The Glory Has Departed

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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

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Excommunication - A Rose By Any Other Name Would Still Smell

Throughout 2010 and 2011, five pastors and two laymembers of the Northern Wisconsin District met repeated times with the District Presidium concerning the very points that Rick Techlin had brought before them. I was one of those pastors and attended every meeting.

I believe it is disingenuous to say that Rick was removed for being rude. It's true that at many public meetings of St. Peter congregation he asked if the Lutheran Confessions could be emphasized in the pastors' teachings. He did meet numerous times alone with Pastor Glende, and was asked once to appear before the church council. He also did seek the advice of St. Peter's Circuit pastor and the presidium of the Northern Wisconsin District. To say that he didn't make use of the proper protocol made available to him in WELS would show a person's ignorance of this case.

In fact, just two weeks prior to his being declared out of fellowship with St. Peter's congregation, Mr. Techlin was part of a meeting that included the district presidium, all three pastors of St. Peter's/CORE, the pastors and laymen who joined Rick in his concerns, and the circuit pastors of all the pastors involved. The meeting lasted most of the morning. When it finished, it was agreed that all involved would continue talking to one another so that these issues could be solved. Without once asking to speak with him personally as a way to show pastoral concern, Mr. Techlin received the letter from St. Peter congregation declaring him outside their fellowship. Though he was spoken about at a public meeting of the congregation, he was not notified to defend himself. Most importantly, please do not say that Rick was excommunicated. That implies he lives as an impenitent sinner. Never once was he accused of being such by St. Peter congregation.

Those are the facts of this case. Since being declared out of fellowship with St. Peter congregation, Rick has been welcomed by the pastors of a nearby congregation. He does received communion at its altar. The long time veteran pastor of the congregation asked the former president of the NW District to discipline him if he were doing something wrong. He has never been disciplined.

Much has been written about this case. Though considered "closed" by the district and St. Peter congregation, there remain many unanswered questions. Those questions will probably never be answered.

I have spent many hours discussing theology with Rick. He is a very humble man who is deeply concerned with the teachings of Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions. He is not someone who shoots from the hip or opens his mouth without thoroughly thinking about what he will say or do. If respected by and listened to by a WELS pastor, Rick would be a valuable resource for authentic Lutheranism in a congregation.


  • Thank you, Pastor Lidtke, for the rest of the story, and for using your name and information to protect Rick Techlin from anonymous and wholly unsubstantiated slander. Very helpful, very brotherly, very pastoral. Thank you. [GJUses false name, thanks Lidtke for using his own, that is so...WELS!]
  • Nobody should say anything bad about Rick or assume he is doing anything but following his conscience. He did exactly what he should have but finally what should the voters have done with a man who continued to call his pastor a false teacher?
    Consider this from the view of St. Peter where there has been no real sin to repent of: A man in your congregation accuses the pastor publicly of sin for mowing his lawn on a Sunday. The congregation talks about it. The man talks about it with his own pastor, the circuit pastor, even representatives from the district. The congregation remains unconvinced their pastor is sinning by mowing his lawn on a Sunday. However, the man continues to very publicly repeat his accusations of public sin. Over and over again. Maybe you would find a different word than “rude” but that is what comes to my mind. Either way the man is not a manifest unbeliever but you also cannot have him continue to publicly accuse his pastor of sin. You do exactly what St. Peter did with Rick, you remove him from membership without excommunication. Maybe he can find a congregation where the pastor doesn’t mow his lawn on a Sunday or who can communicate better with him. Either way he can’t stay and accuse the pastor publicly of sin if the rest of the congregation disagrees with him.
    Consider this from the view of Rick where there has been a real sin to repent of: You bring forward a concern that your pastor is now teaching Calvinism. Your congregation discusses it. You speak to your pastor, your circuit pastor, your district officials and they all believe the teaching of limited atonement is biblical. You continue to witness to the truth but don’t you leave not only your own congregation but also your district because you see them as persistent errorists? Unfortunately and confusingly, this isn’t what Rick did. He stuck around his own congregation and even his own synod even though he seems to have said St. Peters and the district officials are persistent errorists.
    I believe Rick is just following his conscience and God be praised for that.
    However, that doesn’t change the fact that it is simply unacceptable (I will call it rude) to continue to call your pastor to repentance when your entire congregation believes there is no sin. They removed him from membership but did not excommunicate him. The only person who said he was excommunicated was Rick himself. Right now he attends a WELS church which means he supports and lives under the very district who also agreed with the voters of St. Peter that there was no sin. If he truly has a problem with that he is free to witness to the truth he believes in his heart and leave the persistent errorist that is the WELS.
    I think everyone wishes him the best. He just cannot repeatedly, publicly, and loudly call his pastor to repentance when the congregation, circuit, and district has also repeatedly said there was no sin to repent of.
  • I apologize for using the term excommunication. I was unaware of the distinct difference and had previously saw that Rick used that term himself.

