The Glory Has Departed

Lutheran book boxes sent to three African seminaries -
a third one has been sent now.

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central Daylight Time.
Wednesdays Romans 1-5 in Greek

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

which works as too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Norma A. Boeckler Author's Page

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson's Author's Page

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Friday, January 16, 2015

WELS Documented - Afraid To Address Issues in WELS.
Don't Sign Your Name on the Comments, Puh-leeze!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Among the Hidden: The fear of speaking out against the WELS

Why the fear to speak
publicly against the WELS?
Why do so many people, pastors included, feel that when they have concerns about the Synod they must speak anonymously? What happens if those concerns are expressed? Is there a safe manner for both concerned pastors and laypeople to express those thoughts where they don't have to do it anonymously? What can the Synod do to assist people and help them feel like they are able to speak openly and not anonymously? Obviously many feel like they can't.


IMPORTANT NOTE: The purpose of this post, and the cases cited, is to examine and discuss WHY so many people, who have concerns about the synod, don't speak up as themselves but instead feel the need to remain anonymous. It is also to examine if there are only specific subjects (i.e. contemporary worship, doctrinal issues, etc.) that make people feel vulnerable or if it is "across the board" with everything. The cases cited below are for discussion to see if these very public cases, and their results, are what is holding people back - because of what they have seen happen to others.

For all the "anonymous and hidden" people out there, please comment with why you feel the need to either blog, write, or comment anonymously. What do you fear will happen if you speak openly?

Likewise, if you are one that HAS spoken up about concerns in the Synod, and had positive results, please share the general topic and how you broached the subject with the Synod.

For those on the other side of the fence, that spoke up using your real identity and it lead to negative repercussions, what were they? What would you do differently (if anything)?

And finally, what specifically can the synod - synod president, district presidents, circuit pastors - do to reduce all the anonymous writing, comments and concerns?

Another embezzler,
dearly loved by WELS UOJ/CGM leaders.


The Polluted WELS Blog was written by an anonymous author (Matthias Flach) and when he accidentally gave away too many details about his identity, he deleted his page for fear of retribution. Since most of it has been deleted, it's difficult to link to anything for verifiable documentation therefore, Matthias, if you are reading this, we would love to have your input on why published and what lead you to delete, etc so we can learn from your experience.

Comment that wasn't deleted:
"...Two of the DP who are supposed to be the most Confessional are preaching at this conference. If I dared to voice my concerns, I would automatically labeled "divisive" and blackballed. Anonymous blogging is the only recourse Confessional Lutheran pastors have."

The Bailing Water Blog examined issues in the WELS from 2007 - 2011. If the author of Bailing Water is reading this, we would welcome your input on why you began the blog, what you were able to accomplish, and why you stopped.

The Intrepid Lutheran Blog also started strong and the people involved were NOT anonymous. Did that lead to negative repercussions for any of them? We ask because this was posted in their 2013 blog post, The Witch Hunt Has (Officially) Begun: "...The following paragraph is from WELS District President Doug Engelbrecht’s summary of the recent meeting of the WELS Conference of Presidents, sent out to the pastors of his district: Another item involved the Intrepid Lutheran website.  There is a concern that those who still wholeheartedly support this group by being “signers” are also supporting a pastor who has been removed from the ministerium of the WELS for doctrinal reasons, because he has been given a forum on their website.  The consensus was that each district president should approach pastors in their district who are listed as “signers” on the website and determine whether or not they are in support of the false doctrine that the suspended pastor espouses..."

Because the Intrepid Blog is so big and involves so many issues and people, we would welcome input from any of the originals "signers" on how you felt then and how you feel now about voicing public concerns. Do you have any regrets? Would you encourage others to be like you and come forward as themselves publicly to express concerns? What advice do you have to give looking back in hindsight now?


The following three case are well known public cases which are often cited as reasons for why people feel the need to be anonymous. The parties in all these cases chose to make them public. We did not dig these out of a closet somewhere. All of them have substantial referenced reading material online if you would like to study each one in more in-depth. We would welcome first-hand feedback from all the parties below (both sides) to further elaborate on the obstacles you faced - both positive and negative. We would also be interested in hearing, now that you know the outcome, if you have any advice for others who may also be in the same situation? 

Case 1: Pastor Paul Rydecki
Issue: Spoke up about doctrinal concerns in the Synod
Outcome: It is with great personal distress that we inform you, earlier this week Rev. Paul Rydecki was suspended from WELS on the charge of teaching the “false doctrine” of Justification by Faith Alone. This drama has been drawn out over the past few months.
Reading Material: 

Case 2: Layperson Rick Techlin
Issue: Concerned about doctrinal issues and plagiarism in his WELS church
Outcome: Had his membership terminated from his lifelong church
Reading Material: 
note: all the letters were linked from public websites; they were not obtained by private means.

    Case 3: Layperson had a restraining order filed on him by two WELS pastors
    Issue: JD was standing up for his wife's reputation after she was sexually harassed by a pastor. That WELS pastor, as well as, a second WELS pastor filed a restraining order against him and took him to court.
    Outcome: Case was dismissed.
    Reading Material: