For a time I followed Crossroads in Chicago, another Lutheran-free congregation foisted upon an unsuspecting world by WELS. Now they have a drinking man's theology study, just like the CLC Pastor Dave Koenig, who did the same thing when he had a Church Growth parish.
The Booze Brothers, Glende and Ski, started The CORE as a coffee house ministry, but took off the wraps so they could go drinking at the bars and call it work. These blokes are always looking for an easy gimmick that appeals to the carnal nature of man.
Despising the Means of Grace, they wave the Means of Disgrace in front of the public and brag about their success. St. Paul addresses the false teachers who glorify themselves as fools, rather than glorifying God.
Quoting a 2008 blog post -
Michael Schottey has left a new comment on your post "Like Father, Like Son":
Have you ever been to Crossroads in Chicago? If you report about the vices of a congregation only in generic terms with no actual evidence or concrete information about it. It is mere ignorant slander.
For your information, Crossroads is a very law/gospel biblical based church that does a good job of providing spiritual milk every Sunday to a congregation of mostly visitors yet having a very good method of Bible instruction classes for members who need spiritual whole food.
Also, their "mission statement" is almost identical to the one you wrote at WLS.
GJ - I remember a Northwestern College student was asked the same thing about Willow Creek. "Have you been there?" Apparently this is a WELS thing. If someone has not been there, he cannot read the website or even have an opinion. The student was at Willow Creek, so the subject was changed immediately. That's a WELS thing too.
When I said WELS was deep into Church Growth, VP Paul Kuske (founder, Pilgrim Community) snarled, "Do you have proof?" I said, "Over 500 quotations from WELS sources, verbatim." He changed the subject.
Did Mike sit down with me and confront me with my terrible sin? That is how WELS protects all of its Church Growth fanatics. No, he did not. Instead, he sent a TWB (True WELS Believer) post.
Crossroads in Chicago has a website. The same congregation was mentioned in FIC (which is a Lutheran magazine, believe it or not). I was able to do my research by reading public information.
Here is the Crossroads Mission Statement:
To use all that we are and all that we have to reach our city with the gospel of Jesus Christ and to nurture our faith community with God's transforming truth.
Here is what I wrote, which I refuse to call a mission statement.
In an age of anxiety, we still believe that peace comes from Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
In an age of confusion, we still believe that the Bible is the Word of God, inerrant and infallible.
In an age of doubt, we still believe that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary.
In an age of guilt, we still believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross to remove the power of sin, death, and Satan from our lives.
In an age of fear, we still believe that Christ rose bodily from the dead to lead us to eternal life.
In an age of self-centeredness, we still believe that God acts through the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion.
In an age of constant change, we still believe in the unchanging Holy Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
"If you hold to my teaching, then you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:31-32
I really do not see how one compares to the other. Mine is explicitly sacramental, perhaps because Lutherans are. The Crossroads generic statement could be applied to any non-sacramental sect. Of course, that is the point. I see they also took my statement and added their PC stuff to it, but they do not call it their mission statement. The one above is labeled "Our Mission."
I noticed the guiding hand of Valleskey, Kelm, Olson, and Huebner in the content of the website.
Small groups? That the clarion call of Fuller Seminary and all Pietists - organize cell groups for growth. There is no better way to promote Pentecostalism and anti-sacramentalism.
Social activities? There is a long list of all the play-dates arranged for the congregation. I always thought that was the function of a club, not a church.
Mike, Mike, Mike. I have always objected to Lutherans running away from their identity in order to appease Fuller, Willow Creek, and Paul Kelm. The idea of avoiding the denominational name is from Robert Schuller, echoed by Fuller, Willow Creek, and Lyle Schaller (Methodist).
Just between you and me and a world-wide audience, what kind of a stupid name is Crossroads or CrossWalk? They are deliberately non-religious terms.
Why not emphasize Church Growth Eyes and the cross - CrossEyes?
Or the ambivalent message from these churches - DoubleCross?
Or what they teach in WELS schools - CrossDressers?
Please do not tell me that it is an accident that Lutheran dropped out of the title of the WELS feminist hymnal, that Lutheran dropped out of the magazine title, that Lutheran dropped out of Crossroads, CrossWalk, and all the other Fuller clones.
Michael Schottey has left a new comment on your post "Cross Lutherans":
This is why I asked if you had been there. When referring to their "mission statement." I was referring to that which is posted in their bulletin each week. If you had ever attended you would have had oppurtunity to read that.
When reporting on a matter, it is always best to be a first hand witness or at least report the first hand accounts.
On the matter of Crossroads in Chicago, I would suggest that you either contact Rev. Borgwargt or at least his members (the core of which is displaced WELS from other areas). Rather than simply assuming that they are similar to other cases in the past you have witnessed.
I am a first hand observer and I can attest that they are not. And if you did speak to Rev. Borgwardt you would learn that I was just as skeptical as you were and peppered him with questions.
I'm not questioning your teachings or your faith...but I feel your journalism in this matter is perhaps not what it should be.
GJ - I am not reporting. Ichabod is a continuous jeremiad. Look up the word. The purpose of Ichabod is to denounce the apostasy of the Lutherans, with some attention paid to other denominations.
