The Glory Has Departed

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Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:10-13 KJV

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Lutheran Church Is Becoming the Farm Team for Roman Catholicism

Sometimes Rome comes to the WELS college.
Archbishop Weakland was the featured speaker at Willowcreek's Liberal College in Milwaukee.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hidden Message

Preaching a forgiveness of sins prior to faith; or a hearing of the Word renders the Law useless.  All it leaves is a preaching of works righteousness; or using the Gospel as Law; teaching how you must now live.

As I reviewed the recording from the meeting last Sunday, it was stated that a certain young man was being released to the Roman Catholic Church.  No doubt he will be hearing a message similar to what he heard at Holy Word albeit in a more formal setting.  What is disheartening is that he is the son of one of the Elders.

More Details on LCMS Seminary Fraud

bruce-church ( has left a new comment on your post "Lutheran Seminary Fraud: Students Are Bankrupting ...":

Throughout the interview, Rev. Herb Mueller never said anything about bringing the price of seminary education down so more non-calling congregations could actually afford to call a candidate without monstrous student loan bills. He instead blamed the unaffordability factor on the rising cost of health insurance and benefits.

He did mention that the LCMS should work more with congregations to get them ready to call a pastor, and also pastors should be willing to accept calls where they will need a part-time job to make ends meet.

He did mention that in the past that seminary recruiters did include non-calling congregations in their figures to make it seem as though there were hundreds of long-term unfilled vacancies, and said it was not exactly dishonest to do so, but it wasn't exactly telling the whole truth, either.

I wonder whether, without that bit of misinformation, all the building projects at the seminaries would have been started. Surely that disinformation prematurely shut down any talk of merging the seminaries into one campus, or at least two campuses with one administration, and now those seminaries are as costly as ever with fewer students than ever, too.

He said that LCMS's World Relief (Harrison's old outfit) did help seminary students who didn't receive calls in the past, like the 13 Ft. Wayne students last year for some time.

He mentioned that back in 1939 his father didn't receive a call for two years due to the bad economy then. I say that all those kind of stories are quaint but irrelevant since back then the students weren't greatly indebted by the colleges and seminaries to the federal government. So they could go back to their towns or farms and wait for a long delayed call, and it was no great loss to them. Synod officials should not gauge their conduct by antiquated standards.
Issues Etc: The Shortage of Pastoral Calls in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

Interviewee: Pastor Herb Mueller, First Vice President of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod

UOJ and Church Growth Work Well Together:
Universalism Under Wraps

Universalism is always on the mind of UOJ Enthusiasts.

Nothing gets WELSian Geneva gowns twisted up faster than charging them with Universalism.

VP Patterson's district head-faked the issue by providing a paper that quoted from the Unitarian-Universalist Association website and concluded, "We do not believe that."

I decided to gather a few links about Universalism. Not long ago I was intrigued by the Universalist hymnal, which was full of traditional hymns. Old Universalism is fairly traditional, Trinitarian, and straight-laced. My neighbor from Columbus stressed that his Universalist church did not agree with the Unitarians about all the radical social issues, such as homosexuality.

The key to tradition Universalism is universal forgiveness and salvation.

The Universalist Church supported a belief in universalism in their "Winchester Profession of Faith" which they kept on their books from about 1800 until their merger with the Unitarians in 1961. However during their last 25 years of their existence (from 1935 to 1961) a new statement of belief held sway which made no mention of universal salvation. Still, the Winchester Profession remained as an alternate optional belief system with the subtle implication that it was passe. Belief in it was strong among the older members, most of whom are not alive today. What Is Universalism?

The Bond of Fellowship and Statements of Faith (Adopted at Washington DC, 1935)

1. The bond of fellowship in the convention [church] shall be a common purpose to do the will of God as Jesus revealed it and to cooperate in establishing the kingdom for which he lived and died. To that end we avow our faith in God as Eternal and All-conquering Love, in the spiritual leadership of Jesus, in the supreme worth of every human personality, in the authority of truth known or to be known, and in the power of men of good-will and sacrificial spirit to overcome all evil and progressively establish the kingdom of God. Neither this nor any other statement shall be imposed as a creedal test, provided that the faith thus indicated be professed.

2a. The Winchester Profession of Faith: We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament contain a revelation of the character of God, and of the duty, interest and final destination of mankind. We believe that there is one God, whose nature is Love, revealed in one Lord Jesus Christ, by one Holy Spirit of Grace, who will finally restore the whole family of mankind to holiness and happiness. We believe that holiness and true happiness are inseparably connected, and that believers ought to be careful to maintain order and practice good works; for these things are good and profitable unto men.

2b. Creed and Conditions of Fellowship: The Profession of Faith adopted by this body at its session at Winchester, N.H., A.D. 1803, is as follows: [Here insert 2a. above] The conditions of fellowship in this Convention shall be as follows: I. The acceptance of the essential principles of the Universalist faith, to wit: The Universal fatherhood of God; the spiritual authority and leadership of His Son Jesus Christ; the trustworthiness of the Bible as containing a revelation from God; the certainty of just retribution for sin; the final harmony of all souls with God. The Winchester Profession is commended as containing these principles, but neither this nor any other precise form of words, is required as a condition of fellowship, provided always that the principles above stated be professed. II. The acknowledgement of the authority of the General Convention and assent to its laws.

2c. These historic declarations of faith [2a. & 2b.] with liberty of interpretation are dear and acceptable to many Universalists. They are commended not as tests but as testimonies in the free quest for truth that accords with the genius of the Universalist Church.

3. The conditions of fellowship in the Convention [church] shall be acceptance of the essential principles of the Universalist faith and acknowledgement of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Universalist General Convention.

[End of the "Bond of Fellowship ..." Note that 2c. makes 2a. and 2b. optional alternative statements of belief.] ---


by Matt Slick

Universalism is the teaching that all people will be saved. Some say that it is through the atonement of Jesus that all will ultimately be reconciled to God. Others just say that all will go to heaven sooner or later, whether or not they have trusted in or rejected Jesus as savior during their lifetime. This universal redemption will be realized in the future where God will bring all people to repentance. This repentance can happen while a person lives or after he has died and lived again in the millennium (as some "Christian universalists" claim) or some future state. Additionally, a few universalists even maintain that Satan and all demons will likewise be reconciled to God.

Nevertheless, both facets of universalistic belief are in serious error.

GJ - Note that WELS is far beyond this definition of Universalism, because WELS teaches (Jon Buchholz and Mequon faculty) that people are already forgiven and saved. Salvation is not in the future but past, done, finished, period, end of story, as Buchholz solemnly declared at a WELS convention.


This is an argument for Christian Universalism.


