples. That is where this verse is so important. Exposing the massive flaws and weaknesses of the disciples, the Gospel says, nevertheless,

John 13:1 Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end.

Jesus did not stop loving His disciples when they were fearful at the time of His arrest. One follower, thought to be Mark, ran away. A soldier caught his cloak, and he ran away naked.

KJV Mark 14:51 And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him: 52 And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.

Peter mistakenly drew out a sword and sliced off the ear of one man.

KJV John 18:10 Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.

Only John was at the crucifixion, which had been foretold three times.

After the crucifixion, the disciples were so afraid that they locked themselves in a room.

Still later, they were fishing, not for men, but for fish.

The disciples present a cross-section of our weaknesses and failures. The lesson teaches us that throughout His greatest trial, Jesus still loved His followers. They were His sheep. They belong to Him, so He protected them.

We have herding dogs, and they show the same concern. They understand sickness and pay special attention to the patient. Sassy sleeps with front paws on one of her sheep and her remaining back leg hooked on another. Their tender concern is a shadow of Christ’s work as the Good Shepherd:

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.

KJV Matthew 26:31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

KJV Mark 6:34 And Jesus, when he came out, saw much people, and was moved with compassion toward them, because they were as sheep not having a shepherd: and he began to teach them many things.

This is an important lesson – that God loves us to the end.

KJV 1 John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

God’s dominant love is taught to us by the Holy Spirit in the Gospel. That creates faith and sustains our faith in trying times. When we fall as sinners, which must happen because of our nature, God continues to love us. The Gospel is proof of that love and it is not withdrawn because of our sinful nature.

As Luther said, we should not use the Gospel as a pillow to fall asleep on. So many take forgiveness for granted, so much that they “sin more that grace may abound.” That is a reversal of the message of the cross, which is – All sins have been redeemed on the cross.

It is this forgiveness that gives us the power to withstand temptation and turn away from sin. And yet, the more we are forgiven, the more we experience our need for forgiveness.

In the cold spells that hit Arkansas and every other part of the sunbelt, I thought of Luther’s comparison of God’s love to a furnace. On bitterly cold days, we could feel the chill seeping through the walls and windows, the feeble heat pump unable to keep up. Lighting up the fireplace, I could feel its radiant heat across the room. Luther called God’s love a baking hot oven that we can feel. In fact, we cannot help feeling it.

“Having loved His own which were in the world, He loved them unto the end.”

WELS Men of Honor




rhs (http://rhs.myopenid.com) has left a new comment on your post "How Elton Stroh Got His Groovey Job Back": Whatever happened to integrity and men of honor in the synods?




Mugshot

McCain's Bad Grammar and Worse Theology



Paul McCain, UOJ Blogger
From Paul McCain, MDiv, former pastor (one parish for three years):

I have, over the years, conversed with many Calvinists, in person and over the Internet. I always ask them, “Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are among God’s elect and are saved?” There are generally two reactions to that question: (1) A long and rather painful pause after which they say, “I hope I am. I do believe in Christ.” or (2) A quick, “Yes, I believe in Christ.” Now, let’s be honest here and admit that many Lutherans would answer in somewhat the same way. But here is the problem.

If our feelings of certainty in our salvation is (sic) based on our feeling that we have faith, we will flounder. The answer we must always give to the question of “Do you know you are saved?” is not, “Yes, because I have faith” but rather, “Yes, because Christ Jesus died for me” and of course, in my opinion, the very best answer of all is simply to point people to Luther’s explanation of the Creed and say, “Here, this puts it very well.”

Point yourself, and others, not to faith, not to subjective feelings that there is faith in your heart, but always, always, always, point people to Christ and what He has done for you and the whole world. Do not confused (sic) faith in faith, with trust in Christ. There is a key difference.

We are Christians, not Faith-ians.


***

GJ - The UOJ Stormtroopers are getting increasingly touchy. Recently a branch of the Preus clan began denouncing those who "deny UOJ." So I asked, "Like Robert Preus?" That set off a longer rant, especially since I provided written proof, from Justification and Rome.


In the epic piece of balderdash copied above, Paul McCain has shown how little he understands Calvinism or Lutheran doctrine.


UOJ fanatics like to lead by attacking faith, using their weak little straw man arguments. They remind me of the ALC/LCA leaders who likewise said, "The Bible is not a book that fell from heaven," as if someone claimed that.


Paul, whose rudeness has been displayed publicly on Facebook, sounds just like Bucky Hellwig in this piece. It is no wonder I got them confused once, when Bucky was posting anonymously on LutherQuest (sic).


UOJ goes together with Enthusiasm, Church Growth, and Receptionism because they are all flavors of separating the Holy Spirit from the Word, grace from the Means of Grace.


If Paul had taken the time to engage in the scholarly study of comparative dogmatics, instead of packing his bags for the Purple Palace, he might have learned how to do more than preach to the double-justification choir.


The formula, left unspoken in his diatribe, is thus:


1. God absolved the whole world of sin, without the Word, without the Means of Grace, without faith, at the crucifixion or at the resurrection, the Moment of Absolution still being debated. That is General, Objective, or Universal, or Universal Objective Justification.


2. Everyone has to make a decision to believe in UOJ, but they are justified already (Part 1). They need Part 2 for Part 1 to be really, really effective, even though it is already really effective. Part 2 is called Subjective Justification.


This formula first appeared, in the fulness of time, in a very influential, prolixic, boring, confusing book by the Halle Pietist George Christian Knapp. It appeared in German and English, years before Walther placed his predestined and predestinating feet on the shores of the Mississippi. This book remained a primary theology book for all Protestants for most of the 19th century.


A variation on this theme of Universalism has been the mantra of the LCA and ALC moderns: God has already forgiven everyone.


This has been explained many times before, but I will repeat the quotations found on the lower part of this blog. They represent Lutheran doctrine rather than the Enthusiasm McCain endorses so smoothly:


"Nowhere in the Bible is any man constituted or declared righteous ‘without faith, before faith.’” R. C. H. Lenski, Romans, Augsburg Publishing House: Minneapolis, 1963, p. 382. Romans 5:19-20.


"They [the false teachers] fared like a man who looks through a colored glass. Put before such a man whatever color you please, he sees no other color than that of the glass. The fault is not that the right color is not put before him but that his glass is colored differently, as the word of Is. 6:9 puts it: You will see, he says, and yet you will not see it."What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 644.

"To this incline your ears, and be persuaded that God speaks through men and forgives you your sins; this, of course, requires faith."Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed. John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 200.From Thy Strong Word:J-520


"It is a faithful saying that Christ has accomplished everything, has removed sin and overcome every enemy, so that through Him we are lords over all things. But the treasure lies yet in one pile; it is not yet distributed nor invested. Consequently, if we are to possess it, the Holy Spirit must come and teach our hearts to believe and say: I, too, am one of those who are to have this treasure. When we feel that God has thus helped us and given the treasure to us, everything goes well, and it cannot be otherwise than that man's heart rejoices in God and lifts itself up, saying: Dear Father, if it is Thy will to show toward me such great love and faithfulness, which I cannot fully fathom, then will I also love Thee with all my heart and be joyful, and cheerfully do what pleases Thee. Thus, the heart does not now look at God with evil eyes, does not imagine He will cast us into hell, as it did before the Holy Spirit came...." Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 279. Pentecost Sunday. John 14:23-31.J-528


"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. Heiser, p. 36.J-545


"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, Thorough Declaration, III. #10. Of the Righteousness of Faith before God. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 919. Tappert, p. 541. Heiser, p. 250.J-590


"For neither you nor I could ever know anything of Christ, or believe on Him, and obtain Him for our Lord, unless it were offered to us and granted to our hearts by the Holy Ghost through the preaching of the Gospel. The work is done and accomplished; for Christ has acquired and gained the treasure for us by His suffering, death, resurrection, etc. But if the work remained concealed so that no one knew of it, then it would be in vain and lost. That this treasure, therefore, might not lie buried, but be appropriated and enjoyed, God has caused the Word to go forth and be proclaimed, in which He gives the Holy Ghost to bring this treasure home and appropriate it to us. Therefore sanctifying is nothing else than bringing us to Christ to receive this good, to which we could not attain ourselves."The Large Catechism, The Creed, Article III, #38, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 689. Tappert, p. 415. Heiser, p. 194.


***


GJ - I do not see Luther as an enemy of faith, since the Reformer shows how the Holy Spirit works through the Word to create and sustain faith. This faith trusts the Gospel Promises. That is why Luther taught justification by faith in harmony with the Scriptures.




Knapp


PS -

Jay Webber, in the ELS, went to Ft. Wayne at the same time as McCain. Robert Preus was deep into UOJ and CG at that time. Jay still defends UOJ too.

On LQ, the FW guys said the same things McCain just did. They have their Calvinist quip, their "faith in faith" quip, and a couple of other repeat-after-me sayings they memorized.

They never come to grips with the efficacy of the Word, the Means of Grace, or the classic passages in the Book of Concord about justification by faith.

Worst of all, they cannot address Robert Preus' own words in Justification and Rome.

How Elton Stroh Got His Groovey Job Back



From the WELS Grapevine:

SP Schroeder met with WELS Kingdom Workers and asked them not to rebuild the Kingdom Workers and start a new version of Perish Assistants.

WKW defied the Synod President (and the recent convention) as a direct and deliberate attack.

That is the heart and soul of false doctrine embedded in the Wisconsin Synod.

Just as Church and Change turned into a second Love Shack, to pull off stunts staffers could not get away with in public, Kingdom Workers is using its cover to revive what should have been killed years ago.

Members and clergy can do what they have always done - nothing. Meanwhile, Church and Change is well-organized, funded with WELS money, and secretive in all its communications. The failed ex-SP Gurgle and his Sausage Factory brother are both in Church and Change. Dom Perignon Patterson, who denies being a Chicanery leader, attended the last Chicanery convention.

The Word of God has not been tried and found wanting. In WELS, it has hardly been tried at all.

Synodical Money Laundering




The proposed Kingdom Workers hiring of Elton Stroh is a great illustration of synodical money laundering.

I learned from studying the Lutheran Church in America budgets how this was done.

If a program was loathsome to the congregations, the LCA hid it completely. Funding the odious National Council of Churches was listed in one national budget brochure and papered over in the next, grouped under "Reaching Out with the Gospel." The NCC could be funded in wide variety of ways, with incremental grants: LCA budget, women's group budget, and World Hunger Appeal budget. But the buck does not stop there. Money was switched back and forth so many times that the plebians never knew how much the NCC received from the original pile of donations. Naturally, it was none of their business where the insurance companies' gifts were going.

Likewise, the Schwan Foundation gives to the LCMS, the Little Sect on the Prairie, and the Wisconsin Synod. The figures are available because tax-exempt foundations have to report their income and expenses. All three synods get Marvin Money in various categories, so that can be switched around too. They also have women's groups with money, separate mission entities, etc.

Elton Stroh and Paul Calvin Kelm were cut out of the synod budget but popped up later with invented positions provided by their Church Growth buddies. The lilliputian Wisconsin Lutheran College had a felt-need for two chaplains at once.

WELS Kingdom Workers felt a sudden need to increase staff and hire Stroh as "an administrator." Do not worry - the best friend of Church Growth in WELS--James Huebner--will make sure everything is on the up and up. After all, WELS paid for Olson, Huebner, and Kelm to study Church Growthism at Fuller Seminary. They sold their expertise (same template, literally) in various WELS congregations.

Synodical money laundering benefits the in-crowd, which is exclusively Reformed, as many verbatim quotations have already proven. The real crime is the enabling of this generational theft by the silence of the lambs, the meek pastors who hope a few crumbs drop from the banquet table.

Read the article below on the economy. There is a lot more recession to experience, and no one is facing the truth.

An Economic Forecast



From a Reagan advisor.



Here is the article.

As bad as the problems are, I think we can overcome them. However, we have to face the truth about Cuban health care, unfunded mandates from Congress, oppressive taxes, and the Nanny State. I am not sure if Boomers are up to it.

PS - Yale Divinty revealed that this is the worst economy their graduates have faced since the Great Depression. Most of the graduates and faculty voted for Obama.

