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Friday, February 28, 2014

"Steadfast" Has To Check Out Brett Meyer's Comments Before Letting Them Through - No So with the Atheist-by-the-Grace-of-God

The Torquemada of  "Steadfast Lutherans" - Jim Pierce,
ready to pounce on faith whenever it appears.
  1. Brett Meyer @Joe Krohn #5 
    No. Christ did not redeem the unbelieving world out from under the Law as UOJ teaches in its abuse of Scripture.
    Christ paid for the whole worlds sins. He paid for the iniquity of the whole world. Therefore all righteousness is in Christ and never apart from Him. If you’re implying the sense of the word redeemed means to pay for sins – yes, Christ paid for the whole world’s sins. If you’re implying the sense of the word redeemed means to justify – no, you are contending against Scripture and the Christian Book of Concord. This confession is clarified by the following quotes of the BOC recommended Galatians Commentary and the Solid Declaration.
    Luther’s Galatians Commentary:
    74. But what is the process whereby Christ gives us such a spirit and redeems usfrom under the Law? The work is effected solely by faith. He who believes that Christ came to redeem us, and that he has accomplished it, is really redeemed.
    As he believes, so is it with him. Faith carries with it the child-making spirit. Theapostle here explains by saying that Christ has redeemed us from under the Law that we might receive the adoption of sons. As before stated, all must be effected through faith.” Page 18
    Luther’s Galatians Commentary:
    “82. Note, the Son of God is put under the Law in that he redeemed us who were under it. For us, for our good, he effected all; not for himself. He purposed to manifest toward us only love, goodness and mercy. As Paul has it (Gal 3, 13),
    “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.” In other words: For us, Christ put himself under the law and complied with its demands, designing every believer of this fact to be redeemed from under the Law with its curse.” Page 20
    BOC: 4] In opposition to both these parties it has been unanimously taught by the other teachers of the Augsburg Confession that Christ is our righteousness not according to His divine nature alone, nor according to His human nature alone, but according to both natures; for He has redeemed, justified, and saved us from our sins as God and man, through His complete obedience; that therefore the righteousness of faith is the forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God, and our adoption as God’s children only on account of the obedience of Christ, which through faith alone, out of pure grace, is imputed for righteousness to all true believers, and on account of it they are absolved from all their unrighteousness. 
    http://bookofconcord.org/sd-righteousness.php
    I hope this clarifies.
  2. February 26th, 2014 at 19:17 | #12
    Btw, when it is said that God is reconciled to the world in Christ, that is not some nominalistic move where the action takes part in the person receiving faith in Christ, that is an action that takes place in God. It is a real change in relation between God and the world. Of course, that doesn’t mean the world is reconciled to God; i.e. the world loves God!
    Indeed, those dead in sin hate God!
  3. Brett Meyer
    February 26th, 2014 at 21:14 | #13
    Jim Pierce :Btw, when it is said that God is reconciled to the world in Christ, that is not some nominalistic move where the action takes part in the person receiving faith in Christ, that is an action that takes place in God. It is a real change in relation between God and the world. Of course, that doesn’t mean the world is reconciled to God; i.e. the world loves God!
    Indeed, those dead in sin hate God!
    Mr. Pierce, in your faithful confession of Objective Justification you are teaching contrary to Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions.
    Romans 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his
    71] “but we maintain this, that properly and truly, by faith itself, we are for Christ’s sake accounted righteous, or are acceptable to God.And because “to be justified” means that out of unjust men just men are made, or born again, it means also that they are pronounced or accounted just. For Scripture speaks in both ways. [The term “to be justified” is used in two ways: to denote, being converted or regenerated; again, being accounted righteous. Accordingly we wish first to show this, that faith alone makes of an unjust, a just man, i.e., receives remission of sins”.
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php
    40] … Therefore it must follow that we are accepted with God, and justified by faith alone, when in our hearts we conclude that God desires to be gracious to us, not on account of our works and fulfilment of the Law, but from pure grace, for Christ’s sake. What can our opponents bring forward against this argument? What can they invent and devise against the plain truth?