GJ - Three prominent Church Growth heroes of WELS are outspoken atheists or like Mark Frieer - obviously indifferent.UOJ is Universalism in disguise, and Universalism is one step away from honest atheism. Have I mentioned today that Karl Barth taught the universal restoration of mankind? He is the official theologian/adulterer of Fuller Seminary.

Bob Schumann, who plagued Columbus, helped by buddies Stolzenburg and Kuske, is a loud-mouthed atheist today. Oelhaven practically wet himself when Schumann was hired as the second pastor. Some think he drove Keith Roehl to a premature death.

Mark Freier, known as p-boy in his district (for his favorite five-letter topic), was all over the synod spreading his wisdom. He made Ski's current excesses possible. Mark's last roost was CrossRoads in S. Lyons (another Kuske project), which is now an Evangelical Covenant parish. Freier is not a Lutheran pastor now but he rents himself for weddings, any religion or no religion. Hindu - will do.

Curtis Peterson came into WELS Church Growth from LCMS Church Growth. He made a point of defending Church Growth, so he landed on the world missions board with David Valleskey (who never studied at Fuller Seminary). Peterson is now a proud member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Curtis A. Peterson holds a B.A. from Concordia Senior College, Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and a M.Div and STM (l966 and l983 respectively) from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri. 

In almost 30 years in the ministry in both the Missouri and Wisconsin Synods, he was an activist with many published articles supporting the orthodox Lutheran cause in the "Battle for the Bible" in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and author of several articles in the Wisconsin Synod between l987 and l995. He also delivered several essays at pastoral conferences during those years. 

He served congregations in Burlington, N.C., Rock Falls, Ill., Garland, Tex. and Gretna, La., in the LCMS and in Milwaukee, Wis. in the WELS. 

A Foundation member, he is now retired, resides in Wisconsin and calls himself a humanist and a freethinker.

He still has plenty of material in the WELS Holy of Holies, the Essay Files

UOJ Fanatics Obscure Their Errors by Splitting Verses, Ignoring Context: Some Examples

Participants at the recent Emmaus conference chuckle as the moderator describes a Tweet he just got describing them:
Helpless (Schroeder), Hopeless (Moldstad), and Hapless (Harrison).

Part One 
UOJ Enthusiasts promote their cause by saying that every single person is forgiven. "He was raised for our justification!" they claim. They cite Romans 4:25 with satisfaction -

KJV Romans 4:25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

They have the Brief Statement, 1932, to back them up, because the section on justification says the same thing and cites Romans 4:25 for support.

But the whole picture changes when the entire section is read:

KJV Romans 4:23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

The context, all of Romans 4, shows that Abraham is the centerpiece as example of justification by faith.

KJV Romans 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. One article of the Formula of Concord is "The Righteousness of Faith."

The Apostle is especially clear in this verse as well:

KJV Romans 4:16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

And here: KJV Romans 4:22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness [faith is accounted as righteousness].

This answers the question, How was Abraham forgiven? The response from the Word is - He was justified by faith.

The Apostle applies that lesson to all of us: KJV Romans 4:23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

At this point we can see that citing Romans 4:25 is deliberately deceptive and deceitful, yet Missouri adopted that fraudulent exegesis and raised the Brief Statement of 1932 (unlike the others) above the Book of Concord and the Scriptures. The Syn Conference went along with the deception because Hoenecke and Gausewitz were dead. In time, double-justification from Halle University became canon law.

The situation is even worse than Romans 4:23-25 suggests, because chapter breaks are artificial, imposed much later to facilitate debates. Paul's argument does not stop at Romans 4:25 but forms a transition with the great summary of Romans 5:1-2 -

KJV Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. How this happens is answered clearly in Isaiah 55 and Romans 10.

Part Two

Another UOJ argument centers on one verse, splitting it from the subsequent, explanatory verse. A typical reader can follow the development of Paul's themes in Romans. Justification by faith, apart from the works of the Law, is the theme of Romans 1-5. Romans 6 begins the section on sanctification.

Here the fave verse for UOJ from Romans 5 - 5:18.

KJV Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

The italics show that the translators have inserted words not found in the Greek. Lenski thinks this is a bad idea. He liked the emphasis created by the bare text.

Does this mean: A. Just as one man brought sin and condemnation to every single person, and so One Man brought forgiveness to every single man?


B. Just as one man brought sin and condemnation to every single person, even so through the righteousness of One the justification of life upon all people.

That is answered with perfect clarity by Romans 5:19

KJV Romans 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Greek is precise, so many means "many" and not "all."

Anyone can see that Romans 5:18 wars against limited atonement, the concept that Christ died only for the elect. The atonement is for all mankind, but the atonement is not justification. Romans 5:18 is a great Gospel verse, but it cannot be pretzeled into a UOJ seat of doctrine (sedes doctrinae).

UOJ advocates like to shout, "What else could this mean than every single person is forgiven?" It could and it does mean that Christ paid the price for the sins of the entire world. The atonement is not justification because justification is accomplished through the Word of God.

Attaching a universal absolution to the crucifixion is double vexing, because it leaves the Old Testament believers without righteousness and contradicts the entire Tanakh. Even worse - if one can measure such an absurdity - it renders all Christian doctrine worship and doctrine as adiaphora. Everyone is born forgiven, they imagine, so all we have to do is gather them together and tell them to accept this truth of universal forgiveness. That is why Lutherdom has collapsed - not from abandoning Pieper and Walther - but by canonizing their false doctrine of Halle Enthusiasm.

Calov and Gerhard have both been cited as great theologians who endorsed UOJ, but the following quotations prove that is not true. Mequon even has justification by faith quotations that they label in their domatics notes as "misleading."

This Calov quotation obliterates all UOJ claims.

Gerhard was close enough to the Concordists to publish with Chemnitz, who studied under Luther and Melanchthon. This quotation also destroys the claims of UOJ.

Rolf Preus and Jack Cascione use to cite Robert Preus for UOJ, because the Ft. Wayne president was a UOJ advocate (Norwegian Pietism) when Concordia Seminary was in full bloom for Church Growth Enthusiasm. However, Dr. Preus refuted UOJ in the following quotations.

Quenstedt was a favorite theologian for Dr. Preus. He wanted to name one of his many sons Quenstedt, so citing this theologian in his last work is especially noteworthy.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Luther's Sermons:
Prescription for Today's Ills

I read Luther's sermons to Mrs. Ichabod almost every day. We use the Baker edition I bought many years ago. I also have the house postil set. Now they are combined for a low cost.

I have given up on shaming the shameless - not that I will stop posting news. The process is so deeply embedded in WELS and Missouri that few will do anything about it. Luther wrote, "When bad is good, and good is bad, nothing can be done." The inevitable effect of natural law will do its work, as it has so many times before.

If the clergy and laity actually care more about the Gospel than they do about balancing the budget, the pension fund, and tamping down scandals, they will devote themselves to Luther's sermons. Quotations are good. I even like the ELCA edition of Luther, called Day by Day We Magnify Thee. But nothing substitutes for Luther's sermons.

Luther always believed in the efficacy of the Word and put his complete trust in preaching the Gospel. We cannot call ourselves Luther-ans (deliberate dash) unless we know Luther's sermons as well as the Packers line-up.

The bad news will occur to most people as soon as they read a few sermons. There is such an abyss between the Lutheran leadership of today and Luther's sermons that we have to ask, "What happened?"

One answer is clear enough. Walther has been turned into an idol, with a shrine, a statue to buy from Christian News, and a medal being fashioned by Pope Paul the Unlearned. The irony abounds with McCain and his Walther medal. According to Ferdy hisself, McCain is not a pastor, but McCain poses as one while deftly dodging calls to serve a congregation.

The last word on everything is Walther, who certainly trumps Luther and the Book of Concord. Moreover, Walther clearly lusted for power from the beginning, willing to do anything to get what he wanted, from kidnapping his niece and nephew, to organizing a mob against Bishop Stephan. The society already had procedures set up for dealing with such issues.

Walther had to be top dog in everything and appointed his clones to positions of power, to continue his legacy. He should be an embarrassment to all Syn Conference Lutherans, but the mention of his name is raw meat tossed to the base. Oooh. Aaah. If only we could follow Walther lockstep today! The planet would begin to heal and the oceans would stop rising. (Obama stole that line from the Waltherians.)

The biggest problem in WELS is from the Wauwatosans trained at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. They decided they did not need Luther or the Confessions. They would invent doctrine on their own, from their surpassing knowledge of the Scriptures. At this point, all loyal WELS pastors will ooh and aah. And what qualified the Wauwatosans for this vanity, pride, and self-centeredness? They had degrees from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, and studied under the Walther-Pieper-Stoeckhardt team.

Naturally, people in love with their own ideas will simply re-invent old heresies. Luther taught there are three main heresies: 1. Against the divinity of Christ. 2. Against the humanity of Christ. 3. Against justification by faith.

Walther was a product of Pietism, not Lutheran Orthodoxy. Future research, to be revealed, will show that he was more interested in his own amalgamation of doctrine than in being orthodox. Thus Walther taught Pietism in the guise of Lutheran doctrine. The triumph of UOJ in the 1932 Brief Statement was the beginning of the end for the Syn Conference.

I am going to publish a Luther sermon each week, in both blogs. Google Blogger is having problems with graphics and design, so you may see the format disappear from time to time, only to emerge again from the muck and mire of HTML code.

Luther's sermons are Gospel-centered and always teach justification by faith.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Luther's Sermon on the Pharisee and the Publican:
Eleventh Sunday after Trinity


Sermon for the Eleventh Sunday after Trinity; Luke 18:9-14

A Sermon by Martin Luther; taken from his Church Postil.

[The following sermon is taken from volume IV:337-347 of The Sermons of Martin Luther, published by Baker Book House (Grand Rapids, MI, 1983). It was originally published in 1904 in English by Lutherans in All Lands (Minneapolis, MN), as The Precious and Sacred Writings of Martin Luther, vol. 13. This e-text was scanned and edited by Richard P. Bucher, it is in the public domain and it may be copied and distributed without restriction.]


1. Here again we have a picture and an example of the divine judgment on saints and good people. Two extraordinary persons are presented to us in this Gospel; one thoroughly good and truly pious; and one hypocritically pious. But before we take up the example and consider the terrible sentence, we must first notice that Luke here makes the impression as though righteousness came by works. For Luke is most accustomed to do this, as when we at present preach that faith alone saves, he observes that people are led to desire only to believe, and to neglect the power and fruit of faith. This John also does in his Epistle and James, where they show that faith cannot exist without works.

Thus Luke, in the beginning of his introduction, would speak as follows: I see indeed that many have preached how faith alone saves, by which they have brought the people to strive for a fictitious faith; hence I must also speak of works by which they can be assured of their faith, and prove it to the people by their acts. Consequently it sounds as though Luke everywhere taught that righteousness came by works; as you have recently heard: Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven; and, make unto yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness. And here it appears as though the publican had obtained his goodness by praying and smiting his breast. So this Gospel appears as though we should become good or pious by our works.

2. Now you have heard that a man, before he can do anything good, must by all means first be good. For the truth must always stand: "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit;" and again, "An evil tree cannot bring forth good fruit." Thus a man must first be good, before he can do good. So he also firmly concludes that the publican smote his breast, which proves the conclusion, that he had been good.

3. This has taken place and has been written to the end that we should open our eyes and not judge the people according to their outward appearance. To do this in this instance it is necessary to examine the hearts of both, and not judge according to mere external works. For when the heart is good, the whole man is good. For if I judged the publican according to his works, my judgment would soon be false. For nothing appears in him but sin. Again, if I judge the hypocrite or Pharisee according to his works, I will also miss the mark. For he stands at the holy place, makes the best prayer imaginable, for he praises and thanks God with grand works, he fasts, gives the tenth of all his goods, harms no one; in short, everything, both outwardly and inwardly, appears well with him.

4. As he judges, all men judge; no one can condemn such an upright and virtuous life. Who dare say that fasting is not good; or that to praise God and give everyone what we owe them is evil? When I see a priest, monk, or nun with such apparent noble conduct, I regard them as pious. Who can say otherwise? Hence if I am to judge whether this one is good and the other evil, I must be able to look into the hearts of both. But I cannot see into the heart, and must make the proper distinction from their works, as Christ says: "By their fruits ye shall know them." Mat. 7:20.

5. He speaks of the publican as though he must have previously heard a word from God that touched his heart so that he believed it and thus became pious, as St. Paul says, Rom. 10:17: "So faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." When the Word falls into the heart, then man becomes pure and good. But the Evangelist does not indicate that he now first heard the Gospel here, but that he heard it somewhere, it matters not where. For he says: "God be merciful to me a sinner." This knowledge is above the powers of reason. And yet it must previously have been known to him that God is merciful, gracious and friendly to all those who confess their sins, who call upon him and long for grace. As he heard that God is gracious by virtue of his very nature, to all those who humble themselves and seek comfort in him. But to preach thus is always the pure Gospel.

6. Hence the beginning of goodness or godliness is not in us, but in the Word of God. God must first let his Word sound in our hearts by which we learn to know and to believe him, and afterwards do good works. So we must believe from this that the publican had learned God's Word. If not, it would certainly have been impossible for him to acknowledge himself to be a poor sinner, as this Gospel reports. Indeed, it has a different appearance here, because St. Luke seems to insist more strongly on external works and appearances than on faith, and lays the emphasis more on the outward character and conduct than on the root and on the faith of the heart within. Nevertheless we must conclude that the publican had previously heard the Gospel. Otherwise his smiting his breast and his humble confession would not have occurred, had he not previously had faith in his heart.

