Monday, May 31, 2010

Intrepid Lutherans Blog


Adolph Hoenecke was one of two Wisconsin Synod members who turned the denomination away from its Pietistic and unionistic origins,
toward a confessional stance.
Pietism re-asserted itself through Church and Change.


Some WELS pastors and laity have started a blog--Intrepid Lutherans. I knew about it starting, because it is my job to keep track of such things.

I heard that some people worried I was part of the blog. They would not want someone who has sold two different books through NPH to be in bloggership with the clergy of WELS! Stetzer, yes. Groeschel, yes. Stanley, yes. Werning, of course. Sweet, definitely.

The participants, whoever they may be, are working on their own. I was happy to see people signing on, instead of maintaining secret status where they deny having anything to do with it. Church and Change is full of clergy and laity who, like Peter before the fire, deny their affiliation times three.

I like my independent status, allowing me to discuss confidentially what is sent to me by various sources.



When J. P. Meyer Wrote the Truth, WELS Ignored Him



KJV 2 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness (panourgia), nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

"The type of minister to which we referred above as using entertainment in order to lure the people is employing panourgia, and is therefore guilty of committing secret things of disgrace. The Gospel is the word of Truth. To resort to ruses in proclaiming it, even though with the best of intentions, is heaping shame on the Truth. Not only are the truth and lures incompatible in their nature, but to use lures in connection with the Gospel ministry treats the Truth, the eternal Truth of God, as though it were inefficient, not attractive enough in itself." John P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963, pp. 62. 2 Corinthians 4:2.

"Paul...is speaking about methods of preaching the Gospel. He means to say that you can introduce methods into your Gospel work which on the surface do not appear as shameful, but which in reality disgrace the Gospel. He is harking back to 2:17, where he spoke about kapeleuein, about 'selling' the Gospel. To use a coarse illustration: Some ministers in their eagerness to bring the Gospel to the people, resort to entertainment to attract the crowds, in order to get an opportunity to preach to them. If you would tell such ministers that they are ashamed of the Gospel and that by their methods they disgrace it, because they manifest a lack of trust in its efficacy, they would resent the charge. Are they not doing all in order to promote the Gospel? The disgrace their methods bring upon it does not appear on the surface; that is why Paul speaks of secret things of shame." John P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963, pp. 62f. 2 Corinthians 4:1-6; 2:17.
KJV 2 Corinthians 2:17 For we are not as many, which corrupt (kapelueein) the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

"Because such is Paul's ministry, he cannot, on the one hand, stoop to trickery or an adulteration of the Word, to practice the hidden things of shame; nor can he, on the other hand, ever grow weary of administering so wholesome and glorious an office." John P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, A Commentary on the Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963, p. 65. 2 Corinthians 4:2.

KJV 2 Corinthians 4:1 Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 5 For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death worketh in us, but life in you. 13 We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak; 14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. 15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God. 16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

***

GJ - These insights from J. P. Meyer are ignored by WELS Church and Change. If I wanted to admonish fellow pastors, I would use their own expert against them. More importantly, the Word of God condemns them for adopting an entertainment style of church, following Pat Robertson and Oral Roberts, who mastered the medium and made themselves fortunes by selling the Gospel.

Worst of all, the WELS Church and Change clowns cannot even make up their own entertaining messages. They copy them verbatim from their idols in the Babtist and Pentecostal sects.

WELS Church Lady defends J. P. Meyer. I have to say, he is very good in some spots, but horrid about justification by faith.



UOJ Treats Faith as a Work


J. P. Meyer wrote three of the Kokomo Theses in his Ministers of Christ.


The UOJ Stormtrooopers love to toss this stinkbomb into any discussion about justification by faith:

"You are making faith a work."

Little do they realize that their favorite UOJ salesmen do, in fact, make faith a work.

"Objectively speaking, without any reference to an individual sinner's attitude toward Christ's sacrifice, purely on the basis of God's verdict, every sinner, whether he knows about it or not, whether he believes it or not, has received the status of a saint. What will be his reaction when he is informed about this turn of events? Will he accept, or will he decline?" J. P. Meyer, Ministers of Christ, A Commentary on the Second Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, Milwaukee: Northwestern Publishing House, 1963, p. 103f. 2 Corinthians 5:18-21.

J. P. Meyer is the key to understanding how WELS became so enamored of Babtist Church Growth leaders. In seminary, they read Babtist authors, drooling on the pages. In congregations, they lead adult studies of Babtist works. In their continuing education they run off to hear the same Babtist leaders -- live! -- that their seminary professors love so dearly.

The formula above is almost identical to a Babtist decision for Christ.
1. Tell them the Gospel.
2. Ask them to make a decision for Christ. Will they accept Him or not?

The UOJ salesmen rail against faith, but they end up with saying, "But you gotta believe." Sports fans, friends and neighbors, gotta means must, and "must" means the Law. That turns faith into a work of man. Forgiveness is already true but it is not really true until you perform this one act - you gotta believe it is true. That is the doctrine of the Syn Conference, reason enough to follow the Babtists and Pentecostals to perdition.


The first plagiarist president of the Missouri Synod, C. F. W. Walther,
copied UOJ from George Christian Knapp, a Halle Pietist.



C. F. W. Walther pulled the wool over the sheepish eyes of the Syn Conference, the same way. In a sermon so beloved by the Little Sect that they reprinted it lovingly in one of their best-selling books -- over 37 sold! -- the ELS quoted the entire sermon.

J-564
"For God has already forgiven you your sins 1800 years ago when He in Christ absolved all men by raising Him after He first had gone into bitter death for them. Only one thing remains on your part so that you also possess the gift. This one thing is—faith. And this brings me to the second part of today's Easter message, in which I now would show you that every man who wants to be saved must accept by faith the general absolution, pronounced 1800 years ago, as an absolution spoken individually to him."
C. F. W. Walther, The Word of His Grace, Sermon Selections, "Christ's Resurrection—The World's Absolution" Lake Mills: Graphic Publishing Company, 1978, p. 233. Mark 16:1-8.

Pastors, you wrote in your notes from dog class - "best theol. in Am." Can you say that after reading such Calvino-Babtist drivel?

There are Calvinist Babtists and Free Will Babtists. They start with the Enthusiasm of Calvin, the Holy Spirit separated from the Word of God. Some fall on the double-predestination side while others land on the Arminian side. (Memory note - The Kardashians are Armenians. Think of something to distinguish one from the other. No, not that.)

How did Lutherans listen to Walther without laughing out loud? They were living in the last days of Pietism, remembering how Pietism once devoted itself to Biblical study, prayer, relief efforts, and missionary goals. Pietism began as a unionistic endeavor in a unionistic culture. By Walther's time, Halle was rationalistic and Knapp was old-fashioned, the one dinosaur on the faculty who still believed. Therefore, Knapp's double-justification had the aura of the Good Old Days, and his book was a pan-denominational best-seller, still in print today.

Sound Doctrine
Christ has indeed accomplished everything for our sakes. He has died for the sins of the world. He has redeemed the world. But nothing in the Word of God says that we are declared forgiven without the Word, without the Means of Grace, without faith.

