The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

The Lutheran Library Publishing Ministry

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream - Sunday, 10 AM Central.


Thanksgiving Eve - 7 PM Central Time.

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

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com 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

Friday, April 17, 2015

WELS Musings from a Layman - The Sausage Factory as the Echo Chamber

WELS produces the MDivs who repeat the same bromides,
which are echoed verbatim to show their loyalty to Holy Mother Sect.


Randall Schultz
I propose that the Sausage Factory be given an additional nickname. One could also call it “The Echo Chamber”. Graduates have a habit of repeating certain phrases like Matthew 18, the Eighth Commandment, all are saved, etc. Perhaps a more fancy title might be the Pavlovian Dog School of Polemics. This conditioned response even applies to synod minders who have this mode of operation in place whenever debate is attempted.

The opposite of the echo chamber is an anechoic chamber. I have been in a couple of those. When you speak, it sounds like the words just drop out of your mouth and hit the floor in front of you.  This would be akin to writing a letter to a DP or other synod top dogs.

I remember reading once that Johannes Bading performed 2,182 baptisms. At his funeral, Pastor Gausewitz was one of the pall bearers. At one of the two organ concerts that I attended, Kevin Hastings gave a really interesting informal talk about the history. When he came there, there were members there who had fond memories of Pastor Brenner. He found it humorous that they said that Brenner could get a bit long with his sermons. They joked about wanting a lever a for trap door at the bottom of the pulpit. I am guessing that these members had elderly relatives who talked about Bading.

When I read a bit more about Bading's humble life, it reminded me of what I read about Matthias Loy and even Walter Maier (the elder).

Another tidbit. When we visited St. John's, there about twenty to forty in attendance. After the service, an elderly lady pointed to a young man in a photo hanging in the narthex. She said, "that's my husband". Those who were there probably just had a strong sense of belonging to a church that was so vital to the formation of the Synodical Conference. After St. John's was stolen and Kevin Hastings was locked out, much will be sent down the memory hole.

Then, I read a few entries from the latest WELS Documented blog. It was about many different worship styles yet allegedly, the same doctrine in the WELS. I wondered what the WELS leaders have been smoking. I also noticed that most of the congregations listed were outside of Wisconsin. The one notable exception was St. Paul's Muskego and the Bridge.

I believe that Kevin Hastings said something like, "it was so funny to hear these smart alecky 85 year old members say that they wished that there was a lever connected to a trap door on the bottom of the pulpit. That way, they could pull the lever when Brenner took too much time in a sermon."

I also remember going there with our children when we had maybe only the oldest three and St. John's was still in the WELS. I was a lay delegate at a District convention at the Echo Chamber, I  mean the Sausage Factory. Hagedorn gave his atrocious Cross Cultural paper there. I spoke briefly with Kevin Hastings afterwards about it. He said that he was going to talk with Al Sorum (Zebaoth, N. 7th St) and some other guys in the Metro Milwaukee North circuit about it.

I am sure that by then Jeske had a fairly tight grip on the puppet strings of synod leadership. Kevin Hastings was probably the odd man out in the circuit by then.

Apparently, Thrivent loot and Schwan donations are not enough. When I tried to discuss with some laity a number of years ago the direction that I saw it moving in, I saw a lot of normalcy bias and status quo bias. A lot of members are quite timid. This is probably a lot of history that is playing out. Many of the pastors, like Brenner were probably quite stern. Disagreeing with a pastor was akin to arguing with a police officer.


Worthwhile comments get the anechoic chamber effect.
Bueller? Bueller? Anyone? Anyone?


***

GJ - The creepiest feeling is to have several Echo Chamber graduates repeat the same words when triggered in a conversation. Mentioning D. James Kennedy will get, "He is an Arminian, so at least he believes in the general Atonement."

Say "capitalism" and they will say, "Not capitalism. America is a free enterprise country."

Any criticism of Church Growth elicited, "Don't throw out the baby with the bath water." I said, "Don't wash the baby in dirty water."

Another WELS layman said, "WELS never stops talking about the whole world being forgiven, but I have never seen a more unforgiving, thin-skinned bunch."