    there must be faith in Christ by which we are reconciled to God and first obtain the remission of sin. Good God, how dare people call themselves Christians or say that they once at least looked into or read the books of the Gospel when they still deny that we obtain remission of sins by faith in Christ? Why, to a Christian it is shocking merely to hear such a statement.”
    http://bookofconcord.org/defense_5_love.php
    UOJ’s false teaching concerning reconciliation is another reason it is fair to charge the doctrine with Universalism. Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
    The contradictions never end with Objective Justification.
  4. Joe Krohn
    February 27th, 2014 at 12:35 | #14
    @Joe Krohn #5 
    Since a day has gone by and Brett Meyer has not answered the question put to him, one can conclude he is unable to answer the question because:
    A.) Life obligations have taken him away from the discussion.
    B.) He has finally come the the conclusion he has been wrong all along and can not show his face.
    I pray that he has finally been able to make the objective connections of redemption, reconciliation, atonement and justification as they relate to mankind regardless of faith.
  5. February 27th, 2014 at 12:41 | #15
    @Joe Krohn #14 
    My apologies Joe, Brett is on moderated status so each of his comments has to be approved before it becomes public. I was not able to approve them yesterday. I have approved them now.
  6. Brett Meyer
    February 27th, 2014 at 13:02 | #16
    Thank you Pastor Scheer. I appreciate the thoughtful consideration you have provided me in allowing my confession to be presented and addressed in this public forum.
  7. February 27th, 2014 at 14:04 | #17
    UOJ’s false teaching concerning reconciliation is another reason it is fair to charge the doctrine with Universalism.Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
    The contradictions never end with Objective Justification.
    It is absolutely dishonest to “charge the doctrine with Universalism.” One of the many problems you are having Brett is in recognizing that the emphasis being placed on objective justification is in response to the false teaching that there is no such thing as a general justification. In other words, I would happily go along talking about subjective justification or about justification in general, if it weren’t for the fact that you and others in this thread are attacking objective justification.
    When asked to deal with the Scriptures, the Confessions, and scholarship showing you are wrong, you begin cutting and pasting quotations from the Book of Concord as if anyone posting in this thread disagrees with what is being stated in our Confession. That too is dishonesty on your part.
    What you are wrongly attempting is to harmonize what appears to be a contradiction. In the process you have flat out rejected the Scriptural truth of universal reconciliation. As a side note, are you aware that Pieper uses the terms “objective and subjective reconciliation” as synonymous with “objective and subjective justification”? He does that because he recognized just as Martin Chemnitz did that the vicarious satisfaction made by Christ is “a matter which belongs to the article of justification” (Examination of the Council of Trent, Vol., I, Art. VII, p. 497). So, are you going to say that Chemnitz is a heretic who teaches a false gospel, too? After all, Chemnitz is clear that the vicarious satisfaction “is the expiation for the sins of the whole world (1 John 2:2), and hence Christ is the end of the Law for the salvation of everyone who believes (Rom. 10:4)” (ibid).
    When you attack and deny what is taught by OJ, you are attacking the teaching of Christ’s vicarious satisfaction, since you are saying that what Christ accomplished through His death and resurrection is not making full satisfaction for the sins of the whole world and hence you reject the sound teaching of God being reconciled to all of humankind in response to His Son. Indeed, you are in fact rejecting what is confessed in the Formula:
    “But, since it is the obedience as above mentioned [not only of one nature, but] of the entire person, it is a complete satisfaction and expiation for the human race, by which the eternal, immutable righteousness of God, revealed in the Law, has been satisfied, and is thus our righteousness, which avails before God and is revealed in the Gospel, and upon which faith relies before God, which God imputes to faith, as it is written, Rom. 5:19: For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of One shall many be made righteous; and 1 John 1:7: The blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, cleanseth us from all sin. Likewise: The just shall live by his faith, Hab. 2:4Rom. 1:17? (FC III, 57).
    When you reject, as you do, that Christ has made “a complete satisfaction and expiation for the human race” you gut out the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is no righteousness of Christ to be imputed. There is no good news for faith to receive. All there is is a conditional forgiveness of sins turning upon the action of faith in the individual. Yes, your teaching is “If you believe, then you will be forgiven.” The Scriptural view is “Your sins are forgiven due to the merit of Christ, receive His free gift!” Yes, indeed this is what happens via the means of grace! Take and eat! The true body of Christ given to you for the forgiveness of sins! Drink of it all of you, “for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28).
    Reject the teaching behind the term “objective justification” at your own peril. Ultimately you reject the vicarious satisfaction made by Christ and we have already seen that with your own words, Brett. For you reject a universal reconciliation.
  8. Joe Krohn
    February 27th, 2014 at 16:41 | #18
    @Pastor Joshua Scheer #15 
    No problem, Pr, Scheer!
    Brett, you are blind! In your Luther quote is embedded exactly what you are arguing against!
    “He who believes that Christ came to redeem us, and that he has accomplished it, is really redeemed.”
    Christ had to redeem us in order for us to believe we are redeemed. That is what Luther is saying! And if you are saying (which seems to be the case) that not all men are/were redeemed, them you are guilty of limited redemption because the ‘paying of the world’s iniquity’ effects something for all men.
    You clearly deny scripture. Furthermore what you confess is not Lutheran. Please do us all a favor and quit posting here for you are disgracing the Scriptures and the BOC by your twisting of the truth.
  9. Brett Meyer
    February 27th, 2014 at 16:41 | #19
    @Jim Pierce #17 
    Thank you for your response Mr. Pierce. The reason I quoted Romans 5:10 was to show that those reconciled to God are saved eternally. Which makes the purpose of the doctrine of OJ pointless. If OJ continues to teach God is reconciled to the whole unbelieving world they must bear the responsibility of also teaching the whole unbelieving world is saved eternally.
    You claim I’m attacking Christ’s doctrine by rejecting Objective Justification. Truth is I reject OJ because it’s not Scriptural. Because it’s not Scriptural – I’m not attacking Christ’s doctrine and in fact I’m upholding it.
    You quote Chemitz, ““a complete satisfaction and expiation for the human race”. I will make the same point as Pastor Schulz but the difference will be that I reject OJ in totality and am not attempting to retain any of it. Note the word ‘for’ which shows intent. Were it to state ‘of – the human race’ then it would teach OJ. But it doesn’t for it doesn’t communicate completion but intent.
    Everyone should note the twisting of Scriptural words that is occuring in the doctrine of Objective Justification. Saved but not heaven saved, God is reconciled to the unbelieving world but unbelievers are not reconciled to God, God declares the unbelieving world justified but they aren’t justified until they believe He made that declaration (the other OJ versions teach they don’t receive the benefit of God’s declaration until they believe He made it), God making a declaration but the effect of that declaration isn’t real until the subject of the declaration believes it, and the list goes on. There is no excuse for OJ’s ongoing abuse of God’s Word.
    You condemn me for rejecting OJ but you have never provided Scriptural or Confessional proof that it is a doctrine of Christ. In fact all of my quotes of Scripture and the Confessions are clearly teaching contrary to the tenets of UOJ with you promote. Condemn me for rejecting OJ if you wish but it is not a valid arguement when the validity of OJ is the issue.
    71] “but we maintain this, that properly and truly, by faith itself, we are for Christ’s sake accounted righteous, or are acceptable to God. And because “to be justified” means that out of unjust men just men are made, or born again, it means also that they are pronounced or accounted just. For Scripture speaks in both ways. [The term “to be justified” is used in two ways: to denote, being converted or regenerated; again, being accounted righteous. Accordingly we wish first to show this, that faith alone makes of an unjust, a just man, i.e., receives remission of sins”.
    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_4_justification.php
    “by faith itself…we are for Christ’s sake accounted righteous, or are acceptable to God.”
    This single sentence from the Christian Book of Concord refutes the foundational tenet of OJ which teaches the unbelieving world was reconciled (accepted) by God for the sake of Christ before and without the Means of Grace working Godly contrition and Faith in Christ alone.
    I appreciate the discussion,
    In Christ,
    Brett Meyer
  10. Joe Krohn
    February 27th, 2014 at 16:54 | #20
    @Brett Meyer #11 
    Furthermore: (my comments in quotes)
    “82. Note, the Son of God is put under the Law in that he redeemed us who were