7. This is also proper fruit, since it promotes God's honor; as God desires nothing but the offering of praise, as Psalms, 50:23, says: "Whoso offereth the sacrifice of thanksgiving glorifieth me, and to him that ordereth his way aright, will I show the salvation of God." In this way the publican also proceeds, gives God the offering of thanksgiving and secures to himself the forgiveness of sin, and praises God, puts himself to shame and exalts the truth above himself. Therefore we must praise and commend his work, because he gives God the highest honor and true worship. For he says: "God, be thou merciful to me a sinner." As though he would say: I am a rogue, this I confess, as you yourself know. Here you see that he confesses the truth, and is willing that God should reprove and revile him; yea, he does this himself, and casts himself down the very lowest, and with God he again rises upward, gives glory to God that he is gracious, kind and merciful. But in himself he finds nothing but sin. Wherefore these are the true fruits of faith.

8. Thus we have learned from his fruits the publican's faith. But how shall we understand what Christ says: "This man went down to his house justified," as he had already been just through faith, before he smote his breast? He certainly must have been just before. Why then does Christ say here: "He went down to his house justified?" This is what I have often said, if faith be true, it will break forth and bear fruit. If the tree is green and good, it will not cease to blossom forth in leaves and fruit. It does this by nature. I need not first command it and say: Look here, tree, bear apples. For if the tree is there and is good, the fruit will follow unbidden. If faith is present works must follow. If I confess that I am a sinner, it must follow that I will say: Alas God! I am a rogue, do thou cause me to be good. So this publican cares for nothing and speaks freely, though he puts himself to shame before all people, he does not care for that, as Ps. 116:10 says: "I believe, for I will speak. I was greatly afflicted," and says: "God, be thou merciful to me a sinner!" As though be would say: I now see that I am lost, for I am a bad man, and acknowledge my sins. Unless I believe and hold to God's mercy, and take the cup of the Saviour and call upon God's grace, I will be ruined.

9. Thus faith casts itself on God, and breaks forth and becomes certain through its works. When this takes place a person becomes known to me and to other people. For when I thus break forth I spare neither man nor devil, I cast myself down, and will have nothing to do with lofty affairs, and will regard myself as the poorest sinner on earth. This assures me of my, faith. For this is what it says: "This man went down to his house justified." Thus we attribute salvation as the principal thing to faith, and works as the witnesses of faith. They make one so certain that he concludes from the outward life that the faith is genuine.

10. We find this also in Abraham when he offers his son Isaac. Then God said: "For now I know that thou fearest God," Gen. 22:12. Surely, if he had not feared God, he would not have offered his son; and by this we know the fruit to be thoroughly good. Let us now heartily apply this to ourselves.

11. This is why St. Luke and St. James have so much to say about works, so that one says: Yes, I will now believe, and then he goes and fabricates for himself a fictitious delusion, which hovers only on the lips as the foam on the water. No, no; faith is a living and an essential thing, which makes a new creature of man, changes his spirit and wholly and completely converts him. It goes to the foundation and there accomplishes a renewal of the entire man; so, if I have previously seen a sinner, I now see in his changed conduct, manner and life, that he believes. So high and great a thing is faith.

For this reason the Holy Spirit urges works, that they may be witnesses of faith. In those therefore in whom we cannot realize good works, we can immediately say and conclude: they heard of faith, but it did not sink into good soil. For if you continue in pride and lewdness, in greed and anger, and yet talk much of faith, St. Paul will come and say, 1 Cor. 4:20, look here my dear Sir, "the kingdom
of God is not in word but in power." It requires life and action, and is not brought about by mere talk.

12. Thus we err on both sides in saying, a person must only believe, then he will neglect to do good works and bring forth good fruits. Again, if you preach works, the people immediately comfort themselves and trust in works. Therefore we must walk upon the common path. Faith alone must make us good and save us. But to know whether faith is right and true, you must show it by your works. God cannot endure your dissembling, for this reason he has appointed you a sermon which praises works, which are only witnesses that you believe, and must be performed not thereby to merit anything, but they should be done freely and gratuitously toward our neighbor.

13. This must be practiced until it becomes a second nature with us. For thus God has also introduced works, as though he would say: if you believe, then you have the kingdom of heaven; and yet, in order that you may not deceive yourselves, do the works. To this the Lord refers in John 15:17, when he says to his disciples: "These things I command you, that ye may love one another." And previous to this at the supper he said, John 13:34-35: "A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another: even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." And shortly before this he said, v. 5: "For I have given you an example, that ye also should do as I have done to you."

As though he would say: Ye are my friends, but this the people will not know by your faith, but when you show the fruits of faith, and break forth in love, then they will know you. The fruits will not save you nor make you any friends, but they must show and prove that you are saved and are my friends. Therefore mark this well, that faith alone makes us good; but as faith lies concealed within me, and is a great life, a great treasure, therefore the works must come forth and bear witness of the faith, to praise God's grace and condemn the works of men. You must cast your eyes to the earth and humiliate yourself before everyone, that you may also win your neighbor by your services; for this reason God lets you live, otherwise nothing would be better for you than to die and go to heaven. This you now also observe clearly in the good publican.

14. So you find two judgments: one according to faith, the other according to outward works. The foundation you have in that faith is concealed; this he feels, who believes; but that is not enough, it must express itself as you see above in the publican, who breaks forth in humility, so much as not to lift his eyes to heaven, smites on his breast and praises God, by which he helps me to say when my sins oppress me: Behold, the publican also was a sinner and said: "God, be thou merciful to me a sinner;" thus too, I will do. By this will I also be strengthened so that when I see my sins I will think of his example, and with it comfort and strengthen myself, so that I can say: Oh God, I see in the publican that thou art gracious to poor sinners. Faith the believer keeps for himself, but externally he communicates its fruits to other people.

15. The publican is on the right road and is twice justified; once through faith before God, and again by his works to me. Here he gives unto God his glory, and by faith repays him with praise. Also toward me he performs the duty of love, and puts words into my month and teaches me how to pray. Now he has paid all his debts toward God and man. So faith urges him to do; without however requiring anything from God as a reward of faith.

16. This is one character of the publican, who, according to faith which is the spiritual judgment, is acknowledged justified, while according to the flesh he is unprofitable. For the Pharisee passes and does not notice him, sees not his faith, lets him stand way back, and sees him alone in his sins, and knows not that God has been gracious to him, and converted and reformed him. So when a carnally minded man would condemn a sinner according to his sins, it is otherwise impossible, he must fail.

17. Let us now consider the fool, the Pharisee. Here are most beautiful works. In the first place he thanks God, fasts twice in the week, and all this to honor God, not St. Nicholas or St. Barnabas, he gives the tenth of all his goods, nor has he at any time committed adultery, has never done any one violence or robbed him of his goods. Thus he has conducted himself in an exemplary manner. This is a beautiful honest life, and excites our wonder and surprise. Truly, after the fashion of the world no one could find fault with him, yea, one must praise him. Yes, to be sure he does this himself.

18. But God is the first to come and say, that all the work of the Pharisee is blasphemy. God help us, what an awful sentence this is! Priests and nuns may well be terrifled by it, and all their bones quake, as you scarcely ever find one of them as pious as this Pharisee. Would to God we could have many such hypocrites and Pharisees; for then they could be taught better things.

19. Well, what is the matter with the good man? Only this, he does not know his own heart. Here you see that we are our own greatest enemies, who close our eyes and hearts, and think we are as we feel. For if I should ask any such hypocrite: Sir, do you mean just what you say? he would take an oath, that it is not otherwise. But behold, see how deep God's sword cuts, and pierces through all the recesses of the soul, Heb. 4:12. Here everything must go to ruin, or fall to the earth in humiliation, otherwise nothing can stand before God. Thus a pious woman must here fall down and kiss the vilest harlot's feet, yea, her footprints.

20. Now let us better see and hear what the Lord says to this. There stands the publican and humbles himself, says nothing of fasting, nothing of his good works, nor of anything. Yet the Lord says that his sins are not so great as the sins of the hypocrite; even in spite of anyone now exalting himself above the lowest sinner. If I exalt myself a finger's breadth above my neighbor, or the vilest sinner, then am I cast down. For the publican during his whole life did not do as many and as great sins as this Pharisee does here when he says: I thank thee God that, I am not as other men are; and lies enough to burst all heaven. From him you hear no word like: "God, be thou merciful to me a sinner!" God's mercy, sympathy, patience and love are all forgotten by him, while God is nothing but pure mercy, and he who does not know this, thinks there is no God, as in Psalm 14:1: "The fool hath Said in his heart, There is no God." So it is with an unbeliever who does not know himself. Therefore I say one thing more, if he had committed the vilest sin and deflowered virgins, it would not have been as bad as when he says: "I thank thee God, that I am not as the rest of men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican." Yes, yes, do I hear you have no need of God and despise his goodness, mercy, love and everything that God is? Behold, these are thy sins. Hence the public gross sins that break out are insignificant; but unbelief which is in the heart and we cannot see, this is the real sin in which monks and priests strut forth; these lost and corrupt ones are sunk head and ears in this sin, and pretend to be entirely free from it.

21. Further, since he has now blasphenied God and lied to him, because he is unwilling to confess his sins, he falls further and sins against love to his neighbor, in that he says: "Even as this publican." He could not bear his presence without blaming and condemning him. Here all commandments are abolished and transgressed, for he denies God and does his neighbor no good. In this way he goes to ruin, because he has not obeyed a letter of the law. For if he had said: Oh God, we are all sinners, this poor sinner is also like myself and all the rest: and had he joined the congregation and said: Oh God, be merciful unto us! then he would have fulfilled God's commandment, namely, the first, in that he gave God the honor and the praise, and had he afterwards said: Oh God, I see this one is a sinner, in the jaws of the devil; dear Lord, help him! and had he thus brought him to God and prayed to God for him, be would then also have obeyed the other commandment of Christian love as Paul says, Gal. 6:2, and teaches: "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."

22. Now he comes and praises himself that he is just. He has a poisonous, wicked heart, who praises himself most gloriously on account of his pretended good works, how he fasted and gave the tenth of all he had. Hence he is so full of hatred to his neighbor, if God allowed him to judge, he would plunge the poor publican down into the deepest hell. Behold, is not this a wicked heart and terrible to hear, that I would all men should go to ruin, if only I be praised? Yet all this is so finely decorated and adorned by external conduct, that no one can censure it. Here we see how we are to know the tree from its fruits. For when I view his heart with spiritual eyes, I recognize it is full of blasphemy and hatred to his neighbor. From these fruits I know that the tree is evil. For works would not be evil in themselves, but the evil root in the heart makes them evil. This is set before us that we may beware and guard ourselves against it.

23. Again, on the other hand, examine the heart also of the publican. Here we find that he believes. Hence his works are good and of service to the whole world, for he teaches that a man should humble himself and praise God. On the contrary the other with his works makes saints who are puffed up and proud of heart; for be is entrapped in sins, his soul is condemned, and is fast in the jaws of the devil, and the high minded knave steps forth and praises himself, because his neighbor over there is a sinner. To sum up all, he misleads the whole world with his hypocritical life. Thus we must judge the fruits with spiritual eyes as we have now judged these two; then we will know the tree whether it be good or evil.

24. Now, where did I obtain this judgment? Here: God has given me his law like a mirror, in which I see what is good and evil. It says: Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself," Deut. 6:5, Mat. 22:37. Now the works of the publican praise God and benefit the whole world, because they teach us to know, and show us the way of God our Saviour. Therefore they are good because they praise God and benefit our neighbor. On the other hand, the hypocrite struts forth and blasphemes God, and with his corrupt life misleads the whole world.

25. I should also speak of the great and shameful vice of slander, when one belies another, exposes him and speaks evil of him; while we are all alike after all, and no one has a reason to exalt himself above another. But that the government judges and punishes crime, it does by virtue of its office. For it wields the sword to make the transgressor fear. For God will not tolerate sin, and desires that the wicked have no rest, as the prophet Isaiah says, 48:22: "There is no peace, saith Jehovah, to the wicked." Therefore where God does not internally disturb sinners, he will wipe out sin by fire and water, that they can have no peace from without. When such sins are to be punished, the officers, judges and people should think thus: Oh God! although I myself am a poor sinner and a much greater one than this person, and a much greater thief and adulterer than this one; still I will execute my office and leave him no rest in his sins and belabor him; for this is thy divine command. Concerning this I have said more on other occasions, especially in my book on the Civil Government, which you can read yourself; for the present let this suffice, and pray God for grace.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Holy Word Follows Protes'tant Recipe
For Getting Rid of Members

Holy Word (WELS) Staff Minister Chad White attended Exponential with District VP Don Patterson.
Chad's wife, Cindy, seems to suffer from separation anxiety.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

You're Out of Order
Joe Krohn: That was it in a nutshell and took all of about six and a half minutes.  Of course the Holy Word Voter's meeting went on for longer than that, but we did not stay.  There was no need.  We were terminated.  But it was nice to see some familiar faces and catch up a little bit at least. 

Some said hello to us and said it was good to see us.  For others in such circumstances it was difficult I'm sure. Pity that none of the laity (unless you were an Elder or Councilman) that was present today that voted on our dismissal even knew what the point of contention was.  Holy Word's leadership did not distribute their 'Letter of Termination' nor our letter of rebuttal dated August 9, 2011 to anyone outside of their conclave.

