The Glory Has Departed


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Monday, January 26, 2015

WELS Reaction to the Matthew Harrison Stomp - Valparaiso's Favorite Apostate Matt Becker Exonerated


WELS Discussions on the Recent Matt Harrison Stomp about Valpo Apostate Matt Becker


  • Daniel Baker Also I'd point out that the only reason the Becker fellow is FINALLY being dealt with is because it is being talked about in forums like this.
    1 hr · Unlike · 7
  • Joe Jewell Rik Krahn and Noah Bater--since you asked--just to give one very (extraordinarily, in fact) well-documented and analagous WELS example in which the "official" disciplinary/review panel from the district/synod structure reached an unjust and harmful conclusion, that is absolutely *crying out* for President Schroeder to stand up and use his "bully pulpit" take leadership on, I submit:

    https://vdma.wordpress.com/2011/10/09/church-status/

    I think, quite frankly, that this is a WORSE case of injustice, in terms of the pastoral consequences and implications, than the LCMS case, because it involves 1) the endorsement by the District of the pastoral sheep-flaying of a simple layman--this is spiritual abuse of the most wretched order; and 2) the conviction and expulsion of a demonstrably innocent man.

    It's been over three years of the status quo, now. Time for someone, somewhere in the synod to take a public stand for the right.


    Saint Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church in Freedom, WI (WELS) was my life-long home congregation.  (St....
    VDMA.WORDPRESS.COM
  • ---



Church Status


IMG_8807 csed
Saint Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church in Freedom, WI (WELS) was my life-long home congregation.  (St. Peter’s daughter congregation is The CORE in Appleton, WI).
In the Spring of 2011, the leadership of St. Peter Congregation terminated my fellowship with the WELS as a persistent errorist based on two letters that I wrote.  Those two letters are linked below:
They said in a certified letter that they removed me as a persistent errorist because in those letters I publicly disagreed with Pastor Glende and the Northern Wisconsin District Presidium on three doctrinal issues:
  1. I said that plagiarism was a sin, and that Pastor Glende was guilty of plagiarism.
  2. I said that God does not need our service: in other words, the means of grace are sufficient.
  3. I said that in the light of faith Christians cannot choose to believe God’s Word: in other words, from beginning to end, faith is 100% the gift of God.
Because I believed that these positions were not doctrinal error, I appealed.  However, the Northern Wisconsin District Appeal Board denied my appeal without explanation.  (Because the Appeal Board’s written decision contained no explanation, I believe their decision was based on politics, not principle).  Now, I have three choices:
  1. Sin against my conscience by renouncing the above true Christian doctrine, and then presumably rejoin St. Peter Congregation.
  2. Refuse to publicly recant the true Christian doctrine, and remain excluded from the WELS forever.  (The WELS Constitution §§ 8.30(c) and 8.50(e) would forbid my return).
  3. Disregard the District Appeal Board’s ruling and the WELS Constitution(§§ 8.30(c) and 8.50(e)), and continue indefinitely in triangular fellowship with other WELS congregations who agree with me in doctrine.  (Currently, this is where I am).
In summary, the leadership of St. Peter Congregation terminated my fellowship with the WELS because I questioned the methodology and doctrine of Pastors Glende and Skorzewski and the Northern Wisconsin District Presidium’s defense of their false doctrine and practice.
I did my best to resolve these issues in a brotherly way by spending years attempting to meet privately, and then after years of private effort, by ultimately bringing these concerns to the Church.  In return, the leadership of St. Peter Congregation terminated my fellowship with the WELS as a persistent errorist.
Lord, have mercy.
For further reading:
As background to this post, please see the previous posts: “Terminated from WELS Fellowship” and “Receiving Holy Communion in the WELS.”
On April 11, 2011 St. Peter congregation terminated my fellowship with the WELS as a persistent errorist, and also removed my brother from membership in the congregation.  (Minutes from April 11, 2011 meeting.  As part of this citation, I need to say that my dad gave me the minutes from this meeting.  This needs to be said because other members of St. Peter have expressed concern that Pastor Glende will call them in to question them about where I got a copy of these minutes, and I want to spare them additional church discipline).
Since my fellowship with the WELS was terminated wrongfully, I appealed.  On June 23, 2011, I received the following letter:
June 17, 2011
Dear Mr. Techlin,
We thank you for the material you provided to our Board of Appeals and for the time you spent with us.  After prayerfully considering the evidence in the matter of your appeal, we, the members of the Northern Wisconsin District Board of Appeals have determined that St. Peter Lutheran congregation had Scriptural reasons for removing you from membership and, in doing so, acted in the spirit of Christian love.  We are therefore, denying your appeal.
We commend you to the care of our gracious God, trusting that he will be at work in you “… to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).
Sincerely,
Pastor David Wenzel
NWD Board of Appeals
It is hard to accept this because the Board of Appeals offered no reasons to support their decision.  Left unanswered are the following questions:
  • What are the “Scriptural reasons” for my termination of fellowship?
  • Of what false doctrine am I guilty?
  • Of what do I need to repent before I can commune?
In order to commune, am I supposed to say that God needs our service?  Am I supposed to say that Christians can choose to believe God’s Word?  Am I supposed to say that the deceit and false doctrine involved with plagiarizing false teachers is not a sin?
How can an ambush termination of fellowship be construed as acting “in the spirit of Christian love”?  Where am I supposed to receive the Lord’s Supper?  What denomination am I supposed to join?  Am I supposed to become an unaffiliated lone Lutheran Christian who never communes?  Or should I join a denomination that actually serves the Lord’s Supper more than twice a month, and just forget about agreeing with anyone on doctrine?
The Board of Appeals was supposed to determine “whether the process leading to the disciplinary action and the doctrinal basis of the disciplinary action were scriptural.”  (WELS Constitution, Section 8.50; Appeals by Laypersons.  Emphasis added).  However, the Board of Appeals told me they were not going to consider the doctrine.  They told me that the District Presidium was in charge of doctrine, not them.  So whatever the District President said the doctrine was, the Board of Appeals was going to agree with him.  Therefore, since my doctrinal disagreement was not only with Pastors Glende and Skorzewski, but also with District President Engelbrecht, by the rules of this appeal, I had no chance to win on the doctrine.
Furthermore, I have no idea how the Board of Appeals ruled against me on procedure.  I had no notice that St. Peter congregation was going to terminate my fellowship with the WELS.  I had no opportunity to speak on my own behalf and defend myself.  I had no opportunity to face my accusers and answer their charges directly.  They still have not told me of what false doctrine I am supposed to be guilty.  Procedurally, I was treated worse than our secular society treats accused criminals.
As part of the appeal, I was still not allowed to face my accusers, and no pastors were allowed to help me or speak on my behalf, even though I had numerous WELS pastors who were willing to help.
All the accusations made against me were made behind my back, and I was given no chance to understand the charges or to directly confront my accusers face to face.  This is not how a church should operate.
This fact remains:  I caught Pastor Glende red-handed in the sin of plagiarism: he was plagiarizing false teachers.  I documented the evidence, and followed every procedure that was required of me.  As a result, Pastor Glende received no discipline, and I had my fellowship in the WELS terminated as a persistent errorist (without an allegation of a specific error).  Again I ask: what is my doctrinal error?
For now, I belong to no earthly congregation.  Still, I am grateful to the WELS pastors who have told me that they will continue to commune me until District President Engelbrecht satisfactorily explains to them why I am guilty of false doctrine and why I should be excluded from their fellowship.
Shepherds are supposed to defend the sheep, not kill them.  (John 10:1-19).