    under it. (Brett, this is all people.) For us, for our good, he effected all; not for himself. He purposed to manifest toward us only love, goodness and mercy. (To all people, Brett; John 3:16) As Paul has it (Gal 3, 13), “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.”(Brett, a curse for all people…not just believers.) In other words: For us, Christ put himself under the law and complied with its demands, designing every believer of this fact to be redeemed from under the Law with its curse.”(Brett, no one here denies this…we receive the benefit of this redemption through faith…faith does not make redemption into a reality. It already happened!)
  11. February 27th, 2014 at 17:05 | #21
    Joe,
    Your comments sparked a thought for me. I really wish Brett would carefully read Scriptures such as Romans 5:12-21:
    ” Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.
    But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.
    Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”(Romans 5:12-21).
    I mean, just look at the language… “as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.” I don’t think Brett would reject the teaching that all men are condemned due to the sin of Adam, or at least I hope not. Yet, here, Brett (and others in this thread) reject the Scriptural language “leads to justification and life for all men.” That is they reject that what Christ did (as opposed to what Adam did) “leads to justification… for all men.” One can’t maintain all have been condemned and then say these Scriptures teach not all have been justified (in some sense) by what Christ has done.
    At any rate… I am definitely outta here for good. I have kicked this dead horse the final time. :)
    (*And there was much rejoicing!*)
  12. Joe Krohn
    February 27th, 2014 at 17:14 | #22
    @Jim Pierce #21 
    I know, Jim. Scripture is so undeniably clear. 2 Peter 2:1 “But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.” It clearly says that Jesus redeemed false teachers; even those who deny Him. I just don’t get it. Yes, there has been much horse kicking. Time to hit the trail… :)
  13. Brett Meyer
    February 27th, 2014 at 17:24 | #23
    Joe Krohn :
    Brett, you are blind! In your Luther quote is embedded exactly what you are arguing against!
    “He who believes that Christ came to redeem us, and that he has accomplished it, is really redeemed.”
    And yet I can see the sentence that preceeded your quote which states,“74. But what is the process whereby Christ gives us such a spirit and redeems us from under the Law? The work is effected solely by faith.”
    The accomplishment of redeeming the individual is through faith and not before and without as you contend.
    for He has redeemed, justified, and saved us from our sins as God and man, through His complete obedience; that therefore the righteousness of faith is the forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God, and our adoption as God’s children only on account of the obedience of Christ, which through faith alone, out of pure grace, is imputed for righteousness to all true believers, and on account of it they are absolved from all their unrighteousness.”
    http://bookofconcord.org/sd-righteousness.php
    Joe Krohn :
    Christ had to redeem us in order for us to believe we are redeemed. That is what Luther is saying! And if you are saying (which seems to be the case) that not all men are/were redeemed, them you are guilty of limited redemption because the ‘paying of the world’s iniquity’ effects something for all men.
    Prove from Scripture your UOJ teaching that Christ had to redeem us in order for us to believe we are redeemed.
    Prove from Scripture your UOJ teaching that (Christ’s) paying of the world’s iniquity effects something for all men. In the sense that you intend it – i.e. that the whole world of unbelievers were forgiven by God because of the atonement of Christ. The effect of the atonement was that all righteousness is in and of Christ. Those that are in Christ through faith have all that is His. Those who abide in unbelief have nothing of His and therefore remain under God’s wrath and condemnation.
    Your rationalistic UOJ assumptions are rejected by the clear teaching of Scripture and the faithful explanation of the BOC.
    Jim Pierce :
    I mean, just look at the language… “as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.”… Yet, here, Brett (and others in this thread) reject the Scriptural language “leads to justification and life for all men.” That is they reject that what Christ did (as opposed to what Adam did) “leads to justification… for all men.”
    Mr. Pierce, I’m glad you posted this Scriptural quote. The problem with this defense of UOJ’s teaching that all men are justified is that this verse states that all those justified are also saved eternally – “…and life for all men.” So you either have to back away from using this as a Objective Justification verse and, in classic UOJ style, teach it now is a Subjective Justification verse (just as it was once forbidden to eat meat on Friday’s yet it is now approved) or you must claim Universalism where all those thereby justified are also saved eternally. This is another clear example of UOJ’s eternal contradiction to Scripture.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Stay Tuned for Shocking Announcement about Ski - WELS Fox Valley -
Anything Goes District