    As far as how he was removed, it seems that St. Peter did not hold a special voter's meeting. They in fact announced it as the annual voter's meeting to approve the budget for the next fiscal year. As part of all voter's meetings, a list of membership updates (confirmands, transfers, releases) that were previously approved by the church council is reported and accepted without discussion by the voters. No one has ever come forward to say that this voter's meeting was any different. Was there actual discussion and a special vote regarding Rick or was the letter sent to Rick misleading by reporting that it was a unanimous decision by the 30 or so voters in the room? These are questions that still have not been answered. St. Peter was obviously done discussing his concerns, unwilling to admit any errors, and was at an impasse with Rick. They misled Rick and the other pastors by leaving the impression that some progress was being made. Then they turned around and quickly rubber-stamped his termination of membership right before Easter. Even if all procedures were followed as the district appeals committee reviewed and confirmed, the termination was not done with a spirit of christian love for Rick. Ironically, it brings to mind the very first Holy Week when Pilot washed his hands of the problem for his own benefit. For this the St. Peter council and Pastors owe Rick an apology and should extend their blessing (as the former DP suggested**) that he might become a full member of a neighboring WELS congregation should the council of that church approve (if he is not already and from his blog it doesn't appear that he is in full membership only commune fellowship of the WELS congregation he currently attends).

    **"since the termination of your membership was because you publicly stated that you are not in doctrinal agreement with your pastors, your congregation, the district, and other leaders in the WELS, another WELS pastor would have difficulty allowing you to partake of Holy Communion … at least not without him consulting with your former pastors to get their blessing." -Former District President Engelbrecht.

  • ---

    I was one of the laymen who attended numerous meetings with Rick and several pastors. In my opinion, the meeting with the presidium was not handled in an appropriate way. (Nuf said) The NWD appeal process for Rick was inadequate. (Nuf said) I expressed my displeasure with the way the issue(s) were resolved with a member of the NWD Presidium. I commend the pastors who stuck by Rick and are continuing to support him and, especially, by serving him with the life giving Word and Sacrament. To God be the Glory!


    What do you call a drinking-on-the-job pastor
    who shows X-rated material to a lady staffer
    and makes obscene remarks to her?
    Answer - "Just the guy we need to close down Round Rock."
    CRM passed, call issued.

    GJ - I enjoy seeing how WELS pastors play with words. In general, excommunication has the broader meaning of being excluded, shunned, and treated as a criminal.

    The account given by Pastor Lidtke certainly attests to that, and Rick Techlin's vivid and well supported accounts prove the same. I have to rush to copy and paste evidence before it is erased, because WELS teaches that erased facts never happened at all. 

    Techlin ultimately received Holy Communion from outside his parish, but that is unusual in an abusive cult where the clergy close ranks once someone has been declared unclean. That does not absolve Ski, Glende, Engelbrecht, and Mark Schroeder of their crimes.

    SP Mark Schroeder stepped in to rescue Ski from the slob's unrepented sins and WELS rewarded Glende by shutting down his first mistake (the Savoy, Illinois coffee bar debacle) and making Tim the key speaker at the upcoming teachers' conference and motivational session. 

    Should we conclude that being alumni of Mark Jeske's New Age business makes Tim and Ski invulnerable to discipline and deaf to sound doctrine?

