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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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Zorro Says - "Robe Up!"
Problems with the Glende and Ski Comedy Hour

California wrote:
After watching one of the Who Dunnit? spectacles, some thoughts came to mind.

1.  To the stage performers (apt description, no?),  I say: Breathe deeply and repeat three times in rapid succession--- "It's not about me, it's not about me, it's not about me."  Repeat.  And again.

2.  Does a head-set make you a rock star? Moves like Jagger? Uh, no.  Please stop that ridiculous wandering back and forth all over the stage. 

3.  Does your belly spill over your belt? Ewww, that's gross. Another reason to robe up! 

4.  The old Adam always says "I want to do what I want to do and when I want to do it so don't you tell me I can't!"  The liturgy, in essence, is to curb that particular vanity so seductive to preachers.  I know, I know...but you want to  be relevant and connect and....sigh.

5.  Back to that wandering  across the stage thing:  Do you a bladder condition?  Control yourself and get behind that pulpit. pulpit?!

6.  The tie and shirt look is kind of, well, goofy.  I get it, you want a professional yet edgy look, right? Not to be mean, but it looks as if you forgot something. Just sayin'...

With all due respect, 



Brett Meyer has left a new comment on your post "Watch the Tim Glende Videos":

More "gold" from Appleton and the (W)ELS.

(W)ELS Pastor Ski
WhoDunnit series 2
00:30 “not going to be as bold as Pastor Tim and call God out. I don’t know if any of you noticed but Pastor Sievert and I tried to slide...(?)...when the lightening hit him we did not be affected. Now I’m not gonna say, not gonna say that God possibly isn’t a suspect, that’s not what I’m gonna say…”
15:50 “because our savior Jesus was on a mission, a mission for you and a mission for me, and through His life and through His death and through His resurrection a broken relationship that sin has caused will be repaired and eternal life would be given to us.”

(W)ELS Pastor Tim Glende
WhoDunnit series 5
3:50: “And if we want to talk back about week one when I talked about God we see God at work, but his handprint, his literal handprint, he wasn’t there actively.”

13:20 “and the Son of the Father was crucified, so that all the sons and daughters of the Father could have eternal life.”

14:00 “he (Barabas) must have said, “There’s no chance I’m free. I have so many crimes and sins against me I’m going to be punished. But he was given a new lease on life. The same is true for us, because the ultimate Son of the Father stood in our place. And released from us all the sins and weight and guilt of all of our problems and said, “you are free, your sins, they are forgiven.”” 


GJ - It is important to note that Uncle John Brug's dogmatic materials mark justification by faith passages in classical orthodoxy as MISLEADING.

The one and only dogma taught at Mequon is this -

the entire world has been declared forgiven of sin and saved, without faith, without the Word. 

That renders all discussions about doctrine, liturgy, music, and creeds obsolete.

Whoever fails to report a criminal assault against a child is a criminal himself.

DP Ed Werner went to his state prison for assaulting girls in his congregation.
But he was born forgiven, according to UOJ.
Deutschlander cannot fit UOJ (the orthodox position!) into the Confessions,
no matter what. What does that make UOJ? Hmm?

UOJ and Pietism go well together.
Knapp is still in print today, 
and UOJ is the only dogma of mainline Protestantism.
The translator was a ... Calvinist!

WELS Pastor Joel Lillo Must Also Be Glad
That Jesus Rode a Hog

Joel Lillo, Fox Valley has left a new comment on your post "Church to Bless Bikes for Summer Riding Season - S...":

I actually do a bike blessing. I have a couple of members who are big Harley enthusiasts and ask me to go through the liturgy for travel that is in the little agenda book that NPH published a few years ago whenever they're about to go on a big trip. It's actually a very well written little order of service and serves the purpose very well.


Harley Davidson - Our theme for today's WELS sermon.

WELS Pastor Scott Oelhafen, the author of this...uh....the author. 

I Am so Glad that Jesus Rode a 'Hog'

A sermon by Pastor Scott Oelhafen

August 31/September 1, 2003 - Pentecost 12

Text: Luke 8: 26-39
(Posted but no longer available on the congregation's website--Trinity, Waukesha)

[GJ - That particular Sunday marked the 100th anniverary of Harley Davidson. Few ministers can manage a product tie-in so deftly. I hope the Harley Davidson folks preserved this commercial message on their website.]

1. He proved His heavenly horsepower
2. He promoted His heavenly mission
(Special thanks to Trinity member Greg Heichelbeck for parking his Harley Davidson motorcycle in front of our church for this sermon and for loaning me his Harley merchandise for this service).

Dear friends of Jesus,
They came this past week all dressed up and places to go. Did you see them? They came motoring across the country, state, and city, revving their engines. Undoubtedly, you heard them. From the city streets, to the parking lots and even in the hallways, their mommas were proud of them. It was truly a sight to behold. Of course you, know what I´m talking about. School started this past week and students, staff, and parents returned to the classroom. Okay -- that´s not what I´m referring to. Unless, you´ve been sequestered in a cabin in the Northwoods for the past few months, you´ll know that Metro-Milwaukee has welcomed more than an estimated half-a-million Harley-Davidson motorcycle enthusiasts. With their world headquarters here in Milwaukee, Harley-Davidson is celebrating its 100th birthday. It´s a popular motorcycle company holding 46% of the sales in North America.