The WELS high school also had him speak on his favorite subject,
since Ski can relate on the same emotional and academic level as high school students.


This is from DP Doug:


Wishing to demonstrate sensitivity to those who have concerns about James’ return to the public ministry, and at the same time reflecting the thoughts of those both inside and outside the district who have expressed a desire to see this brother return to the pastoral ministry, we have placed a number of stipulations on the granting of CRM status. One: that the granting of CRM status exists only to allow James the opportunity to receive a call into another district. This means that he would not use his CRM status to preach or perform acts of public ministry in the Valley or in the synod, which normally could be done by those who hold CRM status. Two: according to COP policy CRM status will lapse after three years. If no call has been received or accepted in this period of time, it would seem appropriate to counsel him to move on with a different vocation. Three: should James fail to honor the terms under which we are granting CRM status, his CRM status will be revoked immediately.

---

Translated by someone as:

"Yes, here is a man who is irreproachable (except in the Valley) and an approved candidate for representing Christ to His people (except in the Valley, where he is not approved), and if the Lord of the Church extends a call to him through a congregation in this part of the state of Wisconsin, we will determine that the Lord has no right to extend such a call of that man whom we have approved for ministry."

When politicians like A. Weiner inspire memes like this,
their careers are over.
In WELS - the only one with a problem  is the person who reports it.
Glende's ministry team took a member to court for
responding to a public request for advice about Ski's fitness.

PS - There are bets that St. Peter in Freedom will call Ski anyway.

Pine Bluff Transgender Episcopal Priest



Posted by David Virtue on 2014/2/26 9:10:00 (1335 reads)
ARKANSAS: Pine Bluff Episcopalian priest says he is transgendered

Rick Joslin
PINE BLUFF COMMERCIAL
http://pbcommercial.com/news/local/local-episcopalian-priest-says-he-transgendered
Feb. 24, 2014

The Rev. Greg Fry, priest-in-charge at Grace Episcopal Church in Pine Bluff, told his congregation Sunday morning that he is transgendered and identifies himself as a woman, apparently becoming the only working member of the Episcopalian clergy in Arkansas ever to make such an announcement.

Church members and officials at Grace Episcopal declined comment on Monday, while one member said church leaders in the vestry were scheduled to meet on Wednesday, after which they may be in a better position to discuss the matter.

The Rt. Rev. Larry Benfield, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas, said in a statement that he has met with the congregation's vestry.

"I think that the congregation will spend time in the coming weeks asking questions and becoming knowledgeable about the issue," Benfield said, "and I hope that thoughtful questioning will precede any decisions about Greg's long-term ministry at Grace Church."

The bishop's response "is congruent with a resolution of the 2012 General Convention of the Episcopal Church stating that people have an equal place in the life, worship, and governance of the Episcopal Church regardless of their gender identity and expression," the statement read.

According to various definitions, a transgender person is one who identifies with or expresses a gender identity that differs from the one that corresponds to the person's sex at birth. Transgender orientation is independent of sexual orientation.

Grace Episcopal, located at at 4101 S. Hazel St., was established in 1959 as a mission of Trinity Episcopal Church, the only other Episcopal church in the city. Trinity's rector for the past 12 years, the Rev. Dr. Walter Van Zandt Windsor, stated disapproval of Fry's announcement when contacted by The Commercial for comment.

"I am appalled by what has taken place at Grace Episcopal Church, but I understand," Windsor said in telephone and email comments. "I am primarily appalled because the announcement comes as a shock and obviously without concern for the Episcopalians in our community. I think it might have been less upsetting if we had spent time participating in a discussion of what all of this means related to our unified witness as Episcopalians."

Windsor said he assumes Fry has the support of the diocese and Grace's congregation.

"Grace is a loving group of people," Windsor said, "and I am sure that any error on their part is one of affirmation and love for one undergoing such tremendous changes in their life, such as their pastor is apparently undergoing."

Trinity, Windsor said, "upholds family values."