The preaching and teaching of the Gospel distributes the treasure of the Gospel and plants faith in the hearts of those who hear the Word. Thus faith is God's work which receives what God offers so freely. Therefore, we are justified by faith, apart from the works of the Law.

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-546
"Accordingly, the word justify here means to declare righteous and free from sins, and to absolve one from eternal punishment for the sake of Christ's righteousness, which is imputed by God to faith, Philippians 3:9. For this use and understanding of this word is common in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and the New Testament. Proverbs 17:15: He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord. Isaiah 5:23: Woe unto them which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Romans 8:33: Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth, that is, absolves from sins and acquits."
Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III. #17. Of the Righteousness of Faith before God. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 921. Philippians 3:9; Proverbs 17:15; Isaiah 5:23; Romans 8:33. Tappert, p. 541f. Heiser, p. 251.

J-547
"For when man is justified through faith [which the Holy Ghost alone works], this is truly a regeneration, because from a child of wrath he becomes a child of God, and thus is transferred from death to life, as it is written; When we were dead in sins, He hath quickened us together with Christ, Ephesians 2:5. Likewise: The just shall live by faith, Romans 1:17; Habakkuk 2:4."
Formula of Concord, Thorough Declaration, III. #20. Of the Righteousness of Faith before God. Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 921. Tappert, p. 542. Heiser, p. 251.



Sunday, May 30, 2010

Another Failed Entertainment Center To Become WELS Church and Change Congregation?


The owners of Springz dumped $7 million into this.
Does that remind you of The CORE's theatre?



I understand St. Matthew (Church and Change) wants to buy Springz, a failed entertainment center. Here is the Springz link.


The city wants to buy St. Matthew for $2 million. St. Matthew is failing, but it is not their fault. They listened to Church and Change, which will sell the church and keep the change.



Kudu Don Patterson Denies Being a Church and Money Changer, But Writes to Them on Their Secret List





Patterson promoting powerpoint worship and his own website... Gosh...Patterson = Jeske wanna be..


----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Pastor Patterson
To: church_and_change@yahoogroups.com; William Eslinger ; bill eslinger ; vicarbowe@gmail.com; Joyce Radloff ; Andrew Mahnke
Sent: Thu, May 27, 2010 3:10:45 PM
Subject: Re: [church_and_change] Fw: Sonoran Desert


Hi All

If you are into using powerpoint and pics you could use this pic for a pic of the church. Off with the clothes of sin and selfishness and washed in the blood put on new clothes in Christ and enter the new land of the church. Lots of Scriptures to use with this one both for sanctification and justification.

Don Patterson

check out www.arfh.net - leave a message for the lay volunteer, Bill Eslinger, if you like his work.

---

GJ - From Kudu Don hisself:


Subject: don't be a fool

From: Donald Patterson kududon@gmail.com

Hey, Greg,

I am not a part of Church and Change Leadership. I went to one conference a few years ago and had my own reservations. Also, Robert Timmerman does not serve as a church council pres at our church. You are lying on your blog.

Don



---

GJ - Don went to the last Church and Money Changer Conference too - Regaining Momentum. They are losing ground. They must have a great group if a district official has to lie about being part of it.


Memorial Day Thank You




The Feast of the Holy Trinity


Matthew 28 by Norma Boeckler



The Feast of the Holy Trinity


Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

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

Bethany Lutheran Church, 10 AM Central Time



The Hymn # 246 Holy, Holy, Holy 3.35
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 Athanasian Creed p. 53
The Sermon Hymn #245 God Loved the World 4.6

Born From Above by the Word

The Communion Hymn # 378 All That I Was 4.4
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 #27 Oh, Bless the Lord 4.21

KJV Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

KJV John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. 3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born? 5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. 9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be? 10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? 11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. 12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? 13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

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.

Trinity
O Lord God, heavenly Father: We poor sinners confess that in our flesh dwelleth no good thing, and that, left to ourselves, we die and perish in sin, since that which is born of the flesh is flesh and cannot see the kingdom of God. But we beseech Thee: Grant us Thy grace and mercy, and for the sake of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, send Thy Holy Spirit into our hearts, that being regenerate, we may firmly believe the forgiveness of sins, according to Thy promise in baptism; and that we may daily increase in brotherly love, and in other good works, until we at last obtain eternal salvation, 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.

Born From Above by the Word
The work of the Holy Spirit is the work of the Word, so this significant passage teaches us about how God creates a New Man in believers. Because this passage is so important, it has been distorted by false teachers.

For a long time, the most familiar phrase in Protestant America was “You must be born again.” For many, that only meant an adult conversion experience.

The passage itself does not emphasize what people are trying to say. Nicodemus was a Jewish religious leader who became a believer in Christ. We know that from the latter part of John.

KJV John 7:50 Nicodemus saith unto them, (he that came to Jesus by night, being one of them,) 51 Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?

KJV John 19:39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

The Gospel writer was intent on showing us that this Nicodemus was the same man who came stealthily to Jesus. Does anyone wonder why we have such clear details about the trial of Jesus? Naturally the Holy Spirit could reveal everything, but God also had eye-witnesses there in addition to Jesus Himself. I believe that is because their report had that much more credibility for the general masses later, when the Gospel was first preached among the Jews.

Born Again or Born From Above?
The key distinction here is between “born again” as an adult conversion experience and “born from above” as the work of the Holy Spirit in the Word. This is one of those passages where Greek grammar really matters.

The primary meaning of the Word is “from above,” and that is significant. Jesus is the One from above.

KJV John 3:31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.

KJV John 19:11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.

The word “from above” can mean “again,” but the idea of the dialogue is to show that Nicodemus did not understand the primary meaning of Jesus’ words. By the way, this also shows Jesus teaching in Greek, in spite of the ongoing myth that He spoke in Aramaic (a form of Hebrew), and that the Gospels were written in Aramaic at first (no evidence at all for this).

Helen of Troy is a pun in Greek, but not in English. Another pun has to be invented to make sense of the Homeric pun, “a snarer of men.”

The point of the dialogues in John is to show the wisdom of Jesus compared to the earthly misunderstandings of various people, who think primarily in terms of the flesh. The woman at the well (John 4) wanted that water Jesus promised, to save her the labor of drawing water. Peter wanted more than a footwash, once Jesus explained it to him.

So in John 3 we see Nicodemus understanding the word in a fleshly, materialistic way, as if a man could be born of a woman all over again. Even a child is going to say, “He is way off.” So we listen to what Jesus says to straighten Nicodemus out.

Born from above is the true meaning, because this gives God the glory in converting man with the Holy Spirit working through the Word. It is a spiritual rebirth and it is not limited to adults.

Born again is necessarily tied to “making a decision for Christ.” That makes man an active participant in conversion and also eliminates infant baptism as a sacrament and baptismal regeneration.

When I posted on Facebook that I found a favorable reference to Luther on the Net, someone immediately began attack that message about infant baptism. The opponent was baptized as a baby in the Lutheran Church. And she had many posts about it. I was going to say, “I rest my case. Lutherans do not read or accept Luther,” but I did not want to prolong the posts.

On the positive side, let’s look at what Jesus is teaching us about being born from above.