We have a number of Trinity members that are associated with Harley. If you talk with them, they´ll tell you why someone wants to buy a Harley. They´ll tell you that when a customer is buying a Harley, he or she is buying an image first and a motorcycle second. So what´s the image of Harley-Davidson? Most people get their image from the movies like The Wild One in 1953 or Easy Rider in 1969. Harley riders are pictured as big, tough, rebels without a cause. But, remember these words, your mom probably first spoke to you: “don´t always judge a book by it´s cover.’ Some years ago a young, single school teacher decided to travel across America to see the sights she had taught about. Traveling alone in a truck and a camper in tow, she found herself on Interstate 5, near Sacramento, California. In rush-hour traffic, wouldn´t you know it, her water pump blew. She was tired and scared. In spite of the traffic jam, no one seemed interested in helping her. Leaning up against her trailer, she finally prayed, and this was her prayer: “Please God, send me an angel .. preferably one with mechanical experience.’ Four minutes later, a huge Harley drove up, ridden by an enormous man, sporting long black hair, a beard and multiple tattoos. With an incredible air of confidence, he jumped off his Harley, barely glanced at the young woman, and went to work on the truck. Within another few minutes, he flagged down a large truck, attached the tow chain to frame of the disabled truck. He whisked the truck off the freeway to a side street where he continued to work on the truck. The intimidated teacher was too overwhelmed to speak -- especially, when she read the paralyzing words off his leather jacket – “Hell´s Angels, California.’ Yes, God had sent her an angel she wasn´t expecting. As he finished the repair, she finally got up the courage to say: “Thanks so much.’ Noticing her fear, he looked right in her eyes and simply said: “Don´t always judge a book by it´s (sic) cover. You may not know who you´re talking to.’ And with that, he smiled, closed the hood of her truck, and straddled his Harley. He was gone as quickly as he appeared. “Don´t judge a book by it´s cover.’ Good advice – especially when it comes to the greatest person in history – Jesus Christ. Most people who saw Jesus weren´t impressed by Him. Jesus didn´t have the kind of education or degrees that would´ve attracted attention. He didn´t come from a prominent family – just the adopted son of a carpenter from an unknown hick-town known as Nazareth. Isaiah told us ahead of time in his prophesy concerning Jesus Christ: He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him (Isaiah 53:3). Most people would call Jesus the original “rebel without a cause.’ He certainly didn´t fit in to what most people were expecting in a Savior. Sadly, most people of His day dismissed Jesus as unimportant and irrelevant (like many do today). Jesus didn´t fit in to their lifestyle and His Word didn´t appeal to their way of thinking. So they wrote Jesus off. In doing so, they missed out on a God-centered purpose for life now, and an eternity with God in the future. Let´s not make the same mistake. You probably know the nickname for Harley-Davidson motorcycles, don´t you? They´re known as hogs. If you could see the divine Jesus walking among us, I´d like to think that that Jesus could identify with us as human beings. And I´ll bet that even Jesus would ride a Harley this weekend. I don´t know He´d choose a Harley model like Low-rider, Fat Boy, or Heritage. But, as our sermon text will show us, I Am So Glad that Jesus Rode a Hog. In the Biblical account of demon-possession, we´ll hear again how Jesus rode those demon-possessed hogs or pigs, right out of town. But, Jesus did this for good reasons. Jesus Rode Those Hogs to prove His divine horsepower. And Jesus Rode Those Hogs to promote His heavenly mission.

I find it very interesting, and maybe you do too, that of all the places to go in the United States, Milwaukee, Wisconsin has been chosen by Harley-Davidson riders as they (sic) place to be. It´s a place by a lake. Listen to another gathering by another lake, albeit a smaller one, that´s recorded for the ages for us to visit time and time again. Listen as our sermon reading begins: 26 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes,[2] which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!" 29 For Jesus had commanded the evil[3] spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places. Demon possession still attracts a lot of curious fans, especially in college or around Halloween. Just look at the movies that will be advertised in the coming few weeks. Most people just laugh demon possession off as a Steven Spielberg movie trick or pure science fiction. But, our sermon reading shows us that demon possession is fact, and happens more than we realize. The Bible tells us that there´s a spiritual world behind what we can see (and beyond what news agencies report on), and both angels and demons are locked in a spiritual battle (thank God the book of Revelation tells us that the good angels triumph as do all Christian believers). Think about how horrible demon possession would be: to be controlled by a will not your own. The man of our reading had been demon possessed for some time, away from his family, living among tombs. Actually this Biblical account is recorded in 3 of the 4 Gospel writers. The Gospel writer Mark tells us that the demon would make the man cut himself and cry out at night. What suffering! Listen to what happened next: 30Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" 31"Legion," he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. Notice how many demons were in this man. A Roman legion of soldiers numbered between 3000-6000. Incredible – a good-size city (3000-6000) of demons were controlling this man. How horrible, and hopeless! But, one more powerful than Legion had come to this place by a lake and the demons had to acknowledge him. Notice the demons knew who Jesus was: the Son of the Most High God. Though many are quick to dismiss Jesus, even these demons had to admit His identity and bow at his feet. And they knew that Jesus hadn´t come to save them but to judge them. For Jesus had come to do battle with them and they only could retreat. When demons are faced with Jesus – they always lose. Listen to what happened next. 32A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and he gave them permission. 33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. To prove that Jesus has all power of heaven and earth at His disposal, and to prove His horsepower as the Savior, Jesus Rode Those Hogs right out of town. For demons are always destructive.

So let me ask you, can you relate to this account of Jesus? I doubt that many here have been in the presence of the demon: Legion. But, each of us has demons that we have to reckon with. Some of us have to daily face the demons of addiction – maybe it´s the demons of drugs, alcohol, pornography, gossip, or materialism (the quest for more and more). Maybe you just can´t stop. Others have to struggle with the demon of death, that makes you feel all alone because your spouse or parent has died and you may feel abandoned. Still others have to face demons of fear, disease, or divorce. We feel trapped and don´t have a ghost of a chance to escape on our own. We can find help only when we begin to realize that we were born as rebels without a cause, rebelling against our creator in what we say, think, and do and deserve nothing but eternal punishment. Yet, remember the Savior´s presence and His words: Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). Jesus took our demons, sins, and shame to the cross where He paid the ultimate price – His sufferings and death. Better than a car repair, He paid our way into heaven. And He walked out of the tomb to free us from the ultimate demon of death. Now, He invites us to come to Him and He will give us exactly what we need. Sometimes Jesus chooses to remove those demons with continued prayer, Bible study, and angels of all shapes and sizes who will help us. Sometimes, He chooses to let these demons remain – but always providing His almighty presence, peace, and power. Remember, Jesus Rode a Hog to prove His heavenly horsepower.

But, Jesus also rode that Hog to promote His heavenly mission. Jesus just did what no one else could do. He healed a man who was demon possessed. But, listen to two very different responses to Jesus´ saving activity as our sermon text concludes: 34 When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37 Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left. 38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 "Return home and tell how much God has done for you." So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him. Can you imagine the crowd shuffling Jesus out of town, after all the good He had done? That´s what happens when people are inconvenienced by Jesus and His Word for our lives. Even though they know the truth, they don´t want what Jesus has come to bring: a new life, a new change from being selfish to being self-less, a change from following sin to following the Savior. And this reaction is the scariest part of our reading – people can actually reject Jesus. You and I can reject Jesus. And Jesus doesn´t force Himself on anyone and He does leave if He´s continually rejected. The second reaction was more amazing and had a happy ending. Jesus had come to be the Savior of the World. That demon possessed man knew it and wanted to tell others. Here we have an unusual witness but one that we can relate to. Jesus gives us the same command: start at home, and let´s talk with our families, friends, and neighbors how Jesus has freed us from Satan´s grip for a life of love and concern for others. There´s no better purpose in life. We too can promote Jesus´ heavenly mission as the Savior of the World. And we can do that today by our encouragement to others, by our invitations, by our offerings and prayers. There just might be someone we know who can be freed from their personal demons if we connect them with Jesus.