As I said before, I find the hiding of the word Lutheran contemptible. The continued downward slide of your sect is proven by the denomination bragging about the very thing it used to hide - stealth mission churches. The Germans have a word for this - shameless.
Chris Hurst has left a new comment on your post "Spener - The Father of American Lutherans - Walthe...":
Greetings Dr. Jackson,
I have been an Ichabod "lurker" for a few weeks now, but I think today is a good day to pose a question. I am a licensed pastor (not ordained because I don't serve a parish full-time) in the Evangelical Lutheran Conference and Ministerium (ELCM). We are a micro-synod based in PA. My question is, do you think that ALL influence of Pietism is bad? My personal opinion is that Pietism started as a good idea, but like all good ideas left in the hands of sinful men it failed to accomplish that which it set out to. For instance, I think that Pietism's emphasis on personal prayer is something that all of us should strive for. However, not at the expense of Word and Sacrament, which is where Pietism went too far. I'd love to hear your comments. Thanks and God Bless, Chris Hurst.
GJ - Those are good comments, Chris. That is the problem with starting a Lutheran mission in the South. The evangelist could easily say, "You are against whiskey and for prayer. We are against prayer and for whiskey."
Prayer should be taught as the fruit of faith, not as the cause of faith. I like Hoenecke's brief synopsis. He said Pietism teaches santification as the cause of justification, not as the result of justification.
Pietism was probably a reaction against the extremes of the later ages of Lutheran orthodoxy. I continue to find it strange that those who agitate in the LCMS want to quote everyone except Luther and the Concordists.
I graduated from Augustana College, Illinois, and helped sheve the Pietisten, the Swedish paper of the Pietists. Augustana never hid the fact that the group began as a unionistic, Pietistic mission. The early leaders soon soured on the results of unionism and came under the influence of orthodoxy. Probably the best influence upon Augustana (doctrinal and missions) was Passavant, a man who reject the extremes of Revivalism and embraced the Confessions.
The Pietists were not all bad. In Sweden they were disgusted by the corruption of the Church of Sweden, the wide-spread alcoholism. One man started a temperance movement because of a drunken fight that broke out between two women during his sermon.
However, Pietism was the source of Walther's UOJ - justification without faith.
The Church Growth people love pietism because they embrace unionism and hate the Lutheran Confessions.
Michael Schottey has left a new comment on your post "Good Sign - Comments Getting More Abusive":
Awww...thanks for playing along Anon@7:11. The real question is whether or not you're a WELS member, human being, or Christian because you're posting anonymously.
But thanks for calling MY accountability into question. I'm too old for that kind of spine twisting maneuver.
I have been there. My sister (recently moved from New Ulm to Tulsa, OK) spent two years as a member of Crossroads. Being a family man, I've worshiped, attended Bible Study, and even potlucked there.
I've also sat with the pastor there and discussed how foolish I think it is to leave out the name Lutheran so he knows exactly how I feel about that and other CG garbage.
But again, thanks for stopping by---whoever you are.
GJ - I give Michael credit for signing his name and being frank. Open discussions are good. I have no use for people who send insulting and crude comments, anonymously, but it does please me that I have gotten under their skin.
If someone sends a comment, it does not de-rez in seven days. I can use it as long as it exists. The defense of the Chicago stealth congregation is typical of WELS attitudes, and I sympathize to some extent (but not enough to stop pounding the Shrinkers). We do not want to break the bonds of friendship and kinship, but we should know the Word will do that. Jesus taught that clearly enough.
KJV Mark 3:32 And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee. 33 And he answered them, saying, Who is my mother, or my brethren? 34 And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! 35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.
The point of my original post was to highlight the stealth congregation in Chicago. Readers with good memories will recall that the pastor had already studied under the odious Leonard Sweet before Kelm sponsored and defended that particular Chicanery conference. Someone leaked the listserve comments.
I highlighted the stealth congregation in Chicago to show how despicable FIC has been. The subsidized WELS magazine is the publishing arm of Church and Change, itself a free-basing parachurch organization. So the suckers of WELS pay for Church and Change to send its propaganda all over the world, via print and the sluggish website (run by another Shrinker).
The mission offering is to convey Christ's Gospel to the world? Not so fast. A vast amount of that money goes to promote the most blatant false doctrine, by means of:
- Various useless periodicals.
- Both mission boards and their CG lackeys.
- Mission counselors, possibly more dangerous than the periodicals.
- Martin Luther College, The Sausage Factory.
- Parachurch CG tumors started with synod money and led by Chicaneries.
- Free staff for well-connected pastors like Don Patterson.
- Doctrinal Pussycat enablers, who get their own fat subsidies for the onerous work of protecting Shrinkers like Parlow, Ski, Witte, Hunter, Olson, Gunn, etc.
- Vicars for cutting-edge Shrinkers like Randy Hunter.
- Gordon Conwell - Witte. Now on the Asian board. Nice promo.
- Fuller Seminary - L. Olson. Waldo Werning Professor of Church Growth at Mary Lou College.
- Denver - John Parlow, St. Mark Depere, a congregation of the Willow Creek Association.
- Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrows in St. Louis (Concordia Seminary, St. Louis) - Paul Kelm, the retiring but never shy guru of Reformed doctrine for WELS.
|The Intrepids, started at the urging of Mark Schroeder, is almost gone.|
Paul Calvin Kelm never goes away.