I was worried about mentioning an accredited school to the WELS Pietists, but I remembered John Brug spent a session at Yale. Here are some possible reasons why Brug will not be denounced on the fake blog:



  1. Brug was at Yale but he did not get a degree.
  2. He teaches at the Sausage Factory so he is de jure immaculate.
  3. He was born WELS, and nothing else counts.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Stroh and Kelm - It Is All about the Money - Always Was



A foundation built of straw - Elton Stroh.


The following paragraph is from a WELS Kingdom Worker letter dated "February 2010" which was received today.

"Another historic development in 2010 will be the consideration of a new WKW program, The Center for Parish Renewal. If adopted, a call will be extended to Rev. Elton Stroh [Fuller alum, Church Growth] to serve as an administrator. WKW will be working with the WELS Conference of Presidents' Parish Assistance committee chaired by First Vice President Jim Huebner [Fuller alum, Church Growth] to assure complementary non-duplicating resources are available to congregations. Designated gifts to support this new program may be sent to WKW apart from mission project gifts."

WKW is going to grow by one staff member. Interesting when one considers the same letter also included the following:

"Due to the current economy and financial losses suffered by the Schwan Foundation, matching funds for national [WKW] projects will not be available in 2010. The generosity of the Foundation still provides for the operation of WKW. In 2009 WKW full-time staff salaries were reduced by 20%. Salaries are restored in 2010."

***

GJ - The WELS convention eviscerated Perish Services. Stroh and Kelm [Fuller alum, Church Growth] became unemployed at the end of December. Doubtless they got a few months of severance pay. They already have their new jobs lined up.

Remember when someone heatedly denied that Kelm and Stroh hit up Kingdom Workers for money?

What do the three men named here have in common? - Fuller alumni, Church Growth.

I am sure the ELS/WELS boards of doctrine will jump on this like hobos on a hot-dog.

No, not to thwart it - to support it.

PS - I heard that WELS started to grow for a few weeks, while Kelm and Stroh were unemployed.


Standing Tall in 1918




This photo was taken in 1918.

It shows 18,000 men preparing for war in a training camp at Camp Dodge, Iowa .

From the Anything Goes District of WELS





From an emailing sent by The CORE:

"Satan's Sex Ed"

April 11th - May 2nd

"30 Days to Live"

May 9th - May 30th.

"Bloodlines"

starts February 28th and runs through Lent. Martin Luther once said, "Blood alone moves the wheels of history." Join us as we look at the Bloodlines that flow into and out of the cross.


If you suffer, thank God! It is a sure sign that you are alive.

-Elbert Hubbard

***

GJ - The question is: How many items were copied from false teachers?

Paul Calvin Kelm was promoted for teaching FUEL, but that was dropped. Out of gas?

The CORE also promoted The Living Last Supper on their website, urging people to attend this event.




Someone wrote:

"Remarkable that WELS still has them on the roster. They're also recommending a Live Last Supper performance on The CORE's website. Brief research shows that it's put on by an ecumenical group pulling in performers from Catholic schools etc. During the performance there's an opportunity in the play to have the performers distribute Communion to those attending. Would be interesting to know if they will do so and if the Core will participate. Kinda wishing I lived closer to Appleton so I could witness some of this stuff first hand. Like watching a dead gold fish circle the bowl as a kid."

***

GJ - That comment above is so far off. WELS would ban The CORE only if they recommended reading the Confessions, studying Luther, and sending kitteh art to Ichabod.


---

Brett Meyer has left a new comment on your post "From the Anything Goes District of WELS":

Opportunity to receive Communion from 12 actors?
http://community.ucc.org/forums/Topic4193800-1922-1.aspx?cons_id=&ts=1266894184&signature=c01522c2359d8e06a046db82d9f6104c

http://choralmusic.com/livinglastsupper.htm

Opportunity to receive Communion with members of the Catholic church? This invitation is to the same presentation The Core will be attending.
http://www.holyspiritknights.org/School/Calendars/wf122309.pdf




***

GJ - As long as the Roman Catholics serving communion are not women. Oh wait, I forgot. That is OK in WELS, commended in WELS. There is just a moratorium on women priests in WELS, until people are mature enough to accept it.

Reformed and Lutheran - No Concord There




Calvin denied the efficacy of the Word, too.


Joseph Schmidt has a great post on his blog.

Lutheran doctrine is not compatible with Reformed doctrine - the Reformed know this and the Lutherans do not.