Yesterday, I took my family to the Waukesha Expo Center and waterfront by Lake Michigan to see the gathering of Harleys by Lake Michigan. It was amazing to see the chrome bikes, the black leather clothes, and the black and orange t-shirts. But, I guess I was most surprised by the vintage tattoos. I wonder what would happen if I came home with a tattoo to my wife Christine. Do you think she´d like it? The only thing I´d have to wonder about is the pain of removing that tattoo :). But, think about it: you get a tattoo to always remember. Do you realize that each of us are tattooed to God´s hands by virtue of our baptism? We´re tattooed into God´s family, which is even better than being a part of the Harley family. Isaiah tells us in the Bible that God has engraved you on the palms of His hands (Isaiah 49:16). God can always see us and see a way for us to be rescued from our earthly and more important eternal problems. So the next time you see a Harley, I pray you´ll remember: Even Jesus Rode a Hog, to prove His Horsepower and promote His heavenly mission. Amen.


GJ - The apple does not fall far from the tree. Wally Oelhafen was in charge of the Michigan District Mission Board, and he loved, loved, loved the Church Growth Movement. Wally only got angry when the CGM was criticized.


Sceleratissimus Lutheranus has left a new comment on your post "Another Children's Sermon from WELS":

I'm speechless, this is the worst example of preaching I've seen to date. You know the definition of a synod is supposed to be people walking together in common support of the Gospel, but I think WEL"S" is now composed of different elements going in different directions. Sorry, as an Orthodox Lutheran I cannot walk in harmony with this CG/Church and Change bilge!


rlschultz has left a new comment on your post "WELS Pastor Joel Lillo Must Also Be Glad That Jesu...":

With apologies to HD owners and employees, my humble opinion is that this whole Harley thing is a pathetic subculture. Most of the young folks can only afford "cr__ch rockets". I'll bet that a lot of HD's profits come from residuals associated with the sale of their trademarked merchandise. A decent, reliable four wheeled vehicle costs a whole lot less than even a used HD. Owning an HD used to be somewhat of a status symbol, but most folks really do not care. There has been some rather serious talk of shutting down the HD corporate HQ in Milwaukee. That would leave only the HD museum left, along with some graying owners.


Brett Meyer has left a new comment on your post "WELS Pastor Joel Lillo Must Also Be Glad That Jesu...":

Pastor Scott Oelhafen
UOJ Sermon
April 1, 2012


GJ - The Sunday gimmick has been used to exhaustion before. The old Methodists had Girl Scout, Boy Scout, bakery, Masonic Lodge, military, and who-knows-what Sundays. That worked fine for a long time, accompanied by sermons where a God without wrath sent His Son without the cross into a world without sin.

Suddenly, the Methodist congregations emptied out, their massy buildings holding a fraction of the old membership, the Sunday School rooms almost empty.

The more relevant and political the Methodist churches became, the less they mattered to anyone. Going up or down the scale of mainline UOJ, one can find many examples of the same.

Gimmicks arrive with the cutesy baby-talk children's sermons, like the one linked above by Brett Meyer. Wally Oelhafen had the same penchant for talking down to everyone. Wally was besotted with the Church Growth Movement, so WELS made him the District Mission Board chairman. WELS required everyone with "mission" in their titles to be Fuller-trained, and Wally was no exception.

What makes it so easy to study at Fuller Seminary? UOJ.

Church to Bless Bikes for Summer Riding Season -
Saline, MI Patch.
Fox Valley WELS Should Try This.
It's Real, It's Relational, It's Relevant

"Look folks, we got on Ichabod with this gimmick."

Church to Bless Bikes for Summer Riding Season - Saline, MI Patch: "Holy Faith Church will kick off the summer riding season with a Blessing of the Bikes service on Sunday, June 10 from 11-11:30 a.m.

This "public liturgy" will take place in the church's parking lot, following an outdoor Mass on the Grass at 10 a.m. All forms of bikes will be blessed, from pedal-pushed to scooters to hogs. There will be a hot dog community meal and a drum circle to follow. "

'via Blog this'

Churchmouse Campanologist - The Diamond Jubilee


Churchmouse Campanologist:

"As we enter a week of official Diamond Jubilee celebrations in thanksgiving of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, let us explore a few facts and figures about her life and the times during which she has served her nation and the Commonwealth countries.

'via Blog this'


Queen Elizabeth II HRH The Queen and Catherine Duchess Of Cambridge, (Kate Middleton) arrive at Leicester City Station as part of The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Tour on March 8, 2012 in London, UK.
Queen Elizabeth II

GJ - Queen Elizabeth is one of the most influential figures of the modern age, although many do not realize it. She became queen when Churchill was Prime Minister, using her considerable power to benefit Western democracies.

The volatile Stuart kings, who left an indelible bad impression on England, inadvertently produced the religious freedom we have in America. No one wanted to go through that again!

The history of Great Britain is the history of the world, from Queen Elizabeth I to the current monarch.


churchmousec ( has left a new comment on your post "Hebrews Is the Most Colorful Book in the New Testa...":

Thank you, Dr Jackson.

I find the Book of Hebrews both inspiring and liberating. It's one of my favourites.

Please remember our Queen in your prayers at the weekend.

Many thanks


churchmousec ( has left a new comment on your post "Churchmouse Campanologist - The Diamond Jubilee":

Thank you, Dr Jackson, for kindly remembering Queen Elizabeth II.

Yes, she has done much for the world in a quiet and orderly way.

As she is only a few years away from approaching Queen Victoria's length of service, we in the UK are gearing up for happy local and national celebrations this weekend and next. The flags and bunting have been up in our area for several days now.

As June 3 is Trinity Sunday, the national church service will be held Tuesday in St Paul's Cathedral [a day off in the UK this year for the Diamond Jubilee], and many parish churches will hold their Service of Thanksgiving the following Sunday.

One of the things which struck me is that the Queen has done much for women without being obnoxious about it. It is a shame that she is not regarded more highly as a role model for young women (perhaps because she goes about her business in a quiet way).