Jesus answered Nicodemus’ incredulous and foolish response this way:
KJV John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

This is another grammatical point. Water and Spirit are linked together in a special construction, which is more like this – Water/Spirit. They are not two separate births (or baptisms, since the Pentecostals invented a second Spirit baptism). They are one and the same.

Since God’s work is always through the Holy Spirit’s divine energy in the Word, the formula also means – Water/Word baptism, which is just what we say in the Catechism.

IV. The Sacrament of Holy Baptism

As the head of the family should teach it in a simple way to his household.
First.
What is Baptism?--Answer.
Baptism is not simple water only, but it is the water comprehended in God's command and connected with God's Word.
Which is that word of God?--Answer.
Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Matthew: Go ye into all the world and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Secondly.
What does Baptism give or profit?--Answer.
It works forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives eternal salvation to all who believe this, as the words and promises of God declare.
Which are such words and promises of God? Answer.
Christ, our Lord, says in the last chapter of Mark: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Thirdly.
How can water do such great things?--Answer.
It is not the water indeed that does them, but the word of God which is in and with the water, and faith, which trusts such word of God in the water. For without the word of God the water is simple water and no baptism. But with the word of God it is a baptism, that is, a gracious water of life and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Ghost, as St. Paul says, Titus, chapter three: By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our Savior, that, being justified by His grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. This is a faithful saying.

Fourthly.
What does such baptizing with water signify?--Answer.
It signifies that the old Adam in us should, by daily contrition and repentance, be drowned and die with all sins and evil lusts, and, again, a new man daily come forth and arise; who shall live before God in righteousness and purity forever.
Where is this written?--Answer.
St. Paul says Romans, chapter 6: We are buried with Christ by Baptism into death, that, like as He was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
Spiritual Conversion
KJV John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

This is a great irony. Today the wolf-preachers preach the flesh and attract people who want more of the same. Whatever is born of flesh-preaching is flesh. That is why the great religious leaders of the moment leave behind wreckage, divided families (their own), and atheism.

As some of us know, time moves much faster in senior lane. We have the chance to reflect back on how quickly someone went from being a CG hero to a godless zero. It is sad, but all the warnings are there. The Gadarene swine are willing to jump off the cliff for more of the same. Many are called, but few are chosen.

KJV John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth [wills], and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

This is another pun, both in Greek and Hebrew, where the word for Spirit is the same as that for wind. The Holy Spirit is like the wind, powerful but invisible. God’s work is a mystery. God can overturn a powerful empire in five minutes.

The Battle of Midway is a good example. The Japanese wanted to draw our navy into a battle where we would be crushed. They had all the advantages, it seemed.

http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/the-battle-that-changed-everything-95211924.html

The Americans kept coming after the Japanese carriers and losing all their planes. The result was that the Japanese fighters were down on the waves when the last assault came. The Japanese lost three carriers in five minutes, the fourth carrier a few hours later. Japan never recovered from those five minutes.

This harmonizes perfectly with the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13, Mark 4). We do not know the final results of sowing the Word. We do know God is always at work in the Word. Whether babies are converted by infant baptism (the Visible Word) or adults are converted by preaching and teaching (the Invisible Word), we know that God creates and sustains faith by the Word.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Day of Mourning - Constantinople Fell on This Day, 1453, and Islam Began Attacking Europe


Holy Wisdom, Hagia Sophia, in Constantinople


Byzantium – The Forgotten Eastern Roman Empire
Gregory L. Jackson, Ph.D.

The Western Roman Empire began to decline rapidly after Alaric’s sack of Rome in 410 AD. The sack was not so terrible as everyone imagines. The shock to the civilized world came from Roman citizens no longer willing or able to defend the capital of Eternal Rome. Western Christianity had its bishop in Rome, so Christians were tempted to think God had abandoned His own headquarters. Augustine of Hippo wrote his classic City of God to argue that the true City of God is invisible, eternal, and built on the foundations of Christ, not man.

Roman civil officials began to abandon their posts and the Western Empire began to disintegrate into the countries we know as Europe in the coming centuries. In contrast, the Eastern Roman Empire grew in power and importance as the trading center of Europe, Asia, and Africa. This forgotten empire was already in existence before Constantine refashioned his New Rome about 300 AD.

Constantine was a military and political genius. He began his rise in England, with a famous general as a father. He fought his way to Rome to become one of the rulers and then consolidated his power until he alone ruled the entire empire, from England to the outskirts of India. However, he did not like the City of Rome and spent little time there. He made his new city in Byzantium and the building project became Constantinople. He rebuilt it almost overnight, importing Roman nobility with generous bribes of land and fortune. The City of Rome was largely pagan, but Constantine made his new city Christian.

Constantine was baptized as a Christian before his death. He considered himself Equal to the Apostles. His self-fashioned title became a job description of most emperors who followed him (except Julian the Apostate, who tried to reverse trends back to paganism). The Byzantine emperors were highly educated and the Eastern Empire followed their example in literacy and religious devotion. Although the Bishop of Rome tried to emphasize its power over all churches, the Archbishop of Constantinople led Eastern Orthodoxy. There were periods of cooperation but also extended times of mutual excommunication and warfare.

Constantinople was ideally situated for trade between Asia and Europe, with land routes in both directions and access to the Mediterranean Sea. The city also had abundant fresh water, fish, and natural defenses. The city became incredibly wealthy from trade. When Islam grew after the death of Mohammed in 632 AD, Constantinople served as a buffer between Islamic expansion and Europe. Although Byzantium worked with the Ottoman (Moslem) Empire, renting its warriors when needed, the city also tempted the Islamic leaders to capture it, for its wealth and religious symbolism.

Islam whittled away at Byzantium for centuries until Constantinople became a dispirited island in the midst of Moslem forts and armies. Finally the city fell on May 29, 1453, a day of doom still remembered throughout Eastern Orthodoxy. For the Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, and other Eastern rites, Constantinople was their religious capital and treasure-house of religious icons, including the True Cross.

Byzantium continued as a Christian empire for eleven centuries, a remarkable achievement. The empire was highly educated and skilled in the arts. They preserved the New Testament in the original Greek and the archives of classical literature. The Moslems often transmitted these masterpieces to Europe, but the main center of learning was Constantinople and other Byzantine cities.

Militarily, the Eastern Empire was not appreciated until it fell. Then the Islamic armies moved on Europe and extended their rule into Europe until 1683, when they were turned back for good at Vienna. The Ottoman Empire peaked after its capture of Constantinople, but the disintegration of their rule was slow, like that of Rome and Byzantium. The Ottoman Empire became the “sick old man” of Europe before World War I and exists today only as Turkey. Constantinople became Istanbul because the victors transformed the Greek for “into the city” as Istanbul.

Some contributions of the Byzantine Empire are:
1. They kept the Islamic armies at bay when Europe was young and weak.
2. They hosted the successful First Crusade, which took Jerusalem back from Islam and established a Christian kingdom there for some years.
3. They were the religious and cultural center of the world for more than a thousand years.
4. They served as a central point for world trade.

No one can do justice to this empire in a few pages, or even in a few volumes. However, we should remember that the last emperor of Byzantium died fighting for his city, his country, his culture. His name was also Constantine.