    I proved the plagiarism of Ski and Glende long before the nascent Intrepid Lutherans got involved. I joined the Craig Groeschel organization and signed an agreement to use Craig's sermons and graphics without charge. That gave me access to all the garbage Ski and Glende were calling their own. Glende even denied his own plagiarism when asked about it by Techlin. 

    Why did a pastor called by St. Peter soon resign and seek another call? No one wanted to address that, so obviously there were questions already.

    Why did Bishop Katie resign from her thankless job of doing Ski's work for him? Later, another Ski staffer resigned, and when she gave reasons, Ski and Glende and two other St. Peterites took her husband to court.

    Think about that - four people sued the lady's husband for telling the truth. The judge dismissed Tim's pathetic case and the others have to give up too, although vindictive and unrepentant Ski wanted his pound of flesh.

    Many people have come to the same conclusions about the rot in WELS. I gather most of my evidence from the Net. These fools have a problem - they have to brag about themselves on the Net, publishing the evidence in their own words for all to see.

    Not only that, whatever is available to me is also there for others to check. I did not have to give anything to the future Intrepids. It was already there. How much good did it do to address the issues? None.

    How soon was the Intrepid Lutherans blog shut down by the cowering, boozey DPs? Pretty fast. But Mark Jeske's money business goes on. The upcoming WELS teacher's conference is simply another Church and Change New Age coven.

    1. Anonymous - February 24, 2015 at 4:20 PM,

      You say, "Mr. Tichlen [sic] got up at almost every meeting to accuse his pastor of plagiarism. He was unable to convince any of the voters that this charge was actually true but nonetheless he got up every meeting to very vocally make this charge and every meeting convinced not a single voting member. This didn't place him outside the faith, it is just really, really rude... He was removed for being extremely rude."

      That is not true. I never stood up at any church meeting to accuse Pastor Glende of plagiarism. I never discussed those matters in front of the congregation or at a voters' meeting. Ever. My concerns were first made public when they were published without my permission on Ichabod.

      When my letter was made public without my permission, I wrote this on my blog:

      "Unauthorized Publication

      "Recently, a non-WELS blogger published, without my permission, a 29 page letter that I wrote to my pastors and church council last year. However, I gave no one permission to publish my letter, neither did I send my letter to anyone other than those to whom it was addressed.

      "I immediately sent a respectful e-mail to this other blogger asking him to not publish my letter.

      "Without ever having communicated with me, this blogger has also publicly speculated about the synod officials’ response to my letter.

      "This sort of behavior is morally wrong and not to be commended in any way. It is also disorderly. (James 3:17-18).

      "Those who take it upon themselves to publish a year old letter without permission, and who have no information about what has transpired over the last year, behave in an irresponsible manner."

      Here is the link so you can see for yourself:

      I never attended a voters' meeting after that. A few months later, I was terminated from fellowship.

      I am very curious to hear where you got your false information.

      Your entire comment is false and defamatory. Will you own up to the fact that you do not know what you are talking about? Will you divulge your name? Will you divulge who gave you this false and defamatory information?

      Rick Techlin
    2. ***

    3. GJ - No one wants to be accused of leaking to Ichabod, because that is the ultimate sin.
    4. Attorney Techlin has always been grumpy about my publishing efforts, even giving me orders about how to quote him.
    5. His letter was a masterpiece. The only way to have kept it a secret was to avoid sending it.
    6. In contrast, Engelbrecht skipped a meeting he promised, as I recall, and left behind a letter blaming me for all his troubles in the Fox Valley Circuit. They should have copied and sent that letter to me, to expose the cowardly DP knave. So they replaced Engelbrecht with a younger version - Zank - approved by one Joel Lillo.
    7. Y'all deserve what you get up there. You play by their rules, not the Scriptures, and crab about the results. Good fruit does not come from corrupt trees.
    Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets [Church and Changers], which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
    16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? [Or grace without the Means of Grace?]
    17 Even so every good tree [faith] bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt [UOJ Church and Changer] tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
    18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
    19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
    20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
    21 Not every guru that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
    22 Many Church and Changers will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
    23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. [New Jackson Living KJV]
    The victims of synod flogging join the fun in Icha-flogging.