alf-hislop (https://alf-hislop.myopenid.com/) has left a new comment on your post "Pastor Nathan Bickel on UOJ in WELS. Aaron Frey St...":
Ichabod – Thank You for Illuminating the Confused Belief Systems, Practices and Thinking that Takes Place in Religious Leadership Today!
The symptoms include heretical teachings on UOJ as well as terrible planning and awful stewardship when it comes to using the resources. I sensed that there was something wrong for years, but could not gain a better understanding without details.
With the help of your critiques I now see undercurrents and swirls of varied beliefs, politics, and values dragging down the synods. The leaders all too often behave like they do not know as much as they want their followers to think that they do! Chalk it up to secular motivations; internal fears and lack of faith, twisted thinking, sloth, whatever, and the results are the same: puzzled and weary, and possibly wary, parishioners like myself.
The leaders must get more honest with themselves and their motivations before the confidence of parishioners grows in them and what they teach. All too often we as members listen to pastors and leaders talk about serving the Lord while the action sought really serves the leaders and their interests. For example, how does funding a new, sheep-stealing church serve the Lord? I simply cannot get my mind wrapped around that idea, no matter how hard I try. Surely such action stems from false beliefs and faulty reasoning – not to mention self-centeredness of some kind. I am not looking for a confession from wayward leaders – just clarity of thought founded on Scripture – not mimicry of divergent religions, high-minded clichés, or deceit.
|Chad White, Patterson's assistant, and Chad's needy wife.|
Patterson, Chad and others went to Exponential's pan-denominational conference together.
Pastor emeritus Nathan Bickel has left a new comment on your post "Pastor Nathan Bickel on UOJ in WELS. Aaron Frey St...":
Just keep on reading Ichabod. You will get an online earful. WELS bureaucracy can print some snazzy publications, but it cannot mask what it does behind the scenes. That, most always (eventually) floats to the surface and becomes exposed for what it is spiritually, worth.
It is true what you say:
".....All too often we as members listen to pastors and leaders talk about serving the Lord while the action sought really serves the leaders and their interests." [Your choice description]
I was thinking about what you said, after my second time reading your thoughts. I was reminded of how our WELS congregation here in Bay County seems to be evermore dependent upon the synodical bureaucracy. Sometimes I think to myself:
"If Bethel Lutheran did not have the church bureaucracy, could it survive by itself as an independent Lutheran congregation? What ever happened to local church autonomy? Why is it (and it seems apparent) that some pastors churned out by the WELS seminary system, seem to be so devoted and dependent upon (Mother) Synod and endeared to its former seminary alma mater? It's as if all the decisions of local operation are made at the 'top' level and that rank and file congregational WELS members are only needed to (quarterly) rubber stamp the local church councils' closed door decisions?"
Perhaps, I should remind myself of a former comment of mine, here on Ichabod - something to the nature of: "Organizations are soulless; whereas, God deals with individual souls.........."
Finally, I was about to submit my comment when a plausible answer to my (above stated) question, came to mind:
Perhaps, some pastors are so attention deficit directed away from their local congregations and so attuned to Mother Synod and their alma mater seminary, because they are thinking in CEO mode. And, perhaps, these certain pastors (unconsciously or consciously) feel that there is no personal and / or career advancement in WELS, unless they goose step to the whims and wishes of church bureaucracy?
Perhaps, those at the top of WELS should begin to craft a separate educational program which offers synodical bureaucratic degrees? Would that be a way of solving the problem of CEO thinking pastors desiring to treat their congregations as organizational (business) structures rather than not seeing to it that the Scripture reigns supreme at the local congregational level?
Ichabod - What are your thoughts of the aforementioned?
Nathan M. Bickel