More Flapping about ELCA's Study Bible



First VP of WELS, Jim Huebner, is grouped with many of the spiritual leaders admired by ELS/WELS leaders.


The ELCA statements below are too tedious to quote and have dubious claims at best. My original source is the ALPB discussion group, aka Pooled Ignorance. One minister claimed the Disciples of Christ came from Methodism (!) and are quite conservative (?) and strongest in Indiana (Ha!). In fact, they practice believer's baptism, are extreme Leftists, and are strongest from Illinois down to Texas. LBJ belonged to their sect.

One ELCA claim has Luther arguing for people coming to faith after they die. Hmm. Many Luther items are fake, mistranslated, or misunderstood.

The Matthew 28 treatment is so bad it is being deleted in the new edition.

"It says, in part, "...In contrast to 10:5-6, 23, Jesus now sends the disciples to make disciples of all nations. That does not mean make everyone disciples. Most people who are helped by Jesus and believe in him never become disciples. Jesus includes in salvation people who do not believe in him or even know about him (5:3-10, 25:31-45)."

The professor who published this has defended it here.

Ironically, Paul McCain and Jay Webber--both MDivs from The Surrendered Fort--roam the blogosphere warning people away from what I publish. Yet both men support the passage above, in the form of UOJ. They are both UOJ Stormtroopers, as active and as predatory as the LutherQuest (sic) crusaders.

Normally I do not spend much time on ELCA heresy, but this one is so close to UOJ that one is either the mother or daughter of the other. WELS/ELS unionism is the result of this doctrine.

---

Exposing the ELCA
Dr. Walter Bouman (Trinity Seminary) said: “Difficult as it is -- because I always think of it as unfair -- I’ve come to accept God’s universal salvation as the final consequence of Jesus’ resurrection” (The Lutheran, Nov 05, p. 24).

"In 1956, Bouman was ordained in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) and served as pastor of two LCMS congregations -- St. Paul Lutheran Church, Chatfield, Minn., and St. Matthew Lutheran Church, Albany, N.Y. -- before joining the faculty of Concordia Teachers College, River Forest, Ill., in 1963."



Sloppy Language, Sloppy Theology, Bad Results




Rev. Fr. Steven D. has left a new comment on your post "UOJ Equals ELCA Doctrine - Verbatim Proof":

Greg, et al - These statements are often defended in WELS because, "they CAN (emphasis mine) be understood correctly." Perhaps, but one pretty much has to turn the English language into a pretzel to accomplish this. I, for one, have never been happy or agreed completely with any of the attempts. They often end up raising more questions than they answer.

I don't know if this is the first example of this problem in the WELS, but it is certainly an important one. The problem? It used to be that it was taught to WELS Pastors that, "You must not only speak so clearly (in meaning) that you are understood, you must also speak so clearly that you cannot be misunderstood." Sadly, and to our great detriment as a church body, that is no longer being taught, and hasn't been for a long time. More's the pity!

Fr. Spence

***

GJ - As Paul L. Holmer, a Lutheran philosopher, taught at Yale - "Theology is the grammar of faith." By expressing a error borrowed from Knapp, the Syn Conference has promoted Enthusiasm, eliminated the efficacy of the Word, and established an ongoing Antinomian spirit. No one wants to admit officially that error has been on the throne, truth on the scaffold, for decades.

Church Growthism, Receptionism, and women's ordination are merely symptoms of the rot which has been encouraged to spread. Yes, encouraged with funds, organizations, silence, and the election of DPs and First VPs (Mueller and Huebner) who bow the knee to Enthusiasm while mocking the efficacy of the Word. "We know that the Word is effective, but..."

MLC is named for the Reformer, but they are a law unto themselves. The juvies there think everyone should understand their "culture." The faculty is more concerned with the proper spelling of their names than the grammar of faith.




UOJ Equals ELCA Doctrine - Verbatim Proof


A UOJ Stormtrooper illustrates the decline of Lutheran doctrine.



“Jesus now sends the disciples to make disciples of all nations. That does not mean make everyone disciples. Most people who are helped by Jesus and believe in him never become disciples. Jesus includes in salvation people who do not believe in him or even know about him.” (p. 1658; Augsburg Fortress Lutheran Study Bible).

J-572
"The teaching of the Wisconsin Synod [of the old Norwegian Synod] is this, that in and with the universal reconciliation, which has occurred in Christ for the whole world—even Judas; the whole world—even Judas—has been justified and has received the forgiveness of sin. Therefore, according to Luther's clear words ("for where there is forgiveness of sins, there is also life and salvation"), the whole world (i.e. every person who is a part of the world—even Judas) has become a child of God and an heir of heaven."
Gottfried Fritschel, "Zur Lehre von der Rechtfertigung," Theologische Monatshefte, volume 4, 1871, (1-24), p. 7.[29] Cited in Rick Nicholas Curia, The Significant History of the Doctrine of Objective or Universal Justification, Alpine, California: California Pastoral Conference, WELS. January 24-25, 1983. p. 2.

WELS Kokomo Statements
I. "Objectively speaking, without any reference to an individual sinner's attitude toward Christ's sacrifice, purely on the basis of God's verdict, every sinner, whether he knows it or not, whether he believes it or not, has received the status of saint."

II. "After Christ's intervention and through Christ's intervention God regards all sinners as guilt-free saints."

III. "When God reconciled the world to Himself through Christ, He individually pronounced forgiveness to each individual sinner whether that sinner ever comes to faith or not."

IV. "At the time of the resurrection of Christ, God looked down in hell and declared Judas, the people destroyed in the flood, and all the ungodly, innocent, not guilty, and forgiven of all sin and gave unto them the status of saints."

***

GJ - Since forgiveness is salvation, the Syn Conference has been teaching the same Universalism as ELCA. UOJ took some time to dominate the Syn Conference. Now all the Lutheran leaders teach that same heresy, in slightly different flavors.

No wonder that they all have their mission and evangelism people trained at Fuller and Willow Creek. Fuller was based upon the doctrine of the adulterous Marxist Karl Barth, who also taught universalism. See his Dogmatics, II, 2.

No soi-disant Lutheran group has repudiated UOJ, Church Growth, or Emerging Church.

One ELCA congregation began the process of leaving their sick, old synod once their new study Bible came out, because of the Matthew 28 passage quoted above.

More examples can be found here. The question is - why would any Lutheran group want to work with ELCA in any form or fashion? Working with the falling-apart giant is an implicit endorsement of Holy Mother ELCA's apostasy.



Get Your ELCA Study Bible, Earn Polite Responses from Paul McCain, MDiv


Trained at the Waldo Werning Charm School in Ft. Wayne,
Paul McCain is nice, but only to liberals.



Anonymous said...

Pastor, I'm wondering if you spend a bit more time with this Bible if you will have even more concerns. I certainly did.

Here is what the AF Bible tells us about the Great Commission in a note at Matthew 28:19-20. No, this is not an error. This is what it says:

“Jesus now sends the disciples to make disciples of all nations. That does not mean make everyone disciples. Most people who are helped by Jesus and believe in him never become disciples. Jesus includes in salvation people who do not believe in him or even know about him.” (p. 1658; Augsburg Fortress Lutheran Study Bible).

While it skip-steps around every other verse in the Bible dealing with homosexuality, at 1 Cor. 6:9 the Augsburg Fortress study Bible notes that "all modern Bible versions mistranslate" the Greek words commonly translated “sodomite” and “homosexual.” The AF Bible says that the terms used refer not to homosexuality, but to a lack of self-control and violence. And then it notes, "Neither term applies to homosexuality or the lives of gay and lesbian people." (p. 1881).

Respectfully,

---

Paul McCain said... Pastor, thank you for your posts, which I’ve found interesting. I’m wondering if you would not mind reading a couple things I’ve prepared on the AF Lutheran Study Bible, and giving me your opinion. I offer these to you respectfully. A blessed Holy Week and Easter to you.

http://cyberbrethren.com/2009/04/01/a-tale-of-two-bibles-a-necessary-clarification-and-caution/

http://cyberbrethren.com/2009/04/03/a-tale-of-two-bibles-a-comparison-of-how-the-subject-of-homosexuality-is-treated-in-the-lutheran-study-bible-and-the-elca-bible/

God bless

Pastor Paul T. McCain
Concordia Publishing House

***

Does the shepherd have a flock? Does he preach to the CPH books? like the cook preaching to the sharks in Moby Dick?

ELCA Pro and Con


WELS is against all that ELCA monkeying around, right boys?



Pro ELCA View. Sunny-side Up

Our Grand Canyon Synod (covering the state of Arizona, southern Nevada, and Saint George, Utah,) like the other 64 synods in the ELCA is both of these. It is the coming together of over 70,000 Lutherans in over 100 ELCA congregations. We assemble together once a year. Throughout the year, we seek to walk the same road together -- together supporting numerous ministries in our synod and churchwide expression.

In a similar way, we, as a congregation, are able to do much more when we are “on the way together,” rather than individuals being on the way alone. When we, as a congregation, get behind a mission or goal or project, we can do great things.

However, as I was researching the word synodos, there is also another meaning that, unfortunately, is sometimes true within congregations and within synods. This word is used of two armies “coming together” to do battle.
(Brian at Faith)

Con - ELCA Not Doing So Well, For a Reason
You might need to update your information on the Grand Canyon Synod , Brian. Nine congregations have left, four have split, and four more are considering leaving, with a total of 20,000 members departed since last August, 12,000 of those in five congregations alone. April giving was 165,000 to the synod, one year ago in April it was 240,000. I think 85 congregations with 50,000 members that we know of is more accurate.

I also noted in the giving year to date Faith has given nothing to the synod YTD in 2010. If you are not in dissent with the ELCA, why is that?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Augustana



THEN

First Lutheran Church, Moline, Illinois, was founded by L. P. Esbjorn,
who also helped in starting Augustana College in Rock Island.


I happened across the Augustana Heritage website and saw photos of the early Swedish-American Lutheran church buildings.

The Swedes came over as unionistic Pietists. Their journal, which I helped archive at the college library, was called The Pietist in Swedish. They soon became disgusted with unionism and revivalism in the General Synod and linked up with the legendary Passavant, who had earlier passed through his stage of revivalism. Passavant and Eric Norelius, among others, helped Augustana become confessional, although they remained Pietistic in many way - and were honest about it.

Most of us at Augustana College did not know about this history, nor did we realize that Augustana was Latin for Augsburg, as in Augsburg Confession. Do not be surprised. One reader said his children, all products of the WELS education system, thought the Book of Concord was a repair manual for the French passenger jet.

Pietism won eventually, in the Augustana Synod, just as it did in WELS. The Wisconsin sect began almost the same way, during the same years. I know the Augustana pioneers fairly well, because of my dissertation on one of their professors.

If you look at the historic Augustana congregations, linked above, you will see the same soaring neo-gothic style of rural WELS and LCMS. They must have sacrificed a great deal to construct those halleluias of brick and stone. They were busy building schools, colleges, nursing homes, hospitals, and missionary societies in those days, too - not tearing them down, brick by brick.

Augustana became LCA, which became ELCA. The Lutheran Confessions mean nothing to ELCA. Their anticonfessional stance has allowed them to adopt the new gospel of pansexual justice. They working toward having open lesbians and homosexuals as ELCA bishops, following the Episcopalian and European models. Trans-sexual ministers are also on the agenda.

ELCA is in unionistic worship services and evangelism with all denominations because of its Pietistic Anticonfessionalism.

WELS is in unionistic worship services and evangelism with all denominations because of its Pietistic Anticonfessionalism.


NOW
HerChurch in San Francisco.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Library Sale Update




A number of people have asked about my library downsizing. I will compile a list of available Lutheran books and send it this weekend, with prices, on Excel.

Thanks for the great response.


Contributions of The CORE in Appleton


When the pastor's favorite TV show is Sponge Bob Square Pants...



Brett Meyer has left a new comment on your post "From The CORE":

1. The Core has shown that it's acceptable, in the (W)ELS, to use titillating sermon themes to peak the interest of the "already saved". Example: Satan's Sex Ed

2. The Core has clearly shown what's beyond the "edge of the envelope" when it comes to witnessing to the lost. Example: publishing a photo of The Core's (W)ELS Pastor with a practicing satanic porn star in an intimate embrace.

3. The Core has demonstrated that members of the (W)ELS are allowed to worship with the Baptist New Age Emergent churches. Example: The Core's pastor enjoyed Excellent worship at Baptist Andy Stanley's church.

4. The Core has demonstrated that the oversight of doctrine and practice in the (W)ELS is catastrophically lacking by the synod administration and certainly on the part of the lethargic and comatose laity.

5. The Core has been a visual aid in understanding the progressive apostasy that the false central doctrine of UOJ is having on churches and synods that claim a heritage in the Orthodox Lutheran Confession.


Robert Benne - On ELCA's Predictable Decline


He did not mention the implicit gay quota understood by all when ELCA was formed.



Lutherans in Search of a Church

May 27, 2010

Robert Benne

In its August 2009 Churchwide Assembly, the Evangelical Lutheran Church decided formally to leave the Great Tradition of orthodox Christianity for a declining and desiccated liberal Protestantism. The decisions it made—accepting a weak and confused social statement on sexuality, allowing blessings of gay unions, ordaining gays and lesbians in partnered relationships, and requiring Lutherans to respect each other’s “bound conscience” on these issues—crossed the “line in the sand” that separates revisionist Christians from orthodox.

That result was a foregone conclusion for critical observers who had been watching the ELCA carefully since its inception in the late eighties. (Among them, of course, was Richard John Neuhaus, who saw clearly the trajectory yet to unfold.) What had been the promise of a renewed and robust Lutheranism in the merger of the American Lutheran Church and the Lutheran Church in America was aborted before its birth, in 1988. The planners of the new Lutheran church saw to it that those who provided theological guidance to predecessor churches—then almost exclusively white and male—were marginalized from the real decision-making centers of church life.

One of their instruments was a quota system that insured that the more “progressive” elements of the church would be overrepresented. Every committee, task force, and voting body must be comprised of 60 percent laypeople of whom half must be female and 40 percent of clergy of whom half must be female. 10 percent must be people of color or people whose first language is other than English, of whom half must be female. This scheme dramatically reduced the role of white, male pastors in the church.