She became Head of State at a young age with much expected of her. The late Queen Mother and George VI prepared her well. (The drama of Edward VIII's abdication still lives on in those aged 50+, through what their parents and teachers told them. Americans might have romanticised it, but it was alarming to the British.)

Another thing the Queen's story disproves, it seems to me, is the necessity for complementarianism among very conservative American Christian men -- not Lutherans, I hasten to add -- to make women subservient to men to such an extent that they lose their ability to think.

Prince Philip, despite his controversial comments on many subjects has, nonetheless, been a particularly able and fitting consort. One has the impression that the Queen relies on him a great deal. They seem to support each other. And they were young sweethearts, she being a few years younger than he.

So, one could say that the Diamond Jubilee marks not only the 60th anniversary of Elizabeth II's service but also serves as a testimony to an earlier and enduring marriage (1947) of equals. One could hardly describe Prince Philip as a wuss or metrosexual. He's a strong man in his own right (having served in the Royal Navy in various Second World War battles) and has firm opinions, not all of them well received by either side of the socio-political spectrum.

Perhaps you and some of your older readers saw (as I did) the late 1960s documentary on the Royal Family when it aired at the time -- compelling viewing of their everyday lives, not so different to the rest of us in many ways. It would be great if they reran it this year, but I haven't yet seen any mention of plans to do so.

My thanks

PS -- Thanks for the new graphic! Excellent! :)

Ski and Glende Wandering on the Stage,
Sugarcoating the Gospel,
Trying to Make Their UOJ Appealing

Brett Meyer has left a new comment on your post "Watch the Tim Glende Videos":

More "gold" from Appleton and the (W)ELS.

(W)ELS Pastor Ski

WhoDunnit series 2

00:30 “not going to be as bold as Pastor Tim and call God out. I don’t know if any of you noticed but Pastor Sievert and I tried to slide...(?)...when the lightening hit him we did not be affected. Now I’m not gonna say, not gonna say that God possibly isn’t a suspect, that’s not what I’m gonna say…”

15:50 “because our Savior Jesus was on a mission, a mission for you and a mission for me, and through His life and through His death and through His resurrection a broken relationship that sin has caused will be repaired and eternal life would be given to us.”


GJ - Gimmicks are common among the Arminians (Decision Theology). One of the conservative Luthean books of the early 20th century complained about Lutherans imitating the revivalists, shouting "Ha!" every so often.

Now the common form of preaching is to say cute things about the Biblical message. The Bible is really a detective novel, a whodunnit. Are they putting God or the Bible on trial in the pompous series of messages? Since three of the culprits are involved, the leaden style of Mequon cannot be blamed on one person alone. Cuteness does not rescue their presentation, although they probably think they are really great, since they put it up on YouTube: Party in the Fox Valley Circuit.

Wandering around the stage, chancel, or the whole nave is a common feature. today. One bishop went from corner to corner, behind the pews, making everyone turn around, smirking that he made people crane their necks.

Oddball dress codes are strange things to copy. Ski likes to wear the clothes that are too shabby for lawn mowing, but the crew adopted business casual for this one - neckties. All this calls attention to the individual rather than the Gospel.

Church Growth is for narcisissistic ministers and laity. Even the staff bios are examples of the Me Generation at work and play.

5 ways to describe you: Blessed by God. Loves his family. Passionate about sharing Jesus in the Valley. Hard worker. Obsessive about Ohio State Football – “Go Bucks!”. 

The Luther sermons posted on this blog show that any lesson can be mined for vast amounts of spiritual insights. The Fox Valley allergies to Luther and their affinities for Groeschel, Driscoll, and the Babtist gay activist Stanley are apparent here. They probably think they are "successful," since they spend a lot of money.

They are not faithful, which is the only requirement for ministers.

KJV 1 Corinthians 4:1 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the
mysteries of God. 2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man's judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. 4 For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

Brett Meyer has left a new comment on your post "Watch the Tim Glende Videos":

More of the glory of the (W)ELS - imputation of Christ's righteousness without faith.

Pastor Sievert
WhoDunnit? Part 4

17:10 1 Peter 2:23-24, “…by his wounds you have been healed.” Oh, that Herod would know that message. What a joy it is though that you and I have the privilege to join here on a weekly basis, and hear that our God has healed us. That we are washed clean in the blood of the lamb. Your sins are forgiven. God does not treat us as our sins deserve. And to close our section on ….

18:30 As we see the words of Jesus and we see how our Savior acted, tonight as we leave we remember that our God is not silent with us. Our God is not silent with us, instead we open up His Word, we see what He has done for us. He tells you I love you, He tells you I forgive you and he tells you I have a place in Heaven for you. You are healed, you are at peace.

Professor Robert Wilson, Yale University -
And The Bird of Israel

Luther - "You have as much laughter as you have faith."

Plagiarism and academic dishonesty create a mish-mash in research. For instance, I wonder how two men could carry around the same page from the same unknown book for years, carefully quote it, and yet not know its source. When I find another version of the post, without the snarky introduction to the list of Biblical verses, I have to puzzle over the original source. 

I had a paperback book on the Creeds, in the 1960s, with a similar list. It is not exactly the Rosetta Stone. Anyone with a concordance could find the same thing - and that would be original research instead of copying.

Titles of Majesty
My teacher for Genesis in Hebrew at Yale was Mr. Robert Wilson. He later became a full professor. No one was called "Dr." or "Professor" at Yale Divinity, because every single one had an earned PhD. When a professor passed out a syllabus, it always used "Mr." as the title, and students addressed professors as "Mr." We had one woman on the faculty, Margaret Farley, but she was in Leftist ethics.

Thus it always amused me later when Lutheran CG ministers got into a drive-by DMin program and called themselves "Dr." before the ink dried on their certificates. Larry Olson, DMin (Fuller Seminary), will not answer questions in class unless he is addressed as "Dr. Olson." He constantly corrects people who call him Larry, because he is Lawrence!

Is he "apt to teach" or inept? His students prayed for him to take the call to India. But God is punishing WELS with more years of the Olson oppression at Martin Luther College. Does anyone sense some irony, with Luther losing his doctorate when DMLC took over NWC, and they put a fake doctor in to teach theology?

The Bird of Israel - Old Testament Scholarship
Back to Wilson. He was doing research when he came across repeated references to a scholarly book called The Bird of Israel. Everyone seemed to quote the same book, the same page. He kept looking until he found the original typo. The author or printer should have had The Birth of Israel, but changed Birth to Bird.