But Wait - There's More! Ski and Glende Also Engaged in Extreme Misconduct against a Lady Staffer, Then Sued the Husband for Complaining


Jane's Story: WELS Sexual Harassment

Written by "Jane"

When I accepted the Executive Assistant position at a contemporary WELS church, there were many things I expected, but sexual harassment was not one of them. In addition to the harassment, I witnessed my supervisor and "spiritual leader" demean other women (including members of the church), drink on the job, plagiarize sermons and act in the very manner you would not expect from a "called servant of The Lord".

I almost immediately observed the pastor's casualness, lack of boundaries, and what I perceived as downright laziness at times. His standards and expectations for my position as the assistant seemed to exceed his own standards as the pastor. 


Shortly after starting my position, I received a text message sometime after midnight from my supervisor telling me I should have sex with my husband. We never requested counseling or advice in this realm so his inappropriateness was rather strange at best to us. We strived to take words and actions in the best possible way. I was subjected to many routine "lapses in judgement" by my spiritual leader. Including an incident of him showing me a video that depicted nude male genitals while alone in his office.Is there ever a correct context for a supervisor to show anything like this to his married employee? (I will discuss this more at another time).

As he pushed the boundaries and inappropriateness, my conscience began to nag at me. Through even the darkest days, I allowed myself to believe that these behaviors were normal. Yet I began to feel torn between my loyalty to the church and the moral issues at hand.

I spent many nights awake and hovered over my bible in tears. There was something very wrong about what was going on at that church. I've seen it all first hand and, yet, felt obligated to keep it all a secret. It was the kind of secret that absolutely tormented me, but I thought I was doing the right thing at the time (just another lie we are led to believe as victims).

After months of utter frustration the hostile work environment began to take a toll on me and my husband. I prayerfully considered if perhaps this was an unhealthy situation for me to be in. So I gave my notice and was told to tell members of the congregation that I "wasn't a good fit" when I left my position. It was unbearable to work with a man that continued to ignore, scream, belittle, degrade and humiliate me. I left this job feeling worthless and far less confident than when I started (which was previously at a Fortune 100 company).

I suffered in silence while working at that church. I fell into a deep darkness from all that I experienced and witnessed there and its leadership. Shortly after I left the position my depression began to spiral. We maintained membership at this "relevant" church because of the relationships that we had formed with other Christians and did not want to neglect our spiritual life. The final straw was when an assault rifle was used as a sermon prop.

We decided it was best to seek the counsel of a trusted pastor since the leadership at this church either outright condoned or failed to supervise its employees and their behavior. We were convicted to resolve all this in a Christ centered way. Our hope was to see positive changes and healing for all. 


How many times does a synod president attend a
congregational meeting to cut a deal with the district president?
Mark Schroeder did, and Ski got another call.


My husband and I have continued to fight an endless battle for justice in the synod and to see that this doesn't happen to someone else. We've patiently been in contact with top synod leaders. We've encountered roadblocks, never ending circles and have witnessed inconsistencies throughout the disciplinary processes within the synod. By the Grace of God, we've encountered wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ to share in our burden. Unfortunately, we've also encountered timid leaders and those hesitant to publicly speak for the truth. People seem to selectively choose which commandments and passages to throw at you while ignoring others.

The journey has been incredibly lonely and frustrating since we were asked to remain silent and be patient. We are exhausted and completely astonished that after everything was brought into the light this man continues to be a pastor and counsel members. We will continue to persevere with others until positive changes are made in this synod so that all victims of abuse are protected rather than the perpetrators.

Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, (‭Romans‬ ‭5‬:‭3‬ ESV)

Jeff Schone went from being an awful pastor
to being an awful administrative bully at Martin Luther College:
zero tolerance for confessional students, who are driven out.