Other instruments were: making the Bishops merely advisory; categorizing theologians as only one interest group among others; and locating final authority in lay-dominated, semiannual assemblies that could vote even on doctrinal matters, as one fatefully did in August 2009. These bodies made sure there would be “many voices” in the life of the ELCA, and we now have “many voices,” but no authoritative ones. What is left of classical Lutheranism in the ELCA is a mere “aroma in the bottle.”

But church organizations abhor a vacuum. In the absence of a genuine confessional teaching authority, the ELCA has followed liberal Protestantism in adopting a working theology sharply different from its classical confessions. It has substituted the “Gospel of inclusion” for the classic “Gospel of redemption” that emphasizes repentance, forgiveness, and amendment of life. The former diminishes the importance of the Law as the source of both repentance and guidance for Christians. The god of self-esteem promises everyone acceptance just the way they are.

But the ELCA is far more interested in pressing forward the liberationist themes issuing from feminism, multiculturalism, anti-imperialism, and environmentalism. These themes constitute the non-negotiables in ELCA church life. The ELCA bishops recently participated in a workshop that featured a presentation titled “Power, Privilege, and Difference.” Being therefore educated about their propensities to be oppressive, the worthy bishops resolved to have “observers” at all their meetings to monitor for “PP&D” thinking. One might note that they employed no monitors for confessional theology, perhaps because there was nothing of significance to monitor.

The decision to allow the blessing and ordination of gays and lesbians in partnered relationships was the flash point for those who had observed these deep-running liberationalist trends operating in the church for many years. That flash point, however, illuminated the deeper problem of authority in the church. Scripture and its Lutheran confessional interpretation seemed to have been cast aside for the voting process of a Churchwide Assembly that was shaped more by contemporary experience, highly-organized interest groups, and the scarcely veiled agenda of ELCA headquarters.

The ELCA’s proclamation that it held no clear teachings on homosexual conduct, yet allowed the blessing and ordination of partnered homosexuals, individualized and congregationalized the church in one fell swoop. Each individual and congregation has to exercise their own “bound conscience” on these matters. Some individuals may simply leave for other churches or press their congregations to leave the ELCA, while some divert their offerings to purely local causes or participate in organized efforts to renew the church. Most members, however, try to act as if nothing has happened.

Some congregations have left the ELCA for other Lutheran bodies, while others have publicly proclaimed orthodox beliefs and practices and allowed their members to divert their offerings into “bound conscience” funds that cannot be sent on to the ELCA. Most try to avoid these controversies like the plague. Pastors know the tension will cost them membership and support no matter what direction they go.

The national church has a budget far less than the one it began with in 1988, even if one does not account for inflation. Sixty-four of the sixty-five synods have diminished their giving to the national church. All the synods have less to work with.

However, the most interesting fall-out is the organizational changes.The two organizations formed to resist the direction of the ELCA—the Word Alone Network and Lutheran CORE—have redefined themselves. Neither desires to continue organized resistance within the ELCA, which they regard as futile. Both have turned their attention to building new organizations independent of the ELCA, as they seek to provide harbors for those in search of a church beyond their congregations.

The Word Alone Network has become Word Alone Ministries, which provides educational and worship materials, mission opportunities, and theological education for the church that it founded earlier. That church, or better, that “association of congregations,” is the Lutheran Congregations in Ministry for Christ. The LCMC was formed during the fracas over an agreement, between the ELCA and the Episcopal Church, Called to Common Mission, which required ordination to the historic episcopacy for Lutheran pastors and bishops. That requirement was anathema to the mostly Midwestern, low church Lutherans. The LCMC now lists 410 member congregations, with 191 having joined since last August. Among them are some of the largest Lutheran churches in America.

Representing the “evangelical catholic” or high church wing of the church, Lutheran CORE redefined itself after the fiasco of August 2009 as a coalition for the renewal and reconfiguration of Lutheranism in North America. Though it had no initial desire to start yet another Lutheran church, CORE responded to the wave of churches wanting to leave the ELCA for a more “churchly” organization than Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ, and hopes to facilitate the birth of the new North American Lutheran Church next August. It is uncertain just how many congregations will be on board at its founding.

Both CORE and the NALC see themselves as instruments of a reconfiguration of Lutheranism in North America—CORE as an ongoing convocation of Lutheran teaching theologians, and the NALC as an ecclesia embodying those teachings.

Whatever comes of these ventures remains to be seen. If the Holy Spirit blesses them they will flourish and provide new beginnings for Lutheranism in America. For many they are the last, great efforts to live out the promise of Lutheranism as a church on this continent. If they fail, the only remaining option may be a bracing swim across the Tiber.

Robert Benne is Director of the Center for Religion and Society and Jordan-Trexler Professor of Religion Emeritus at Roanoke College. His Good and Bad Ways to Think About Religion and Politics will appear this summer.


From The CORE




-------- Original Message --------
Subject: May COREspondence
From: "The CORE"
To: SomeoneWeThinkWeCanFool
CC:

_What a Difference a Year Makes_

April 18, 2010 marked the one year celebration of the official launch of The
CORE. Though we started having informal worship gatherings on Sunday
evenings in February of 2009, we officially launched with full worship on
April 19th.

God has truly blessed the ministry here at The CORE. In a year we have seen
regular attendance double. Eight people, children and adults, have been
baptized, and we have 68 official members including children and adults. At
the end of the day those numbers are important only because they represent
people. They represent people whom God created and loves. People who have a
story to tell that brings glory to their Savior and His gracious love.

This year God has given us the opportunity to be his hands and feet in
Appleton and the surrounding community. A chance to be a city within the
city that loves the city for Him. Thank you for your support of this
ministry and being a part of what God is doing here at The CORE. It is our
prayer that we can continue to partner together to bring the Gospel to
Appleton and beyond for many more years to come.

_First Annual "In the Know" Event_

Join us on Saturday,
June 12th at 11:00am for The CORE’S very first
“In the Know” event. Lunch and beverages will be provided. “It’s our
congregation’s opportunity to get to know other members and serves as a
celebration for completing 1 year together,” says Pastor Ski.

Get to know us so we can get to know you! All are welcome.

_Looking Ahead_...

_"Religion Bytes"_

June 6th- June 27th

_"Miracles"_

July 4th - July 28th

_Miss a sermon? No worries. Click here to listen to the podcasts or
subscribe in iTunes._

_Join us on Facebook _



"How quickly we forget what it's all about.
We can get so strategic that we worship so our church will grow, not because
He is worthy. But we're doing all this because God is worthy and we want to
worship Him."

- Tommy Walker

We are excited to welcome Mara Donnan to the staff at The CORE! Mara will be
filling Katie's position. We know what you may be thinking, but there is no
drama here! God is simply calling Katie to serve the Kingdom elsewhere.

Mara was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. She recently moved to Appleton
after marrying her husband, Jonathan.
Mara comes to our team from the Brady Corporation where she worked as the
E-Business Content Specialist. In 2006, she graduated from Alverno College
with a degree in English. She has a passion for writing, helping others, and
most importantly... Jesus.
“I know the miracles that He has done for me and I am excited share my
passion with others,” Mara says.

_Do you know someone who might be interested in hearing about what God is
doing at The CORE? Foward this newsletter to them today._

The CORE 215 E Washington St. Appleton, WI 54911 920-364-0200
_Check us out online! _[1]www.gotocore.com
Links:
1. http://www.gotocore.com

***

GJ - Readers are invited to contributed what The CORE has accomplished in plagiarizing Groeschel





---

diet-o-worms (http://diet-o-worms.myopenid.com/) has left a new comment on your post "From The CORE":

God *must* be blessing the Muslims too at the rate they're growing. {facepalm}

***

GJ - Sheep-stealing from local WELS congregations is outreach, according to a non-Lutheran entertainment center.

Downsizing the Library


But not my Triglotta.


Most of my reading is on the computer now, and that is true for the family.

I am going to greatly reduce my library in the next few months.

Many books are Lutheran and include volumes from Luther's works.

I have a beautiful set of Dickens' best novels, leather-bound, now out of print.

Others are classics from Easton Press (leather-bound), Folio, and Limited Editions. I have children's literature classics, various histories, etc. For instance, the three-volume Norwich history of the Byzantine Empire is almost as good as Gibbon.

I am not going to sell one book at a time. I prefer a box at a time. Almost everything is in new condition, even though most have been read or used.

The best thing about breaking up a collection is that new people get to enjoy it. These books are beautifully bound and made to last.

Those seriously interested can email me at gregjackson1948@qwest.net



WELS Quiz




1. Which sin will disqualify someone from getting a promotion?
a. Adultery
b. Teaching false doctrine
c. Unionism
d. Embezzlement
e. Hinting that WELS may have been wrong about something

2. Which school is unacceptable by WELS standards?
a. Fuller Seminary
b. Gordon Conwell
c. Trinity in Deerfield
d. Denver Seminary
e. Willow Creek
f. Concordia Seminary

3. If I join WELS Church and Change, which positions can I still hold?
a. Love Shack Staff
b. FIC editor
c. Sausage Factory professor
d. MLC professor
e. WLC professor
f. Doctrinal Pussycat
g. Vulpine Pussycat
h. Circuit Pussycat
i. All of the above

4. Under what conditions can I lead worship in WELS and Missouri?
a. If I am about to be kicked out.
b. If my name is Mark Jeske.

5. Name the Means of Grace.
a. Thrivent
b. Marvin Schwan
c. Foundations
d. The family tree

6. Pastors who criticize the Church Growth Movement are:
a. Rare
b. Lazy
c. Hurting the synod
d. Not creative
e. Ineligible for a call

7. Pastors who support the Church Growth Movement are:
a. Full of costly but exciting plans
b. Creative
c. Hard-working
d. Winsome
e. The salvation of the synod

8. Founders and leaders of Church Growth in WELS are:
a. Ron Roth
b. Robert Hartmann
c. Paul Calvin Kelm
d. David Valleskey
e. Frosty Bivens
f. Waldo Werning
g. Jim Aderman
h. John Parlow
i. Steve Witte
j. John Lawrenz
k. Jim Huebner
l. Larry Olson
m. H. Hagedorn
n. Wayne Mueller
o. There is no Church Growth Movement in WELS.

9. Which will hurt a congregation's growth?
a. The name Lutheran
b. The word church
c. The historic liturgy
d. Creeds
e. Law and Gospel sermons
f. Liturgical garments
g. Lutheran hymns - better known as funeral dirges
h. Less than friendly ushers
i. Your attitude of standing in the way of progress

10. An ideal pastor will spend his time:
a. Planning for growth
b. Attending the conferences of creative denominations and exciting outreach organizations
c. Listening to audio from Fuller, Willow Creek, and Ed Stetzer
d. Deciding on the best sermons to use, whether from Mars Hill or Groeschel or Andy Stanley
e. Visiting the sick and shut-in
f. Visiting prospects
g. Studying the Word and Confessions for sermons, youth and adult education

11. Which authors cannot be named favorably, but must always be warned against?
a. Leonard Sweet
b. Ed Stetzer
c. Waldo Werning
d. Kent Hunter
e. Andy Stanley
f. Craig Groeschel
g. J. P. Meyer
h. Martin Luther
i. Lenski
j. Any Concordist, if I can remember their names.

12. Which one on this list does not belong?
a. Pneumonia
b. Scarlet Fever
c. Strep Throat
d. Church Growth Pastor

Answers to WELS Quiz




1. Which sin will disqualify someone from getting a promotion?
e. Hinting that WELS may have been wrong about something. Even thinking that is equivalent to breaking fellowship with Holy Mother WELS and must be punished.

2. Which school is unacceptable by WELS standards?
f. Concordia Seminary - Unless one obtained a DMin in Church Growth from Concordia.

3. If I join WELS Church and Change, which positions can I still hold?
a. Love Shack Staff
b. FIC editor
c. Sausage Factory professor
d. MLC professor
e. WLC professor
f. Doctrinal Pussycat
g. Vulpine Pussycat
h. Circuit Pussycat
i. All of the above

I made that one easy because a lot of tough questions are coming up.


4. Under what conditions can I lead worship in WELS and Missouri?
a. If I am about to be kicked out.
b. If my name is Mark Jeske.
Both answers are correct, which means, "It all depends on who your relatives are."

5. Name the Means of Grace.
a. Thrivent
b. Marvin Schwan
c. Foundations
d. The family tree
WELS trusts in these Means alone for forgiveness and salvation.

6. Pastors who criticize the Church Growth Movement are:
a. Rare
b. Lazy
c. Hurting the synod
d. Not creative
e. Ineligible for a call
Now you are starting to catch on. All of the above are true.

7. Pastors who support the Church Growth Movement are:
a. Full of costly but exciting plans
b. Creative
c. Hard-working
d. Winsome
e. The salvation of the synod

The only problem is - there are not enough of them.


8. Founders and leaders of Church Growth in WELS are:
o. There is no Church Growth Movement in WELS.

That was a trick question. Wayne Mueller, as First VP, published a statement in the denominational magazine, solemnly declaring with utmost clarity - "There is no Church Growth Movement in WELS." If you dispute that, you have broken fellowship with WELS.

9. Which will hurt a congregation's growth?
a. The name Lutheran
b. The word church
c. The historic liturgy
d. Creeds
e. Law and Gospel sermons
f. Liturgical garments
g. Lutheran hymns - better known as funeral dirges
h. Less than friendly ushers
i. Your attitude of standing in the way of progress
Now you know why WELS is hurting.

10. An ideal pastor will spend his time:
a. Planning for growth
b. Attending the conferences of creative denominations and exciting outreach organizations
c. Listening to audio from Fuller, Willow Creek, and Ed Stetzer
d. Deciding on the best sermons to use, whether from Mars Hill or Groeschel or Andy Stanley
If God could only grant more of these!

11. Which authors cannot be named favorably, but must always be warned against?
h. Martin Luther
i. Lenski
j. Any Concordist, if I can remember their names.
That was another easy one, because the last one is tricky indeed.