The Bird of Israel appeared because no one went back to the original to read the source. They were simply copying one another's footnotes, a common but dastardly practice among lazy academics. Lazy bloggers do the same thing, such as McCain copying a typo from Aardvark Alley and not even noticing the mistake.

Copying a quotation from another source is perfectly fine, if the trail of evidence is clearly shown. If there is a nifty quotation in a book, pointing to a source I do not have, I can identify it this way -

Original source of the quotation (example - Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire), cited in 
Tim Glende's fake blog, retrieved on April 1, 2012. And I would give the URL where it was found at the time, before it was erased. 

When WELS began lying in print about the Church Growth Movement, I revved up Megatron, the legendary database, and began copying every CG quotation I could find, starting with Wayne Mueller's deception in The Northwestern Lutheran. I copied the citations into the database because the facts seldom come together again. Soon WELS pastors began sending me materials that I would not have seen except for their possession by the elite, who were invited to special conferences.

When I began quoting everyone about CG, Missouri included, the hows of outrage reached their Father Below, and he jumped in to support their nefarious work. Just as the ELCA pastors did nothing about gay activism for 25 years, the LCMS/WELS/ELS pastors did nothing about CG for 25 years. Now WELS and Missouri have both - CG and gay activism - in Andy Stanley.

My two-fold Mission Vision is:
  1. to identify what is happening among the apostates and 
  2. to point people to  the Confessions and the Scriptures.

Plagiarist Bulletin - Is McCain Copying Someone Who Loves Driscoll - Or Does the Driscoll Fan Copy McCain?

Driscoll wears Mickey Mouse,
but he brings destruction.

Here is Paul McCain:

Every Christian has a creed, either formal or informal, we all have something which we would say, “This is what I believe.” And this is precisely what “Creed” means, from the Latin word “credo” or “I believe.”


Here is Pastor Dave Moerbe:

Every Christian has a creed, either formal or informal, we all have something which we would say, “This is what I believe.” And this is precisely what “Creed” means, from the Latin word “credo” or “I believe.”


Both are posted with the same date. Moerbe is a big fan of Mark Driscoll - like Tim Glende and Pastor Ski (WELS, Fox Valley). The WELS Changers think Driscoll is the bomb.

I found the same post again, here:

That is an aggregator site, picking up things from all over blogdom - like McCain - but giving credit - unlike McCain. Lutheran Synodicate gives McCain the credit and an earlier date of May 27th.

I found a Catholic site citing a WELS member - with almost the same post, except for the snarky comment about not knowing which book the Biblical list came from - 2010.

 May 23, '10, 11:58 am

Join Date: June 18, 2008
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Both writers have the exact same recollection about an old Lutheran book - McCain and Moerbe:

I thought you would enjoy something I’ve been, literally, carrying around with me for eight years or more. It is a page I photocopied out of a very old Lutheran theology book. Shame on me, I did not write down from whence this page came, but it is old. From the early 17th century. It is a phrase-by-phrase presentation of the Apostles’ Creed with corresponding Bible texts both from the Old Testament and New Testament. It cites verses we may be familiar with as “proof texts” for the Creed, but interestingly, it also cites texts we might not first think of as proof passages for the various phrases in the Creed.

Both copied this cartoon:

And I found an earlier reference to McCain, from 2009:


GJ - Readers can see how confusing this is. Pastor Moerbe gives the impression he just wrote and published his post, although he gives all the glory to Driscoll and the cussing pastor's Rebel's Guide to Joy when promoting his new "Bible" study.

McCain and others substitute HT (Hardly Trying?) and a vague name (no link) when they are copying. This leads to no HT and no name at all.

The difference between plagiarism and scholarship is:
1. Quotation marks - or the equivalent.
2. A precise citation.

Lacking one or both of those marks of scholarship and academic honesty, it is academic dishonesty at best, plagiarism at worst.

The use of the cartoon by McCain and Moerbe is ironic humor. McCain is obsessed with promoting the peculiar dogma of Halle University (and Samuel Huber) - Universal Objective Justification. The Bible and the Confessions oppose that false teaching. Where is UOJ in the Creeds, the Book of Concord?

Moerbe loves Driscoll so much that he wants his members to study The Rebel's Guide to Joy. But does he really think he is teaching from the Bible when Driscoll is his creed, his passion, his treasure?

Driscoll with the Calvinist editor of the ESV,
which is the latest rendition of the National Council of Churches' RSV.
The NCC makes the Left seem conservative in comparison.

PS - the list of Biblical citations is also found here -

No one seems to know the origin, but they have the same list -

I found the entire post, without the variation on the 17th century book carried around by McCain, attributed to WELS on this Catholic forum, 2010 -

The Forgiven at Birth Repent in Public

bruce-church ( has left a new comment on your post "Universalism from the Glende/Ski WELS Theologians":

First Rolf Preus has to apologize to the Jesus First crowd, and now McCain has to apologize to Missouri's CCM (Commission on Constitutional Matters):

A Public Apology from Paul McCain
May 29th, 2012, Post by Norm Fisher


Norman Teigen has left a new comment on your post "The Forgiven at Birth Repent in Public":

Celebrity Lutheran bloggers who regularly disparage other honest Christians shouLd desist from further offense by agreeing to be silent. The problem is that these persons cannot distinguish between their pious baloney and libel and slander. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Norman Teigen, Layman
Evangelical Lutheran Synod

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Universalism from the Glende/Ski WELS Theologians

Brett Meyer has left a new comment on your post "Watch the Tim Glende Videos":

Part 8 Good Friday in the WhoDunnit? series

Presented by Pastor Dustin Sievert
St. Peter Lutheran Church

7:22 - "He (the bad thief) doesn't realize that what Jesus is actually doing is saving him, and the entire world and all of you..."

If you're wondering if that was all of it - that statement couldn't be the sum total of what was taught - wrong - that was it. Watch it for yourself.

Guess who grabs the Thrivent, synod, and foundation loot for themselves?



GJ - That would bring them in. 

We need a Thrivent grant - Ten large rattle-snakes. De-fanged.

Appleton Update


Trevor has left a new comment on your post "WELS Pharisees Trying To Stop Organ Concert At Th...":

How is this any different than when the handbell choir from Westminster Choir College performed a concert at Grace in Waukesha, WI in 1998?

Obviously there's something missing from the story because Thomas Trotter performed a concert at MLC on April 17 of this year.


GJ - Ask the Appleton Pharisees circuit. They strain out a fly but swallow a camel.

BoC Bonded Leather Edition Giveaway IL Conference June 1« Light from Light

BoC Bonded Leather Edition Giveaway IL Conference « Light from Light:

"I have some extra copies of the Christian Book of Concord bonded-leather-cover edition from Concordia Publishing House, and thought I’d try to give away one of them here on Light from Light in conjunction with my participation at the upcoming Intrepid Lutherans 2012 conference: Church and Continuity.  This is similar to the regular hard-cover second edition, except it has a bonded-leather-cover with gold trim on the page edges and it comes in a gift box.  The condition is new, never used.

If you would like to enter the drawing for a free copy, please fill out the form below.  However, you must be at least 18 years old, may enter the drawing only once, and you must be able to find me at the Intrepid Lutherans conference in Oshkosh, WI on June 1 or June 2, 2012 A.D. to receive the book in person."

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WELS Pharisees Trying To Stop Organ Concert
At Their Mother Church:
Historic St. John Lutheran in Milwaukee

WELS is trying to keep someone from playing an organ concert at the Wisconsin Synod mother church, Historic St. John Lutheran Church in Milwaukee.

Remember Dave Peters? - Union Grove - Issues in WELS. He has threatened the organist. Before, SP Mark Schroeder did the same thing.

"They are not in fellowship with us. You will kill your career in WELS."

WELS kicked Pastor Kevin Hastings out because he tagged (spray painted on the sidewalk) a WELS church that was violating the Sixth Commandment. Kevin apologized and paid for the damages - immediately.

The Church and Change DP pushed him off the ministerial list, then kicked out St. John for being loyal to their pastor.

Therefore, WELS created their own problem.

Do they threaten Professor Tiefel for bringing a group of students to tour St. John? Oh no! I just thought of this - I hope Tiefel was not driving!

Do they threaten Mark Jeske for working with ELCA and Missouri, for funding them through Thrivent?

Do they threaten Glende, Ski, Parlow, and Buske for worshiping with Andy Stanley, the Babtist gay activist?

Do they threaten the Mequon faculty for making Calvinist and CG books required reading while warning their students against justification by faith?

The same synod took busloads of supporters to Al Just murder trial. The father of the First VP of WELS testified as a character witness for Al Just, who was found guilty.

Was DP Ed Werner excommunicated for abusing little girls in his congregation for decades?

Why was Joel Hochmuth publicly absolved by SP Schroeder?

WELS is an abusive cult.

Trevor has left a new comment on your post "WELS Pharisees Trying To Stop Organ Concert At Th...":

How is this any different than when the handbell choir from Westminster Choir College performed a concert at Grace in Waukesha, WI in 1998?

Obviously there's something missing from the story because Thomas Trotter performed a concert at MLC on April 17 of this year. 

Intrepid Lutherans - Drucker, CGM, and Fascism

The non-Lutherans have been much better than the Lutherans
in discerning what is wrong with Church Growth.
Wayne Mueller, WELS, denied any CGM in his sect.
Meanwhile, CG Enthusiasts were promoted and CG critics
were given the Left Foot of Fellowship, sent behind The Ice Curtain.

Intrepid Lutherans:

Mr. Chris Rosebrough, Cap’n of the Pirate Christian Radio network and host of the daily show “Fighting for the Faith,” has been doing yeoman’s work identifying the tendril root of fascism in the post-modern church leadership movement. Understandably, readers may recoil at the word fascism, since it is misused in modern discourse. However, Rosebrough’s context is deliberate and accurate, highlighting America's founding on the Enlightenment ("we are endowed by our Creator") and contrasting with the subsequent Anti-Enlightenment (e.g. Kant: reality is unknowable; Hegel: truth is synthetic; Rousseau: individuals don’t exit, only society; Nietzsche: morals determined by community.)

Social engineer and management guru Peter Drucker, explains Rosebrough, adopted the former worldview at weekly dinner parties held by his father for Vienna intellectuals between the World Wars. (To put it in the Martin Luther College vernacular, that was Drucker’s “ministry crockpot.”) Drucker’s 1933 essay, “The Unfashionable Kierkegaard,” — to be read only after three cups of coffee — identifies social responsibility as man’s path between the hopelessness of mortal life and the hope of eternity. Drucker presses forward in the 2nd half of the 20th Century by shaping social organizations to fill the duality (eternal & mortal) of man.   In this 1989 interview, Drucker explains that people desire communities, and that churches should deliver what the market demands, but without worrying about doctrine or theology.

So where does the Church Growth Movement fit in here? There’s a thick black thread beginning from Drucker’s mentorship of Bob Buford’s Leadership Network, Bill Hybel’s Willow Creek, and Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven trainwreck. From that hydra, prominent names developed: Modalist TD Jakes, homosexual-affirming Andy Stanley,  Craig Groeschel, Mark Driscoll and others in the post-modern Emergent Church.  It isn't merely the adoption of management, marketing, and endless consulting and conferences which Drucker fostered into the megachurch movement. It is the abandonment of Sola Scriptura.

The following links are to outside sources for background reading. Proper Christian discernment is encouraged.  Below is the podcast of the presentation by Mr. Rosebrough, and the second link includes additional source material.


GJ - I suggest going to their site to find all the material linked.

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Watch the Tim Glende Videos

What Would Katy Say?

Let's turn that stinky old bar into a rival church,
so we can oink more members out of WELS.
We are passionate about sheep-stealing,
just like Jeff Gunn.

The CORE's WhoDunnit series is on video for your nausea and despair. I would have embedded each one, but they did not enable that. I wonder why.

From 7 to 64 views right now. Let's make it soar - like Party in the MLC.


AC V has left a new comment on your post "Watch the Tim Glende Videos":

I've never seen so many awkward gestures! My faith is not convinced nor do I feel that it has grown. They need more practice and catchy sermon/Bible study (Not sure which it is; probably neither) series.


GJ - The graphic for the series makes me think it was a package deal, bought from somewhere. I have seen plenty of that among the Church and Changers. They love every denomination except their own. The series, starting out with a lame definition from Wikipedia, reeks of Decision Theology thinking.

Explaining the meaning of "whodunnit" suggests an assumption of low IQ in the audience. The awkward delivery also suggests that it is not their own message but a packaged one, the same way Obama sounds when he reads from the teleprompter.

Craig Groeschel and others of his tribe have cutesy titles for their sermons - seldom Biblical titles. They harmonize with the ministers who imagine that a variation on a Madison Avenue ad or a movie/TV theme will make people say, "Ah! I want to go there."