I will say this about the leadership at Holy Word:  They are consistent except for one fatal flaw that was caught on my recording today.  We were not allowed to discuss doctrine in the meeting today.  When Pastor Patterson and the Eldership put the hammer down on us in their email letter of May 21st, there would be no discussion of doctrine from that point going forward; only the matter of fellowship could be discussed.  I have this in writing on more than one occasion when I pressed them for an open discussion regarding justification.

And yet in the meeting today, Brad Johnston clearly stated that we were afforded on more than one occasion to meet with Holy Word representatives to have a doctrinal discussion, but that we refused.  This is a flat out lie.  The offers were to discuss 'fellowship' and not the doctrine of justification. Needless to say we will appeal to the District President and pray for a fair hearing there. Kyrie Elieson!!!
District VP Don Patterson, aka The Don, aka Kudu Don,
is the poster boy for Church and Change, but denies it. He attended the "last" Church and Change conference.
Church and Changers are raising money at Holy Word, with the blessing of Patterson and Gurgle.

The Tenth Sunday after Trinity, 2011

The Tenth Sunday after Trinity, 2011

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

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 #190            Christ Is Arisen            1:52

Warning for Our Time

The Communion Hymn # 308 Invited Lord            1:63
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 # 452     The Son of Man            1:10

KJV 1 Corinthians 12:1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

KJV Luke 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. 43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, 44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. 45 And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; 46 Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. 47 And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him, 48 And could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.

Tenth Sunday After Trinity

Almighty and everlasting God, who by Thy Holy Ghost hast revealed unto us the gospel of Thy Son, Jesus Christ: We beseech Thee so to quicken our hearts that we may sincerely receive Thy word, and not make light of it, or hear it without fruit, as did Thy people, the unbelieving Jews, but that we may fear Thee and daily grow in faith in Thy mercy, and finally obtain eternal salvation, through Thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Warning for Our Time

Luke 19:41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.

Few can appreciate the magnificence of the Roman Empire at the time Jesus spoke these words. Perhaps a lifetime of reading about this era might provide enough insights, because Rome absorbed the culture and technology of every country they conquered. The only leader they did not defeat was Herman the German, who knew how the Romans fought and set up a guerrilla attack to demolish an army.

Rome was at the peak of its power when Jesus warned Jerusalem to repent. Everything He predicted came to pass.

The Jewish people resented Roman occupation, so conditions for revolt built up. Unfortunately for them, an initial battle defeated the Romans, so they thought they could defeat Rome. The empire struck back, sending an army and thousands of slaves to level Jerusalem.

Jerusalem was so well defended by its walls and natural features that a Roman general said it was a miracle that the city fell. Rome did not work miracles, but steadily starved cities in revolt. They built a high wall around the city, to prevent help and food from entering, just as Jesus predicted.

The rest of the story is horrible, because fear of famine sent people into a panic. As Luther wrote, they resorted to eating shoe leather and cannibalism. The strong stole food from the weak.

Once the army entered the city, greed prompted the soldiers to pursue gold and jewels. According to one account, “not one stone left on another” came from the search for gold.

Those who were not killed outright were sold into slavery and scattered around the world.

This happened 40 years after the death and resurrection of Christ. For that very reason, the Christians were despised as one denomination of the troublesome Jews who revolted. While we see the two as distinctly different, the Romans did not. We imagine that few Jews became Christian in that time, but many did, until there was a great reaction against anyone in Judaism using their membership to preach about Christ.

Now the popular imagination sees Paul as simple the apostle to the Gentiles, but he worked among the Jews, as the other apostles did, and accomplished great things through the Gospel. As he wrote, he could be a rabbi among the Jews and preach Christ. That did not help his popularity with the religious leaders.

The parallel today is to be a Lutheran among Lutherans and teach Luther’s doctrine. That simply is not allowed. The only thing that matters is man-made law and old heresies. Man’s law and man’s heresies are defended at all costs, and nothing is too base, low, or dishonest to maintain error.

As the old poem says, “Truth forever on the scaffold, wrong forever on the throne.” But the second part is hope. Hope in the Word of God.

Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,-
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.

James Russell Lowell

This lesson is a warning for our time. We are definitely living in the Age of Apostasy. One way to measure that is to look at what conservative Lutherans are doing with Bible translations – setting aside all other issues.

The LCA never had an official translation. They even provided lectionary inserts with three translations for the three readings each Sunday. Diversity – as long as the political program is followed perfectly and robotically.

The Syn Conference favored the King James Version for a long time. I understand the ELS tended to use the New KJV, which was around in the 1980s – but is not a celebrity translation now. Celebrity translations are hyped for a few years, then fade.

The conservative Lutherans could have modernized their own KJV decades ago, if they had to. But they did not.

Missouri and WELS (puppy dog ELS too) staked their publishing future on the wretched NIV. Bibles are big business, and sales about Bible books also lucrative for everyone. Those who went along with the NIV and “helped,” like John Jeske, were rewarded in many ways. Naturally money drives the need for the New NIV, which is far worse than the horrible NIV.

Herman Otten promotes his Beck Bible, which was so up to date that it has been revised about 4 times in the last few years (the number open to debate).

Paul McCain, Otten’s political ally, shills for the ESV, which is a Calvinist revision of the obnoxious RSV. The National Council of Churches created the RSV. Concordia Publishing House will rake in the money for the ESV, and the loot will be shared with the fortunate authors.

In this Babel of translations, one name is missing. Tyndale studied under Luther and Melanchthon and worked on his English translation with their help. His first printing of his English Bible came from Germany because of this help and English persecution. King Henry VIII burned Tyndale at the stake, but King James allowed a group of scholars to work through the Tyndale translation and publish the Authorized Version, popularly called the KJV.
Everyone is celebrating the 400th year of the KJV being published in 1611. The conservative Lutherans are mum because they are so busy betraying their own members and keeping their pastoral candidates in darkness and error.

As Luther said, never has the Word of God been more available to everyone and yet scorned universally. He could point to the printing press as that tool that spread the Gospel cheaply around the world. Luther’s books alone created a fortune for those who printed them, and he just gave them away.

Today we have the biggest innovation since the printing press, the Internet. The moment I publish a sermon it is available free around the world. For someone who wrote his dissertation on a portable typewriter, coveting an IBM Selectric he could not afford, this remains a marvel.

And people have access to anything orthodox and Christian they desire. When I wanted to print Luther’s sermon on this text, I found one website after another with the sermon available (free) and easily copied in a few seconds.

Because the Word of God is available to all, the judgment against those who despise it will be far greater. There is no excuse. The evil tactics used to suppress the Gospel are signs of this despising, especially when they come from clergy who should know better.

The Gospel
The entire Bible, says Luther, is a sermon about Jesus. The Gospel not only includes Christ dying for the sins of the world, but all promises and blessings from God.

The primary preaching of the Law is to show people this sin - that they do not utterly trust in Christ for their forgiveness.

KJV John 16:8 And when He [the Holy Spirit] is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on Me; 10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see Me no more; 11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

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.

Thus the Gospel plants and sustains faith in the hearts of those who hear it. God creates and sustains this faith through His Gospel and declares us forgiven - justification by faith.

The Visible Word
Holy Baptism and Holy Communion are the Gospel in visible form, always efficacious. For that reason we should always uphold the blessing of infant baptism and teach against those Baptists and Pentecostals who denounce it as heresy.

Likewise, Holy Communion must be closed and offered frequently to demonstrate the significance of the Word in saving and condemning.

Pastoral Work in the Word
The pastor has no other calling than to preach his own sermons, based on his own study. He should offer the Sacraments without hesitation or shame, and to take Word out on visits to shut-ins, the hospitalized, the grieving, and the spiritually indolent.

Luther and the Book of Concord
Ankle-biters like to go over minor conflicts from the last century, so they can spend a few more months pounding an issue rather than teaching the Gospel. If they spent time with the sermons of Luther and the Book of Concord, they would have something to teach.

The study of Luther's doctrine has been in complete collapse for decades, with all the synod leaders (Big Four) spending their time with the Enthusiasts at Fuller Seminary, Willow Creek, Mars Hill, Trinity Divinity, Granger, North Point, Sweet, and worse.

If a pastor or pastoral candidate understands the efficacy of the Word, he will make that the foundation of all he does, excluding:
  1. Most living authors.
  2. Synodical position papers, essays, and other trivia.
  3. Sermonic books.
Given the Biblical teaching of the efficacy of the Word in the Means of Grace, there can be no forgiveness apart from that faith created by the Gospel.

Tenth Sunday after Trinty
Sound Doctrine

"This epistle selection treats of spiritual things, thing which chiefly pertain to the office of the ministry and concern the Church authorities. Paul instructs how those in office should employ their gifts for the benefit of one another and thus further the unity and advancement of the Churches."              
Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 197f.

"Whenever the Word of God has a foothold, there the devil will be. By the agency of his factions he will always build his taverns and kitchens beside God's house. So he did at first, in Paradise. In the family of Adam he entrenched himself, establishing there his church."
Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 198.
"But dissensions, sects and divisions are sure signs that the true doctrine is either ignored or misunderstood, men thus being left in a condition to be 'tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine,' as Paul says (Ephesians 4:4); which is indisputably the case with these same schismatics who condemn the Church and her doctrines because of some discordant ones."              
Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 204.          

"Thus Paul rejects the glorying and boasting of the sects over their offices and gifts--they who pretend to be filled with the Spirit and to teach the people correctly, and who make out that Paul and other teachers are of no consequence...More than that, they demand a higher attainment in the Spirit for Gospel ministers, deeming faith, the Sacrament, and the outward office not sufficient."              
Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 206.        

"You are either reproaching and cursing Jesus, or praising him and owning him your Lord. If your preaching and teaching fail to point to Christ, something else being offered, and you nevertheless boast of the Spirit, you are already judged: the spirit you boast is not the Holy Spirit, not the true Spirit, but a false one. To it we are not to listen. Rather we are condemn it to the abyss of hell, as Paul declares, (Galatians 1:8), saying: 'But though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach unto you any Gospel other than that which we preached unto you, let him be anathema [damned to Hell].'"  
            Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 206.       

"The same is true of other factions--the Anabaptists and similar sects. What else do they but slander baptism and the Lord's Supper when they pretend that the external [spoken] Word and outward sacraments do not benefit the soul, that the Spirit alone can do that?" Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 208. "Flesh and blood are too weak to obtain this glorious confidence; the Holy Spirit is essential. Reason and our own hearts cry out in protest: 'Alas, I am far too evil and unworthy! How could I be proud and presumptuous enough to boast myself the servant of the Lord Jesus Christ?"
            Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 210.

"The gift of prophecy is the ability to rightly interpret and explain the Scriptures, and powerfully to reveal therefrom the doctrine of faith and the overthrow of false doctrine. The gift of prophecy includes, further, the ability to employ the Scriptures for admonition and reproof, for imparting strength and comfort, by pointing out, on the one hand, the certainty of future indignation, vengeance and punishment for the unbelieving and disobedient, and on the other hand presenting divine aid and reward to godly believers. Thus did the prophets with the Word of God, both the Law and the promises."
             Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 213.       

"Christians, however, though obliged to live among swine and to be at times trampled under foot and rooted about, have nevertheless surpassing glory; for they can look up and intelligently behold their Lord and His gifts."
            Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 217.  

"But the discerning Christian can with satisfaction boast on this wise: 'My baptism or my absolution is not of my own devising or ordaining, nor of another man's. It is of Christ my Lord."     Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 219.  

"His gifts and works in His Church must effect inexpressible results, taking souls from the jaws of the devil and translating them into eternal life and glory."
            Sermons of Martin Luther, ed. John Nicolas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VIII, p. 220.  

Church Growth Spiritual Gifts
"People Person: Have been recognized as a counselor and mediator. Brought harmony to what was once described as 'the most troubled Lutheran church in America. Personal: Born, December 6, 1941, Columbus. Married, three children. Spiritual gifts: Exhortation, teaching, administration and evangelism.
            Floyd Luther Stolzenburg 2904 Maryland Avenue Columbus, Ohio 43209-1157 614-235-5200  

"Recognizing the need for professional church growth consultation, in 1975 he [C. Peter Wagner] invited John Wimber to become the founding director of what is now the Charles E. Fuller Institute of Evangelism and Church Growth. Wimber got the Institute off to an excellent start, then left to become the founding pastor of Vineyard Christian Fellowship of Anaheim and Vineyard Ministries Internamtion... Your Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Grow (Regal, 1979) is approaching the 100,000 mark... Church Growth and the Whole Gospel (Harper and Row, 1981) is a scholarly discussion of criticisms of the Church Growth Movement from the viewpoint of social ethics, in which Wagner did his doctoral work."
            C. Peter Wagner, ed., with Win Arn and Elmer Towns, Church Growth: The State of the Art, Wheaton: Tyndale House, 1986, p. 271f.     

"Pastors and lay persons trained in Church Growth are leading Christians to discover their spiritual gifts. They are looking into the Scripture and discovering those verses in Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12, and Ephesians 4 where some of the gifts are listed." [See C. Peter Wagner, Your Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Grow, 1979, "a discussion of gifts which relates specifically to the potential of mobilizing God's people for church growth," p. 33.]
            Kent R. Hunter, Launching Growth in the Local Congregation, A Workbook for Focusing Church Growth Eyes, Detroit: Church Growth Analysis and Learning Center, 1980, p. 26.    