"We adhere to the traditional values of the church," Windsor said, adding that Trinity may have "perhaps more traditional mores than Grace" on some issues.

Fry's declared sexual status is a new occurrence within the Episcopal church in Arkansas, but not elsewhere in the United States, according to the Episcopal Diocese of Arkansas.

"There are a relatively small number of transgender members of the clergy in the Episcopal church," Benfield said in the statement to The Commercial in response to questions that were emailed to him. "They work in a variety of settings, some in congregations and some in chaplaincies or other similar settings.

"This situation in Arkansas is the first time that the church in Arkansas has had a priest announce his or her transgender status to a congregation where that priest currently works," the bishop continued.

The diocese, headquartered in Little Rock, comprises more than 14,000 members and 60 congregations.

Fry, who resides in Little Rock, contacted The Commercial by email Monday afternoon and said he would entertain questions. Several questions were emailed to him, but Fry did not respond to any of them within a four-hour period as a publication deadline neared.

Benfield said Fry is protected in his sexual status by an Episcopal Church canon that states: "No one shall be denied rights, status or access to an equal place in the life, worship and governance of this church because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disabilities or age, except as otherwise specified" by church law."

"There is not a church policy concerning transgender members of the clergy who announce their transgender status in a congregation," the bishop said. "Each situation is addressed individually."

The title of "priest-in-charge" at Grace Episcopal is a part-time position. Fry's wife, Lisa Fry, is a priest at an Episcopalian church in Little Rock.

*****

Fry: Hi Parishioners. Won't You Join Me On The Journey Toward My Sex-Change Operation?

That's all I can assume he means when he refers to "finalizing" the "transformation that has been working on me from the day I was born."

This letter was sent to the members of Grace Episcopal Church in Pine Bluff:

Dear friends,

The time has come for me to share something with you that is deeply personal. This is not easy, but important journeys never are, so let me just say what needs to be told and invite you to join me in this journey.

My entire life I have known that there was something different about me and the way I felt inside. It has been like my inner self was out of sync with my outer self and so I have always experienced (to use a technical term) dysphoria. As a child I prayed that I would wake up some day the whole person that I felt myself to be on the inside. I need to tell you that after years of self-searching and therapy I have come to accept in myself that I am transgender. And now I need to be honest with myself and all those I care about which includes you. I am going to begin the final stages of transitioning and I would like you to invite you to join me in this journey.

There will be plenty of time for talking this out and for education but for today.... I am the same person you have always known. I will continue to be that person you know and, if possible, I hope to grow and become even a better and more whole person and priest.

Do not pretend to have all the answers because I certainly don't have them all either.

My hope and my prayer is that you accept my sincere invitation to make the journey with me.

- To accept the challenge to grow as an individual and parish - To discover what transformations and transitions in your life are occurring and happening before our eyes
- To learn more about what transgender means and is, for many people - To walk with me as I complete (finalize) the transformation that has been working on me from the day I was born.

I hope that you will walk with me in faith, so that together we can discover and witness to that Love we are called to be, and bring into the world.

*****

Bishop Benfield: About This Transgender Priest... He's a faithful Pastor.

February 19, 2014

Dear members and friends of Grace Church:

For the past few months I have been talking with your priest, Greg Fry, after he revealed to me his awareness that he is transgender. I want to share with you my thoughts about what this situation means for Grace Church and Greg.

I have known Greg and his wife Lisa ever since we all attended Virginia Theological Seminary. I have respected and valued the ministries that they both bring to the church. In fact, I ordained Lisa as a priest as she began her work at St. Mark's Church in Little Rock.

The issue of being transgendered is not one with which many of us are knowledgeable. I have learned much since working with Greg and another transgender priest in Arkansas, as well as my encounters with other transgender members of the clergy throughout the larger church. It is an issue centered on a person's gender identity; it is not an issue of sexual orientation/attraction.

My hope is that we can spend our time in the coming weeks asking questions and becoming knowledgeable about the issue. Good and thoughtful questions always precede any decisions about long-term ministry.

I continue to value Greg's presence among all of you at Grace Church. he continues to be a faithful pastor. He and Lisa will be working on the next phase of their lives simultaneously with our working on learning more about this issue and how it is lived out in Greg's life.

