|Duerer - All Saints.|
The Reformation gave worship back to the people, and the entertainment evangelism specialists have taken it away again.
For centuries the pipe organ supported the liturgy and great hymns, but untalented amateurs with Japanese keyboards have replaced interactive worship with their tinny interpretations, often with songs no one has ever heard before.
The professionals know what people want, because they attended various schools built by con artists with a flair for marketing. If the laity do not want all these improvements, they are welcome to leave.
The worship gurus are allergic to worship themselves. Luther made the sermon the central part of the Christian Church again. He preached sermons all his life and even gave up retirement to preach on the Gospel of John.
Let's review the resumes of the great Church Growth experts:
- Waldo Werning made himself a Church Growth consultant but avoided serving a parish for decades - few alive today remember the late Waldo as a pastor.
- Paul McCain, the plagiarizing blogger who soaks up profits from CPH, only served a parish for two plus years, which was a way to pay him a salary for being Al Barry's campaign manager and Otten's back-door guy.
- Paul Kelm and Larry Olson were failures in the parish, so WELS made each one a dominatrix for pastors who actually earned their keep in worship, preaching, and visitation.
- Kent Hunter bragged that he quadrupled the size of a parish, a feat so heroic that he left all parish work to make big money telling people how wise and wonderful he was. And the WELS-LCMS listened in awe.
- Wayne Mueller knew so much about parish ministry that he grabbed three successive jobs in a row to stay away from the parish ministry.
Above is merely a partial list of the dolts who did their best to destroy the Lutheran Church, each one showing a definite loathing and disregard for Biblical doctrine and Lutheran practice. Acting so superior to everyone else, they have promoted Fuller, ELCA, and Roman Catholic agendas. Because they have no confession of faith with their precious UOJ, they confess all dogmas, depending on the audience.
The clergy would do well to listen to the laity, who read the Scriptures and Confessions without the dog notes beside them. They comprehend Biblical doctrine and write about the issues with great clarity, lacking the mind-bleaching labors of David Scaer, David Valleskey, and Larry Olson.
A layman going over the ELDONA theses on justification by faith could have easily pointed out those sentences that fall harshly on the unwaxed ear. Who signed the Confessions - just the theologians? No - the lay leaders of the realm put their names on the documents, their lives and fortunes on the line.
The Lutheran clergy -- and their man-made synods and schools -- have failed this generation. They have control of all the structures. At least they think they do. I see hollow men aping Fuller, the Church of Rome, and ELCA - but these empty suits are in charge. They confuse princely salaries and benefits with doing a good job - while mission pastors suffer, drop out, and find themselves driven out.
Like WELS, they can discuss Biblical translations for years and decide on the NNIV without ever saying yes or no on that one barbarous creation of the Murdoch factory.
Like Missouri, they can promote and fund the Church Growth Movement (and worse) while denying it.
Like the Little Sect on the Prairie, they can strut about on Reformation and yell "Three Solas!" without meaning a word of either one. Grace alone? They offer grace to the Hindu, without faith in anything. Scripture alone? - no dog notes alone, synod says alone. Faith alone? - they settled that 150 years ago, but forgot to tell anyone until now.
I have no contact with this layman. Look at how clearly he writes:
A fitting conclusion to your words by focusing on Baptism. From my youth, I was taught by Lutheran pastors and teachers that the gift of Baptism is faith, and through faith, justification and forgiveness. After reading your words, I went back to the Large Catechism to reread the words regarding Baptism. Strong clear words, some of which follow ...
"so also I can boast that Baptism is no human trifle, but instituted by God Himself, moreover, that it is most solemnly and strictly commanded that we must be baptized or we cannot be saved"
"Therefore state it most simply thus, that the power, work, profit, fruit, and end of Baptism is this, namely, to save. For no one is baptized in order that he may become a prince, but, as the words declare, that he be saved. But to be saved. we know. is nothing else than to be delivered from sin, death, and the devil, and to enter into the kingdom of Christ, and to live with Him forever. "
"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. That is, faith alone makes the person worthy to receive profitably the saving, divine water."
"Thus you see plainly that there is here no work done by us, but a treasure which He gives us, and which faith apprehends; just as the Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross is not a work, but a treasure comprehended in the Word, and offered to us and received by faith."
I don't see faith being minimized in these words. I don't see faith being referred to with such words as "merely faith", as I have heard from some theologians who advocate universal justification. From these words I see faith as God's gift that is essential to our justification and our salvation.