Which Pastor Jenswold Should We Believe?

Someone phoned me to discuss the LCMC, the first large group to leave the ELCA. I said that looking around LCMC websites proved they were rolling back the clock a few years, but not really dealing with the doctrinal issues. They silent on Biblical inerrancy, promote women's ordination, and support Pentecostalism. I decided not to drop by the LCMC confab in Des Moines, as much as I would love to enjoy the night life in that wild city on the Great Plains. I am quite sure the LCMC loves Fuller and Church Shrinkage as much as WELS, Missouri, and the Little Sect on the Prairie.

The couple said, "Pastor Jenswold agrees 100% with you."

I replied, "Really? He told his brother-in-law that I am mentally ill. I have that in writing."

The couple was just flabbergasted, because they hated the Church Growth Movement and joined Shepherd of Peace because I opposed CG in favor of Lutheran doctrine (imagine that).

The double-talk, which might be called lying, is standard in WELS. SP Schroeder never reads Ichabod, he claims, but he hunts down WELS members who post in Ichabod using their own names. You will not see clearly identified WELS people posting on Ichabod again. That is how WELS settles its dozens of doctrinal and criminal problems.

Schroeder got red-faced and wanted to tell me off at the Emmaus Conference, via Brett Meyer, but backed down. Yet he tells people "There are good things on Ichabod." But I thought he did not read Ichabod.

Since Jenswold is now in happy-Appleton-land, he may be posing as a great Ichabod expert. Perhaps Fox Valley is the catch-basin for Columbus effluent, since Glende reigns supreme there.

If Jenswold wants to talk, be sure to ask, "Didn't you say you agreed 100% with Jackson?"

WELS loves to say, "Write a letter." I sent certified letters to Jenswold, Lindemann, and Schroeder. Not one of them answered the letter, but all three signed the return receipt.

Miss Marple

Building a Foundation for ELCA's Future

August 26, 2011

Dorothy Marple, retired church executive, dies

     CHICAGO (ELCA) -- Dorothy Jane Marple, pioneering church executive and coordinator of the transition team for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), died Aug. 8, 2011, at Artman Lutheran Home in Ambler, Pa. Marple, a member of St. Michael's Lutheran Church, Philadelphia, was 84.

     Marple broke ground in 1975 as the first woman and the first non-clergy person to be named a bishop's assistant in the Lutheran Church in America, an ELCA predecessor church body. She came to that role after serving as the first executive director of the Lutheran Church in America women's organization from 1962 to 1975.

     "There is no way I could say too much about Dorothy," said James Crumley, former bishop of the Lutheran Church in America. "In the 1980s, Dorothy and all of us spent a large portion of time planning for the ELCA. A formidable series of tasks had to be done to make the ELCA happen. After the ELCA was approved, she did an extraordinary job coordinating the transition team. She was just a wonderful person."

     Marple held many other leadership roles throughout the years, including: dean of women and foreign student adviser at Thiel College in Greenville, Pa. (1953-1961); board member of Church Women United (1962-1975); assistant general secretary of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. (1988-1989); National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. governing board member (1970-1987); The Lutheran World Federation Executive Committee member (1977-1984); chair of The Lutheran World Federation Commission on Church Cooperation (1984-1989);  member of the board of Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg (1989-98); member of the United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia (1989-98); and chair of a task force studying theological education in the ELCA (1989-1994).

     "Dr. Marple was gracious but firm, precise and thorough, conscious of detail and yet mindful of the bigger picture. Her dedication to the work of the church was shown in untiring endeavors," said the Rev. Lowell G. Almen, first secretary of the ELCA. "She was crucial in completing the commitment made by the ELCA's predecessor churches in 1982.

     Michael Cooper-White, president, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, said Marple was the epitome of a churchly servant leader. "She never sought the limelight of center stage, but her quiet competence shone in so many corners of the church, especially in her work helping lay a solid foundation for the ELCA."

     Marple is survived by a sister, Virginia Reynolds, nine nieces and a long-time friend, Lois Leffler.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Heavy Hand of WELS Discipline:
Jeff Gunn Keynote Speaker, Featured on
Have Mercy, DP Buchholz!

Jeff Gunn has been the poster boy for Church and Change. That cancer supposedly went away, but managed to metastasize and split into many entities before being pronounced excised, removed, stomped. Who do I see, seated at the board of Thrivent Inter-Religious Fraternal Insurance? Mark and Avoid Jeske, the head of Church and Change.

About three years ago, DP Buchholz was "doing something about Jeff Gunn" and Jeff's aping of Emergent Churches. Since that time Gunn has been elected to the board of Willowcreek's Liberal College and appointed as keynote speaker at this shindig.

Savage discipline indeed.

Jeff's congregation has not been accepted into any denomination, but the Daddy Warbucks are behind him. That is the most important denomination - C-notes and larger. In WELS, false doctrine is rewarded. Discussing sound doctrine is punished with excommunication.

I noticed, before barfing, that Mark Paustian was another speaker at this conference. Paustian is another Changer who denies being a Changer.

Don Patterson denies being a Changer, even though he is an active participant and leader of the cancerous growth. He even attended the "final" meeting, Regaining Momentum. He must have gone to support it, because he did not report back to me about how awful it was.

The conference worked well. Schroeder did an Al Barry, doing nothing against the apostates for a full term, so the assembly of nincompoops re-elected him, while the ever-useful Intrepids announced that as a great victory for them.

Confidential to the Intrepids - Do not celebrate losses as victories.


Brett Meyer sent this link from FIC, which shows SP Schroeder's doctrinal leadership:

Love makes leadership contagious Jesus is the humble, loving servant-leader that claims us as his disciples and inspires us to follow his example. Emotion is contagious. If you don’t believe it, try this little experiment. Smile at others. Researchers say that of all emotional signals, smiles are the most contagious; they have an almost irresistible power to make others smile in return.

But which emotions are more contagious than others? Would you say, for instance, that love is more contagious than hatred, or hatred than love? Yale University did a study a number of years ago that tried to determine which emotions were more contagious. What they discovered is actually pretty interesting: “Emotions may spread like viruses, but not all emotions spread with the same ease. A study at Yale University School of Management found that among working groups, cheerfulness and warmth spread most easily, while irritability is less contagious and depression spreads hardly at all” (Primal Leadership—Realizing the Importance of Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee, p. 10).

etc. etc. blech


AC V has left a new comment on your post "The Heavy Hand of WELS Discipline: Jeff Gunn Keyno...":

This quote from Gunn is creepy: "Go out and make some non-Christian friends."

That's just plain weird. I make friends with people because I have common interests, not because I have an ulterior motive to convert them.