With every best wish I remain

Faithfully yours,

Larry R. Benfield
Bishop of Arkansas

WELS DP Buchholz Will Consecrate the NNIV Version of the Seminary Cornerstone

Grace alone,
Scriptures alone,
Without faith.
WELS - Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary.
Two people were kind enough to send me a cornerstone photo from Mequon. I did not notice the new motto until today. I bow to their Photoshop abilities.

The Mequon faculty must be nervous about people asking difficult questions regarding forgiveness without faith (UOJ).

Justification by faith is too well documented in the Scriptures, Confessions, Luther, and the Concordists to dismiss.

If we had a Hunnius or P. Leyser, caught with a tract promoting UOJ, there would be reason to doubt the dominance of justification by faith. However, we have just the opposite - Samuel Huber teaching a position (based on his previous Calvinism) very close to WELS-ELCA-LCMS-ELS today. The response from the Concordists was volcanic. Huber was carefully unmasked as false teacher and removed from the Wittenberg faculty, as all the Mequon, St. Louis, Ft. Wayne, and Mankato professors should be today.

Instead, the Jar-Jar Binks of WELS, DP Jon Buchholz, will visit the dormitory basement to unleash his doctrinal ignorance on the poor, suffering students.

The more they make a show of their support for UOJ, the more students will suspect their insecurities.

Didn't Buchholz deliver the same nonsense to the Anything Goes District of WELS, where Ski is patiently waiting to get his job back from Engelbrecht?

Didn't Buchholz lie to the New Mexico congregation, promising to continue the discussion about justification at the upcoming conference, only to drive out their pastor and the congregation itself?

Didn't Buchholz brag at that same conference that he was foreclosing the loan on the New Mexico congregation, licking his chops?

Buchholz, like the rest of the WELS District Popes, has shown himself to be a man without faith, without principles, without integrity, but not without guile.

Meet the real Board of Governors of WELS -
John Parlow, Mark/Avoid Jeske, Paul Kelm, and Kudu Don Patterson.


Virtue Online - A Lot More Gumption Than the "Intrepid Lutherans".
VO Calls for Seminary Head To Resign

Dean Salmon Should Resign from Nashotah House

Editorial

By David W. Virtue MCS, DD 
www.virtueonline.org 
February 24, 2014

Bishop Edward Salmon, Dean and President of Nashotah House, the flagship Anglo Catholic seminary in Nashotah, Wisconsin should resign, having forfeited his right to continue to lead the seminary following an invitation to Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to address the student body there.

The theological views of the Presiding Bishop have been well documented. She has, over the course of seven years, made un-Biblical statements about the person of Jesus Christ, the authority of the Bible, heaven and hell, the Resurrection, attributing a demon to St. Paul and made the statement from the 2009 General Convention that the "great heresy of Western Christianity" is the belief that one can have a personal saving relationship with Jesus Christ.

That he acquiesced to the request of three students to invite Jefferts Schori to "come and see" and then attempted to wash his hands of the event has been typical of the history of this bishop. He once famously said to his clergy, when he was bishop of South Carolina, that if TEC ever allowed the gay agenda to take hold he would take the diocese out of the Episcopal Church. He didn't and later denied saying that he ever said it. It was up to his successor Bishop Mark Lawrence to take that action.

In this latest debacle Salmon has revealed himself to be a prevaricator, a fence sitter and useful idiot for the episcopal administration.

In this ecclesiastical conflagration he has been called out by his predecessor Dean Robert Munday who says that what he did was totally contrary to the faith we are called to believe and teach.

"One of the things that saddens me most about this whole affair is what it models for students at the House. These students are no longer being taught to be valiant for truth and to take risks for the sake of the Gospel, they are being led by example to 'go along to get along,' and that dialogue with heretics and even having them in your pulpit is a good thing if it promotes better relationships."

Salmon is on record as saying, "The name of leadership is relationships - people connecting with each other and working together. Our broken relationships in the Church are a testimony against the Gospel."