Brett Meyer has left a new comment on your post "Watch the Tim Glende Videos":

In the first few minutes of Video 6 Pastor Ski states that he and Pastor Tim wrote the Whodunnit series.

Looks like April was their "Weird" series.


GJ - If they actually wrote the words, they followed the CGM template (not very well). Glende swore he was not plagiarizing Groeschel, then kicked out his own member for proving otherwise. Glende even got rid of the Circuit Pastor who tried to deal with the dishonesty. Therefore, Glende's claims are roughly as credible as Wayne Mueller's, David Valleskey's, and Mark Schroeder's.

Plagiarism is against the law, by the way. That may be why Paul McCain has stopped stealing his content from the Roman Catholics and the Lutheran bloggers.


AC V has left a new comment on your post "Watch the Tim Glende Videos":

I don't get it. The guy in the Good Friday video is wearing a judge's gown. Isn't he supposed to be playing the role of an attorney?

It seems to me he did not pass the "real" category of the trifold "real, relevant, and relational" litmus test of today's successful pastor.


Brett Meyer has left a new comment on your post "Watch the Tim Glende Videos":

I listened to Sermon 6 (Ski) and Sermon 1 (Glende) while driving into work this morning. Niether qualify as a sermon as their titles suggest but then their chief article of confession, the false doctrine of UOJ, also procludes their activities as being Christian so I'm not surprised. The two "sermons" do present a common theme with apostates in the Lutheran churches - a complete lack of honor and respect due the Triune God. In Tim Glende's video he identifies God as the first suspect and even refers to a Wanted poster with God indicted as the criminal who 'crushed' Christ. In Ski's video he states that God as one of the previous five identified in the series was an Accomplice in the murder of Christ. He even states that all five, including the Triune God, had in common was that they "did not want to get their hands dirty".

This is the same was spoken by Joe Krohn as he has recently returned to confessing and teaching the false gospel of Universal Objective Justification where he has claimed that God acted with MALICE (evil intent) when He crucified Christ as the perfect Atonement for the world's sins. And that God was guilty of loving the world - a statement indicting God.

I'm not sure I can stomach more of the apostate Core and St. Peter's sermon series but these two so far were wretched and classic abuse condoned and financed by the (W)ELS leadership.


Brett Meyer has left a new comment on your post "Watch the Tim Glende Videos":

More of the glory of the (W)ELS - imputation of Christ's righteousness without faith.

Pastor Sievert
WhoDunnit? Part 4

17:10 1 Peter 2:23-24, “…by his wounds you have been healed.” Oh, that Herod would know that message. What a joy it is though that you and I have the privilege to join here on a weekly basis, and hear that our God has healed us. That we are washed clean in the blood of the lamb. Your sins are forgiven. God does not treat us as our sins deserve. And to close our section on ….

18:30 As we see the words of Jesus and we see how our Savior acted, tonight as we leave we remember that our God is not silent with us. Our God is not silent with us, instead we open up His Word, we see what He has done for us. He tells you I love you, He tells you I forgive you and he tells you I have a place in Heaven for you. You are healed, you are at peace.  

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hebrews Is the Most Colorful Book in the New Testament

Someone asked today, "Are you going to keep publishing so many posts?" One thing leads to another. Creating graphics for books, hymns, and Biblical passages is fun.

One FB friend just posted this comment: "Gregory, you are a rare gem to cite the artist! My art background has nourished my dislike for people using art without citation. Also, your graphics are nice confessions!"

Naturally, the UOJ/Shrinker crowd complains that I have made so many resources available from the same page. How cruel of me! They are not going to read anything, so why be so bitter?

I know - they do not want easy access for laity who ask pointed questions. Some laity shot down UOJ in a group meeting. All of them had read Thy Strong Word. DP Buchholz, who considers himself an expert on UOJ, had not read the free copy he received from Brett Meyer.

People would have to spend a lot of time finding all of the same works on the Net.

A full professor at the famous, conservative Hillsdale College thanked me for posting Galatians - with graphics. He takes students to England to study religion and literature.

Long ago I published quite a few UOJ essays, so people could peak inside the Holy of Holies, the WELS Essay Files. For many it was like picking up a rotten log and finding all those disgusting creatures of rot wiggling around. Like the UOJ Enthusiasts, the arthropods of rot do not like the light of day and quickly burrow into the soil.

The idea behind research is to show both sides. I have already found it easier to write sermons because of Luther at my fingertips, and I can cite the opposition as well.

When I need to wait during a doctor's visit, I bring along Luther's Sermons, (Lenke Edition), to study ahead. Today I found the great passage about John 3:16-21, which I posted with a graphic today.

Virtue Online -- Using the Money Power of Headquarters

Bishop Budde, Washington DC, is busy quoting her favorite atheist author
and wrecking what is left of the diocese.

VirtueOnline - News - Exclusives - The Episcopal Church's Persuasive Monetary Power:

The Episcopal Church's Persuasive Monetary Power
Church of England takes cue from The Episcopal Church in Culture Wars

News Analysis

By David W. Virtue
May 25, 2012

The Episcopal Church is doing its best to export the church's Culture Wars around the world. Its best hope for total success is the Mother Church - The Church of England.

TEC is also driving wedges, as best it can, into Africa, Asia and Latin America. In Africa, the Anglican Province of Southern Africa has been TEC's biggest and best success story to date with everything from the acceptance and push for pansexual behavior to TEC's new gospel of inclusion and diversity and socio-political salvation. Archbishop Thabo Magkoba is little more than a clone of TEC's Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori. TEC has staff appointments, in orthodox provinces like the Congo and Sudan, who are working as "missionaries."

The Covenant might be dead, but making alliances and friends has not abated one bit. TEC's Presiding Bishop is making sure that all Global South doors remain open in her attempt to persuade, cajole and get poor African provinces to buy into Western panAnglican liberalism with a little help from TEC's Bank of Bottomless Financial Persuasion. (TECBBFP)

A good example of TEC's power of positive financial inducement is the much-ballyhooed "Listening Process" designed to "listen" to the voices of a small but aggrieved group of gays, lesbians and transgendered types. The Listening Process had its genesis in the person of former Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold and is funded wholly by The Episcopal Church. The few voices of ex-gays are politely "listened" to, but not seriously taken into account. If they were, funding for the office for "listening" would quickly dry up.