12. Which one on this list does not belong?
d. Church Growth Pastor

You can get rid of pneumonia, scarlet fever, and strep throat, but you cannot get rid of a Church Growth Pastor.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Art Linkletter Died Today, Age 97




"Linkletter was born Gordon Arthur Kelly in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. In his autobiography, Confessions of a Happy Man (1960), he revealed that he had had no contact with his natural parents or his sister or two brothers since he was abandoned when only a few weeks old. He was adopted by Mary (née Metzler) and Fulton John Linkletter,[4][1] an evangelical preacher." From Wikipedia.

We all knew he was from Moosejaw. That was mentioned all the time, but he was always accepted as an American. A famous theologian was told by his father, "If you move to Canada, you will be Swiss. If you move to America, you will an American."

Another ELCA College Prez gone

ELCA NEWS SERVICE
May 26, 2010

Texas Lutheran University President Ann Svennungsen Resigns
10-146-JB

The Rev. Ann M. Svennungsen

CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Citing "professional and personal considerations," the Rev. Ann M. Svennungsen resigned as president of Texas Lutheran University (TLU), Seguin, according to a May 25 news release from the university. Svennungsen's resignation is effective May 31.


Sarah Story, TLU associate vice president for marketing communications, said Svennungsen and her family will vacate the president's home in July. She is currently out of the country on a family vacation, Story said.


TLU is one of 27 colleges and universities of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).


Svennungsen joined TLU in July 2007 after serving four years as president and chief executive officer of The Fund for Theological Education, Atlanta.


Why Would Anyone Leave ELCA?


Among those approved May 24 by the candidacy committee of the ELCA Sierra Pacific Synod were, from left,
the Rev. Dawn Roginski, the Rev. Sharon Stalkfleet, the Rev. Ross Merkel, the Rev. Steve Sabin, the Rev. Paul Brenner and the Rev. Jeff Johnson.
Not pictured: the Rev. Craig Minich and the Rev. Megan Rohrer.



May 25, 2010

Two Dismissed Pastors, Others Welcomed to ELCA Clergy Roster


CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Two dismissed pastors have been welcomed back to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The candidacy committee of the ELCA Sierra Pacific Synod, Oakland, Calif., met May 24 and unanimously approved the reinstatement of the pastors to the ELCA clergy roster, and it also approved for reception six pastors from Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM).

According to the synod, a formal Rite of Reception for the pastors will be offered this summer.

The Rev. Ross D. Merkel, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Oakland, and the Rev. Steven P. Sabin, Christ Church Lutheran, San Francisco, have been approved for reinstatement.

In 1998 Sabin was removed from the ELCA clergy roster for being in a committed, same-sex relationship while serving as pastor at Lord of Life Lutheran Church, Ames, Iowa. His removal by an ELCA discipline committee drew national attention.

"I am relieved and happy that a long and painful episode in my relationship with my church family is ending. I look forward with hope to the restored partnership and opportunities for service that the actions of the 2009 Churchwide Assembly and the Sierra Pacific Candidacy Committee have made possible," said Sabin.

"For two decades, many have been grieved and alienated by the ELCA's exclusion of gay and lesbian pastors blessed with loving spouses. I hope and pray that they can, like me, lay aside the hurts and take hope from the gracious power of God to renew and direct the church into evermore faithful and effective proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope that this will be the beginning of a new period of evangelical outreach for the ELCA aided by our new witness to the forgiveness and grace of God truly being for all people," said Sabin. "Like the psalmist, I can only observe with awe and gratitude: 'This is the Lord's doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.'"

ELM pastors approved for reception to the ELCA clergy roster are:
+ the Rev. Jeff R. Johnson, pastor, University Lutheran Chapel of Berkeley, Berkeley, Calif.
+ the Rev. Craig Minich, pastor of youth ministries, Oakland-Berkeley Lutheran Youth Program
+ the Rev. Dawn Roginski, pastor of parish programs, St. Francis Lutheran Church, San Francisco
+ the Rev. Megan Rohrer, executive director, WELCOME, San Francisco
+ the Rev. Paul R. Brenner, St. Francis Lutheran Church, San Francisco
+ the Rev. Sharon Stalkfleet, Lutheran Ministry to Nursing Homes, Oakland.
ELM is an organization that credentials qualified candidates of "all sexual orientations and gender identities" for ordained ministry.

"Twenty years ago when I was ordained, we could dimly imagine that Lutherans would one day fully recognize lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people," said Johnson in a May 24 ELM news release. "I'm very thankful for all who have helped to carry this struggle forward and for our church which has finally opened up to the new and exciting future God has in store for us," he said.

"I was very pleased by how the candidacy committee came together," said the Rev. Mark W. Holmerud, bishop, ELCA Sierra Pacific Synod. "This was a special meeting of the committee. We in the synod felt it was important to move forward with this process in a timely manner, so the committee agreed to this special meeting," he told the ELCA News Service.

"I am deeply grateful to the ELM pastors, and the two pastors who were removed from the ELCA roster, for their grace and good will in being a part of this process; to the members of the (Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary) faculty who made arrangements to be at this meeting, and to the candidacy committee for their faithful deliberations which have made it possible for these pastors to be brought onto the roster of the ELCA," said Holmerud.

"One of the things that was lived out yesterday was the sense that we were not examining the candidates but rather hearing stories of ministries from pastors who were already actively carrying out the gospel mission. That set the tenor of the meeting," said the Rev. Nancy Feniuk Nelson, bishop's associate, ELCA Sierra Pacific Synod.

"This was by no means an examination. It was a sharing about ministry and a celebration of ministry. We had a worship service that included the former ELM candidacy committee, the present ELCA candidacy committee, the ELM pastors and faculty from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, including the seminary president, the Rev. Phyllis B. Anderson. It was a very moving worship. Bishop Mark and I did the first interviews of all the candidates, and I became profoundly aware of how grateful I am to be a part of this process in this time of the church," Nelson told the ELCA News Service.

Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary is one of eight ELCA seminaries.

Earlier this month at the synod assembly Holmerud lifted a public censure and admonition placed on University Lutheran Chapel of Berkeley in 2000 for calling the Rev. Jeff R. Johnson, who was not a member of the ELCA clergy roster. Johnson was also elected at the assembly to the serve on the ELCA Sierra Pacific Synod Council.

In a May 6 letter to the congregation, Holmerud said by "lifting this censure, the members of the congregation of University Lutheran are hereby welcome into full participation in the mission and ministry of the Sierra Pacific Synod" and the ELCA.

Holmerud wrote that the actions of the 2009 ELCA Churchwide Assembly "have brought us to a new day."

The 2009 assembly called for revisions to ministry policy documents, making it possible for Lutherans in committed, publicly accountable, lifelong, monogamous same-gender relationships to serve as ELCA clergy and professional lay leaders. The ELCA Church Council adopted the revisions to ministry policy documents April 10.

"This is another important day for so many in the church," said Amalia Vagts, ELM executive director. "It is wonderful to have leaders like Bishop Mark Holmerud and Bishop's Associate Nancy Feniuk Nelson and the members of the Sierra Pacific candidacy committee demonstrating holy hospitality to all," she said.