Not true, wrote Munday. "The heterodoxy of the Episcopal Church, in general, and of Katharine Jefferts Schori, in particular, is a testimony against the Gospel. We are called to separate ourselves from false teachers; and a shepherd, whether of a diocese, a parish, or a seminary, is called to protect his flock from wolves. In the words of the ordination vows Bishop Salmon took: 'Are you ready, with all faithful diligence, to banish and drive away all erroneous and strange doctrine contrary to God's Word; and both privately and openly to call upon and encourage others to do the same?' To lead a seminary like Nashotah House in these days, and to fail to keep that ordination vow, is to see your seminary turn into another Seabury-Western, or General, or worse."

What is doubly ironic is that the Presiding Bishop has spoken vigorously against students wanting to study at Nashotah House. The Presiding Bishop specifically told one of her Executive Council members not to seek his theological education at Nashotah House. This negative advice was also delivered to two other co-ed students while they were in discernment about their seminary training at The House.

Now ask yourself a question. Has the much ballyhooed "doctrines" of inclusivity and diversity ever led a liberal Episcopal seminary to invite an orthodox bishop to give a lecture on say the Trinity or a biblical view on human sexuality? It would be laughable to think that the "married" lesbian president of the Episcopal Divinity School in Massachusetts would ever make such an invitation. Hell would freeze over before that happened.

And the truly stupefying truth is that for over 30 years orthodox bishops in the Episcopal Church have drawn one line in the sand after another in order to appease liberals. I recall Central Florida Bishop John Howe voting for Resolution D039 that allowed homosexual fornication in the name of "holy love" to become part of the sexual fabric of the church. Other resolutions followed, orthodox bishops drew more lines in the sand till one day Bishop Barbara Harris stood up and demanded that all dioceses must ordain women to the priesthood (in the name of women's rights) thus nullifying the consciences of godly bishops like Keith Ackerman, William Wantland, Donald Davies, John-David Schofield, Clarence Pope, Edward MacBurney and Jack Iker and, with a stroke of the pen, forced them all out of the church they had spent most of their lives in.

And now Bishop Salmon thinks he can do it again. No you can't. That day is done. There are no more lines in the sand to be drawn. There is a new world ecclesiastical order. Jefferts Schori is a heretic and the NT is abundantly clear in several places that we should have nothing to do with them. St. Paul writing to the Galatians 1:7-9 is absolutely clear, "As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." This is strong language that seemed to have slipped Bishop Salmon's mind.

As one blogger observed The Presiding bishop's Gospel can be defined as the acquisition of property by law, defrocking for disagreement, homosexual marriage and the holiness of the spirit of divination?

We must ask as Dean Munday did, "what were you thinking Bishop Salmon?" The days of go along to get along are long gone. What you did was not only reprehensible but you opened your orthodox academy to the "spirit of divination" that would have allowed any theologically weak students (and there are always one or two) to "hear" the Presiding Bishop and conclude that far from being a heretic she is a "nice person" who is either misunderstood or has a point of view worth hearing. 

I have watched this woman in action at press conferences at General Convention and she can parse her way through anything and anybody with answers that leave one scratching one's head, but NOBODY is prepared to challenge her. The last bishop to say anything was South Carolina Bishop Mark Lawrence who stormed out of the House of Bishops at the last General convention never to be seen again. Jefferts Schori went right along as though nothing had happened. Later the litigation began in earnest and continues to this day.

You, Bishop Salmon have failed the seminary, your supporters, some of your board members in the name of a false "inclusivity". You have no business running this seminary. You should do the honorable thing and resign.

END

***

GJ - The soi-disant Intrepids are more famous for their silence than for their speaking out. They silenced themselves:
1. When Rick Techlin was excommunicated for telling the truth about Ski/Glende/Engelbrecht.
2.  When Paul Rydecki was kicked out with his congregation for teaching the truth about justification by faith.
3. When everyone finally realized, at least five years late, that Thrivent is in bed with Planned Parenthood abortions.
4. When police raided the WELS headquarters for Hochmuth's man/boy rape graphics, after Mark Schroeder publicly absolved Hochmuth, and when Hochmuth offended again after displays of faux-repentance.
5. When Mark Schroeder went to Fox Valley to cut a deal with Engelbrecht, Glende, Ski, and St. Peter in Freedom.