One need only think historically what the enormous persuasive power of the almighty TEC dollar has done over the years to the Anglican Church of Mexico, the Anglican Church of Southern Africa, (ACSA) the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil, a number of Central American dioceses still under TEC's grip, The Episcopal Diocese of Haiti, The Anglican Church of Canada, the office of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Consultative Council. TEC has poured millions of dollars over the years into these provinces and organizations, along with significant help from Trinity Wall Street, the richest church in the world, to persuade them that TEC's "gospel" will enlighten them and get them a free ride to glory.

Only a few short years ago, the Episcopal Archbishop of Mexico and a fellow Mexican bishop absconded with $1.5 million dollars of TEC's "mission" dollars. TEC did nothing about it. It is not without significance that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and The Rev. James Cooper, rector of Trinity Wall Street, New York, where Beauvoir once worked were present at the recent ordination of the Rev. Ogé Beauvoir who became Haiti's newest bishop suffragan at Ascension Church in Carrefour, a suburb of Port-au-Prince. Reportedly, a high-ranking Voodoo priestess was also present, which should also tell you a lot.

The new truth emerging is that the gravy train might be over. The largess once distributed so liberally to simpatico provinces and to leverage simpatico provinces might be coming to an end or at the least seriously diminished. Bishop Stacy Sauls, the Episcopal Church's new CEO, talks of TEC being in a state of "crisis".

There are broad hints coming from him that the largess pot will no longer be filled to overflowing with greenbacks for these provinces. He talks openly about the church's very survival. "I find myself wondering if the basic survival instinct that the Gospel threatens is the survival of power structures as they are," he recently said. In short, no structure, no money. Consider the latest budget figures put out by the Episcopal Church, which are sure to be argued over at the next General Convention.

Totals for the Anglican Communion show a serious reduction in grants from TEC to the Anglican Communion Office. In 2011-2012 TEC gave some $3.2 million, but in 2013-2015 it will drop to $2.15 million, down over $1 million. That's not small change. TEC Diocesan Grants (offshore) to non-US mainland dioceses - these are TEC controlled dioceses - got $4,931,269 in 2013-2015. In 2013-2015 they will get a boost to $5,952,229, an increase of over $1 million. Haiti alone will get over $1 million. (See above) Common sense demands that you cover your own bases before trying to help (read manipulate) others.

The Inter-Anglican Budget/Secretariat of $1,160,000 will drop to $850,000, a loss of $310,000. This represents approximately 50% of asking from the Anglican Communion Office. Does this indicate displeasure with the leadership of Rowan Williams or Kenneth Kearon of the Anglican Consultative Council? Not necessarily, but Rowan failed to deliver the goods and he is out the door. ACC leader Canon Kearon is still a player. Whoever sits next on Canterbury's throne will need to play ball with TEC if the Anglican Communion Office and the Lambeth Conference are to continue to receive TEC's largesse. For the moment, it does indicate that less money flowing to the Secretariat means less influence.

TEC budgeted nearly half a million ($487,753) in 2010-2012 for Africa with the Middle East getting a paltry $11,817. Giving much-needed dollars to the riot-torn but thoroughly orthodox diocese of Egypt was not on TEC's horizon. For 2013-2015 there is a cryptic line saying, "Amounts in this section not allocated."

(Ironically TEC spent $18 million on property litigation in 2010-2012, but expects to spend only $15.2 million in 2013-2015. This will depend, of course, if a property dispute doesn't make its way up the ladder to the US Supreme Count. Don't count out that possibility if the Diocese of Ft. Worth, with millions of dollars worth of properties at stake, doesn't do just that. If so, that would push that budget figure considerably higher. Furthermore, there is no saying when or where litigation will end.)


The cultural and ecclesiastical wars currently on fire in the Church of England simply replicate what took place in The Episcopal Church 30 years ago and continue to this day. TEC liberals can rightly claim victory on two hot button issues - women's ordination and pansexuality.

The issue of women bishops will shortly be answered in the Church of England. In a meeting behind closed doors in York, the Church's House of Bishops gave its approval to legislation to admit women to the episcopacy and rejected a series of attempts to significantly water down the powers of future female bishops.

They also agreed to two ambiguous amendments to the proposed legislation as a sop for conservative evangelicals and Anglo Catholics who object to women bishops on theological grounds. Whether in the long run this will satisfy either party remains to be seen. The vote does clear the way for the church's General Synod to have a final vote on the issue in July.

A second Culture Wars issue will be if the CofE officially recognizes homosexuality as a legitimate behavior for clergy (and not just for laity). The Church of England has not formally debated the issue of homosexuality through its governing body, the General Synod, since 1987, when it voted by a large majority to declare that it considered "homosexual genital acts" to be sinful:

"That Synod affirms that the biblical and traditional teaching on chastity and fidelity in personal relationships in a response to, and expression of, God's love for each one of us, and in particular affirms:

that sexual intercourse is an act of total commitment that belongs properly within a permanent married relationship;
that fornication and adultery are sins against this ideal, and are to be met by a call to repentance and the exercise of compassion;

that homosexual genital acts also fall short of this ideal, and are likewise to be met by a call to repentance and the exercise of compassion;

and that all Christians are called to be exemplary in all spheres of morality, including sexual morality; and that holiness of life is particularly required of Christian leaders."

Since then, there have been a number of discussions within the Synod on the issue, which have not been permitted to conclude with any decisions. The House of Bishops has issued several statements in response to the growing clamor from liberal Anglicans within the Church of England to adopt a more gay-friendly approach to teaching and discipline, particularly in relation to the clergy.

No evidence has emerged of any bishop attempting to enforce discipline of any kind, even in the few cases where such interviews have actually taken place. The Bishops have been told to "mind their own business" and have largely done so. What is more, any further attempt to hold to a biblical discipline among the clergy has been greatly undermined by the decision of the General Synod to allow the civil partners of clergy full access to the clergy pension funds as if they were the spouses in marriage of such clerics.

Should TEC's worldview on women and sexuality prevail in the Mother Church, it is hard to imagine how the Global South will have anything more to do with Lambeth Palace especially if a "moderate", affirming catholic type should prevail as the next Archbishop of Canterbury. There would be no more Lambeth Conferences. Who would turn up apart from panAnglican liberals and revisionists? The treachery of doctrinal abandonment is all too plain to see. The Global South will take its Jerusalem Declaration and its own offshore holdings like CANA and the ACNA and quietly slink off into the Anglican night leaving the West to continue its gadarene slide into oblivion.

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