The Glory Has Departed
Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence
Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Saturday, May 14, 2011
i-eat-pietists (http://i-eat-pietists.myopenid.com/) has left a new comment on your post "Imagine a Doctrinal Pussycat Writing a Public Letter...":
I hardly think you can go so far as to say that Pres. Schroeder is allowing "love" to overcome all forms of doctrine. Likely, the whole situation is not known and false conclusions are being drawn. If your first assumption is that they are heterodox, then you are going to see that in everything they say and do, but if you don't, and know that these men are faithful students of the Word, then one can easily see how this could be more than just showing love and slacking in doctrine. Even so, fellowship is not a haughty, demoralizing doctrine that we preach, but rather it is a teaching of the joy believers share with each other. For the sake of true unity, we separate ourselves from those who teach false doctrine. Knowing this and that pastors are taught such things, couldn't we assume that there was far more to this situation than just what Pres. Schroeder said?
Brett Meyer has left a new comment on your post "Imagine a Doctrinal Pussycat Writing a Public Lett...":
Other blogs are simply gushing about (W)ELS President Mark Schroeder's 2011 Emmaus Conference statements. I take it they agree 100% with his confession. That, or, they are using the New Age NNIV version of Matthew 18 - you can publicly praise a person's public confession but any criticism must be expressed privately.
In his Emmaus essay President Schroeder relates a situation where a young WELS pastor was faced with a decision to allow a congregation member's tearful sister to commune with her even though the visiting sister was a member of the Lutheran Church - Canada (LC-C is in fellowship with the LCMS). The WELS pastor allowed the sister to commune with the congregation and her sister. Pastor Schroeder finished this example by stating, "But it was an exception that a loving application of fellowship principles allowed - even demanded - him to make." [page 46]
By this confession the President of the (W)ELS teaches that Love and Loving applications of doctrine may allow, nay, it demands that the church act against God's Word, against Christ and His doctrine. And since nowhere in Scripture, or the Lutheran Confessions, is this taught the exercise of these Loving applications are completely subjective and at the discretion of the clergy and laity. Therefore we have the situation at St. Peter where the overwhelming love for lost souls has lead the church and synod district officials to teach and practice falsely with an eye on making disciples for Christ. What did Ski say he would do to make a disciple, "everything short of sinning."
Chances are you won't hear anyone publicly rebuke the false statement by President Schroeder. They are far too eager to reunite the old synodical conference even though each of them, the ELS, WELS and LCMS, are utterly rotting with false teaching and false practice contrary to Scripture, Christ and the Lutheran Confessions. Will the faint milquetoast confessional voices be able to stem the tide of a united apostasy? Not likely since they are unwilling to publicly confess the central doctrine of Justification with "this we confess" and "this we condemn" for fear of offending their unbelieving "Christian" brothers and sisters. All while Jeske and Time of Grace risk a major groin pull while straddling the (W)ELS and LCMS. And if the ELS was willing to strip naked and spin one hundred and eighty degrees on the doctrine of the Public Ministry of the Word in order to create fellowship with the WELS, what are they not capable of, or willing to do, to merge with the LCMS (or Rome).
The (W)ELS willingness to challenge Christ's doctrine was quite evident with ELS President John Moldstad's response to the issue of women's suffrage in the church at the Emmaus Conference. Pres. Moldstad stated that although women are currently not allowed to vote in the congregations there may be ways to change the governance of churches that would then allow them to actively participate in the decisions. All that's left to say is, "Welcome to the LCMS".
GJ - More later. For the moment, admire the graphic and dwell on the words.
AC V has left a new comment on your post "Closed Communion Means Holy Communion within the C...":
Dwelling on these words "when that is the very point in which most of all we differ;"
Don't have the context in front of me, but considering the confessional battles taking place in Schmauk's day, was he referring to union efforts between Real Presence Lutherans and Representative Presence "Protestants"? That's a far cry from an exceptional case of a WELS pastor communing a confessional Lutheran who happens to belong to a Lutheran synod with which the WELS is not in fellowship.
GJ - I am back. I was thinking about the Mark Schroeder anecdote during my absence. I find it a bit condescending to hear examples of WELS pastors actually communing LCMS laity, because every WELS pastoral story begins with how truly awful Missouri is - compared to the glories of the Wisconsin Sect. WELS leaders like to prove how dumb and uneducated the Missouri pastors are, leaving me to wonder, "Dumber than Fox Valley?" Or Missouri has no doctrinal discipline. Again I wonder, "Unlike WELS?"
Holy Communion is a pastoral and congregational act, just the opposite of distributing Quarter Pounders at McDonalds. There is no Constitutional right to commune at another parish. People in the same sect should generally stick to their own congregation. I recall a couple of women who visited a WELS congregation with a traditional pastor, a friend of mine. They spent the Bible study hour arguing against the WELS position on women usurping authority, which made sense - they were usurping authority and trying to teach men, including the pastor leading the class. They were from St. Paul German Village, Columbus, which was not a member of WELS at that time. The pastor of the church they visited refused to commune them because of their disavowal of Biblical and practice. They went away in a terrible huff, and the circuit pastor (also their pastor) was very sympathetic about their noble cause.
The presumption of open communion, semi-open communion, demi-semi open communion, and close communion comes from its advocates. I recall a woman who visited during the Greek Orthodox Church tour and expected to be communed, without being Greek Orthodox. She was quite insistent, but the priest said, "You need to take classes and join the congregation." She wanted to bypass the fuss and bother.
In ancient days, Holy Communion was offered only to communicants. The visitors were ushered out and the doors were locked. That is closed communion.
I am not going to look up the exact wording of Mark Schroeder's anecdote and decide upon it. The three sects are collapsing toward each other, based on a common mockery of justification by faith, a mutual embrace of Maggot Church (Emergent Church) blasphemies.
Missouri, WELS, and the Little Sect on the Prairie commune with Leonard Sweet, various Roman Catholic dignitaries (some straight, some not so), Craig Groeschel, Bill Hybels, Mark Driscoll, Ed Stetzer, Andy Stanley, and many more. These "conservative Lutherans" invite these clowns to teach them the Word of God. These "conservative Lutherans" promote their books, paying money to their odious schools of nonsense. These "conservative Lutherans" have no problem with their own pastors giving sermons verbatim from the apostates mentioned above.
Is communion between WELS and Missouri actually the issue? That is like asking whether one should put down the lid in the head when the Titanic is already half-sunk.
The three sects should be honest and espouse the open communion they already practice with all denominations. The ELS is known for communing ELCA members. Jay Webber advocated it, because "it is easier when relatives visit." The Wisconsin Sect missions people have mandated Don't Ask, Don't Tell communion practices for decades, so they have done the same thing.
Denying people Holy Communion because of their doctrinal affiliation is the best way to get them to change. The Word of God offends or converts, hardens or enlightens. I could give many examples, but the blind will only become blinder if I do.
Posted by Gregory Jackson at 3:42 PM