The "conservative" Lutherans do not acknowledge that all their great insights are directly from the Reformed, except for those turncoats who have found greener pastures in Rome or Constantinople. Confidential to the ultra high-church Smells and Bells faction - Reformed sanctification is very much like Catholic/EO sanctification.

True - some recent insights are from such geniuses as Peter Drucker. He revolutionized business management in America. We would really be in trouble without Drucker's Management By Objective, eh?

We could be in a major recession.

Demotivator



Sunday, February 21, 2010

Invocavit - The First Sunday in Lent



By Norma Boeckler


Invocavit Sunday, The First Sunday in Lent


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

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

Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time


The Hymn #148 Lord Jesus Christ 3:61
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
The Gospel
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn # 146 Lamb of God 3:62


Doing and Believing – The Difference

The Hymn # 153 Stricken Smitten 3:63
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 # 154 Alas and Did My Savior 3:14

KJV 2 Corinthians 6:1 We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. 2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) 3 Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: 4 But in all things approving ourselves as the ministers of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, 5 In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings; 6 By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned, 7 By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true; 9 As unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed; 10 As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.

KJV Matthew 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

First Sunday In Lent
Lord God, heavenly Father, inasmuch as the adversary doth continually afflict us, and as a roaring lion doth walk about, seeking to devour us: We beseech Thee for the sake of the suffering and death of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, to help us by the grace of the Holy Spirit, and to strengthen our hearts by Thy word, that our enemy may not prevail over us, but that we may evermore abide in Thy grace, and be preserved unto everlasting life; through the same, Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Doing and Believing – The Difference
The three-fold temptation of Jesus shows Him to be truly man, subject to all our trials, and true God, having the will and power to withstand all temptation without sinning.

Jesus’ trials began immediately after He was baptized by John in the river Jordan.

This is a parallel to the life of the ordinary Christian believer. Our temptations begin after God has planted faith in our hearts. As one person told me, “I was never tempted before I became a Christian. I did whatever I wanted.”

Jesus fasted in the desert and Satan sought to capture Him. As Luther saw so clearly, Satan pursued the Chosen People from the moment God predicted that Someone would arise who would crush Satan’s head (Genesis 3:15). The prophet foretold that this would not happen until a non-Jew was on the throne of David.

By that time, as Luther said, nothing was left of Israel except a stump. It was occupied territory, ruled by pagans, taxed to death, humiliated in every possible way.

The Savior was revealed at the Baptism of Jesus and Satan went to work, returning later at His crucifixion, the final act of Satan’s drama.

First Temptation
During the temptation of Jesus, Satan made three different offers. The first one was to have Jesus prove His divinity by changing stones into bread. During a fast in the desert, every round stone would look tempting. The same temptations are offered today – take care of yourself. Many feel triumphant when they do that. From clergy to well known frauds, there is a great deal of smugness in getting away with it and reminding others of the successful strategies of greed, malice, and trickery.

Jesus responded with the Word,

Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

This is a statement which includes a direct reference to Isaiah 55:

KJV Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

This is a great reminder that the Word, going out from God (since it belongs to Him alone) is our life – we live by it – and the sole cause for accomplishing God’s will.

I see books about Bernie Madoff in the bookstores. For many years, people knew he was crooked. Yet they gathered billions of dollars from investors, promising them impossible investment returns, and lived high and mighty. When the schemes came crashing down, as they had to, the same money men were filled with despair and some gave up their lives. They lived on falsehoods and died in shame, turning stones into bread but realizing at last they were just stones after all.

Every generation has its fraudulent churches, which glory in their material success. Visit any urban area and you will see these monuments, neo-gothic splendors maintained with endowments and almost empty. They have lost their grip of God’s Word and comfort themselves with spending the interest from their funds. A lot of money must be spent to tuck-point the brickwork, clean the curtains, and send the clergy to more conferences.

On an individual basis, many have gone into an easy form of crime to turn their life of want into luxury, only to discover that this led them to the hoosegow. There are always those temporary lulls where all the schemes seem to be working. One coke dealer (and I do not mean soda pop) took every precaution, even to the point of avoiding areas where he could be hurt or arrested. Nevertheless, while sunning himself on the beach, he saw men with sub-machine guns descending from ladders on helicopters, all running toward him at once. They were federal agents who were drawn to his cause by his very success in getting away with it.

Jesus was asked to trust in His own devices, and He had the power to do so. But He quoted God’s Word instead. When we think we can solve our own difficulties, with our own cleverness, we are saying, “I trust in me, but not in God’s Word.”

Second Temptation
In the second temptation, Satan urged Jesus to throw himself from the highest point of the Temple, so that angels would take care of Him, as promised in the Word.

7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

Tempting God has become a major trend among American churches. For instance, I saw this notice in an Episcopalian church and similar ones published all over: “We have prayed that God will increase our membership by 10% per year in the next three years.” There are many variations on that, but they all concern man telling God what to do and when to do it, combined with some sort of deal about what man will do, such as organizing and spending to make this happen. It is a business plan for churches and it has not worked for most of them. The one with the earliest success, Garden Grove (Schuller’s) is floundering and failing, trying to sell off assets to survive. Schuller claimed, “I started the Church Growth Movement.”

On an individual basis, people tempt God by demanding He take action according to their dictates and time schedules. This is also tempting God, putting Him on trial. “I will believe in you if You obey me.” If God obeyed man, He would not be God. Many pagan religions are based upon deals with idols. Feed the idol incense or human sacrifice and he will perform miracles.

Herman Melville, the free-thinker, made fun of this in Moby Dick. These false teachers do not appreciate how much they feed the fires of atheism until they become part of that everlasting furnace themselves. In the name of salvation, they pull others down with themselves.

Third Temptation
Satan took Jesus to the highest mountain, so He could see the vast power He would have if He only bowed down to worship Satan. Jesus responded with the Word:

10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

In one course I teach, we look at Billy Graham versus his partner in the Evangelical Church, Templeton. As I mentioned before, Templeton went from being the most influential minister in Toronto to being an outright atheist. I was interested in Templeton’s version of all this. He was dazzled by the intellectuals at Princeton, and he felt that Christianity had to conform itself to the rationalistic demands of the world. He never got over his anger than Graham failed to go through the same brain-washing.

If Templeton had searched among faithful teachers, he would have realized that rationalism is the final step of Calvinism. Princeton broke with the old ways, so the conservatives marched off. All of Templeton’s questions could have been addressed by the great scholars of the Lutheran Church – Chemntiz, Chytraeus, Luther. Instead he was fed mush and he found it distasteful.

One of the Fuller boys had to have a Princeton degree too – C. Peter Wagner. That did not make him any better either. Lutherans have failed to create their own universities. Instead they have parochial schools and long for the prestige of old, large apostate universities.

The cross individuals must bear is the disapproval of the world, which is always eager to witness to its lack of faith. The fallen-away are the worst of these.

Conclusion from Temptations
There is a crucial difference between Biblical Christianity and Pietism/Romanism/Eastern Orthodox.

Most people follow the wrong path and define Christianity by issues of doing, not believing.

When Evangelicals and Catholics talk, they give this away by describing their lives by what they do.
An Evangelical will talk about not watching TV or the movies, about avoiding the wrong kinds of dress. Christianity is bound up with the act of praying.

A Roman Catholic will speak about Mass, the peak being daily Mass.

So the ultimate criticism of Christianity, people imagine, is “How can you do that if you call yourself a Christian?” Manipulation is easy, “How can you NOT help out if you call yourself a Christian?”

A definition based on doing will always lead to Pietism and then to rationalism, because we should all do good things together, no matter what we believe – they say. Thus the Word of God is obsolete.

In contrast, Jesus’ answers were all directly connected with believing the Word of God.

Christians are not condemned for being sinners, because all of us remain in that state.

Believing in the Word of God means we can fight against temptation with the Word rather than our dubious virtue. We are weak and frail, bound to fall many times over. We may suffer the same temptation for decades and continue to battle it. The Gospel of forgiveness is the only power that can defeat sin, first through justification by faith, secondly with the fruits of the Spirit.

John Bunyan was a perfect example. He was the most obnoxious cursing and blaspheming man in the area. The Gospel tamed him and he became a local wonder, an example of the power of the Word. He immersed himself in Luther and taught the difference between Law and Gospel.