The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
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email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

WELS-LCMS-ELS Reaping the Thistle Seed of UOJ, Panting after "Growth".
It's All about the Benjamins.
From 2011


"I don't think there's anything intrinsically wrong with the church-growth principles we've developed, or the evangelistic techniques we're using. Yet somehow they don't seem to work." 
C. Peter Wagner
Ken Sidey, "Church Growth Fine Tunes Its Formulas," Christianity Today, June 24, 1991, p. 47.

"The Fuller Evangelistic Association has a doctrinal statement. It is the statement which was adopted by Fuller Theological Seminary some time ago. It does not differ from their early statement and has never yet been changed, that I know of. This statement explicitly affirms that the Bible is free from all error in the whole and in the part. Both Dr. Hubbard and Dr. Fuller are part of that organization. This means they are signing two different doctrinal statements, one of which affirms inerrancy and one which does not. We also know that Dr. Hubbard frankly disavows inerrancy and even declares this view to be 'unbiblical.'
Harold Lindsell, The Bible in the Balance, Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1979, p. 220.

"The graduates of an institution usually give full proof of the teaching they received from the school in which they studied. According to Dr. LaSor's observations the leaven was present when David Hubbard, Daniel Fuller, and Ray Anderson were students. They went from Fuller to graduate study overseas and were promptly converted to the neoorthodoxy and liberalism of their professors. They returned to Fuller Seminary having moved farther to the left than any of their teachers at Fuller. And now their students in turn begin to reflect their views."
Harold Lindsell, The Bible in the Balance, Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1979, p. 236.

***



GJ - Anti-inerrancy, unionism, and women's ordination came into Missouri, WELS, and the Little Sect on the Prairie via Fuller Seminary study, which was universal for world mission and American mission leaders. The so-called mission counselors in WELS are simply salesmen for Fuller Seminary and its bastard offspring, such as Willow Creek and the rest of the humbugs.

All about the Benjamins,
but the Georges now - in the Obama Depression.

------



Fuller Pietism
Fuller Seminary in Pasadena was formed to teach inerrancy, although its initial position was really quite soft. Nevertheless, the faculty went through a revolution and Fuller adopted an anti-inerrancy statement. When The Battle for the Bible, about Fuller, was published, Harold Lindsell, the author, was attacked by Fuller for being “bitter and jealous” that he did not become president. In fact, the author was offered the position and turned it down. Notice how the amazingly successful president of Fuller Seminary, the late David Hubbard, defined the problem of inerrancy. Like most liberals in the driver’s seat, his words drip with sarcasm and scorn. The words are taken directly from the brochure Fuller mailed the author during a vain effort to recruit him.[52]

Fuller: The Bible Does Not Consider God’s Word Inerrant
J-773
"Were we to distinguish our position from that of some of our brothers and sisters who perceive their view of Scripture as more orthodox than ours, several points could be made: 1) we would stress the need to be aware of the historical and literary process by which God brought the Word to us...4) we would urge that the emphasis be placed where the Bible itself places it - on its message of salvation and its instruction for living, not on its details of geography or science, though we acknowledge the wonderful reliability of the Bible as a historical source book; 5) we would strive to develop our doctrine of Scripture by hearing all that the Bible says, rather than by imposing on the Bible a philosophical judgment of our own as to how God ought to have inspired the Word."  
David Allan Hubbard, "What We Believe and Teach," Pasadena, California: Fuller Theological Seminary, 1-800-235-2222 Pasadena, CA, 91182. [emphasis added]

Inerrancy Misleading and Inappropriate
J-774
"Where inerrancy refers to what the Holy Spirit is saying to the churches through the biblical writers, we support its use. Where the focus switches to an undue emphasis on matters like chronological details, the precise sequence of events, and numerical allusions, we would consider the term misleading and inappropriate. Its dangers, when improperly defined, are: 1) that it implies a precision alien to the minds of the Bible writers and their own use of Scriptures; 2) that it diverts attention from the message of salvation and the instruction in righteousness which are the Bible's key themes;...5) that too often it has undermined our confidence in the Bible we have... 6)that it prompts us to an inordinate defensiveness of Scripture which seems out of keeping with the bold confidence with which the prophets, the apostles and our Lord proclaimed it."
            David Allan Hubbard, "What We Believe and Teach," Pasadena, California: Fuller Theological Seminary, 1-800-235-2222 Pasadena, CA, 91182. [emphasis added]

Inerrancy Advocates Are Against the Bible and Tick Me Off
J-775
"We resent unnecessary distractions; we resist unbiblical diversions… Can anyone believe that all other activities should be suspended until all evangelicals agree on precise doctrinal statements? We certainly cannot."
            David Allan Hubbard, "What We Believe and Teach," Pasadena, California: Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, 91182. [emphasis added]
The downhill doctrinal slide of Pietism begins with placing the good works of man above the truth of God’s Word. At every stage of the decline, the Pietists firmly believe that they must tolerate doctrinal laxity in the name of getting more done, for the glory of God, of course. Soon they find themselves helpless to stop the radicalism of the next generation. The last bishop of the Lutheran Church in America, James Crumley, begged his extremely liberal staff not to succumb to the radicalism of the newly formed Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Soon, those same staff-members were ousted for being too conservative by ELCA Bishop Herb Chilstrom’s network.

Road to Unitarianism.
From anti-creed to anti-Trinity
Pietism begins with the slogan of “deeds, not creeds.” In every case, Pietism has spawned Unitarianism in the next generation or two. The University of Halle was the mecca of Pietism in one generation and the headquarters for apostasy in the next. The American Lutheran congregations most devoted to unionism in the 19th century became Congregational or worse in the next. Fuller Seminary, somewhat conservative but ecumenical to a fault, became an anti-inerrancy school in only one generation. The Augustana Synod blended Pietism from the old country with orthodoxy from Capital Seminary (now Trinity, ELCA, in Columbus, Ohio). Lutheran orthodoxy was taught at Augustana Seminary until the 1930s, and then the old faculty was removed at once. The Pietists at Augustana were instrumental in bringing the Social Gospel Movement into their seminary, by calling A. D. Mattson to the faculty.
The original Wisconsin Synod was as Pietistic and unionistic as a Lutheran group might be. Many congregations offered both Reformed and Lutheran communion, both Reformed and Lutheran catechism.[53] Some congregations, like St. Paul’s in Columbus, were named “German Lutheran and Reformed.” Many congregations, like old St. John’s in Milwaukee, had Reformed splits in their early days. The Wisconsin Synod, later influenced by the great theologian Adolph Hoenecke and the synodical leaders Bading and Brenner, who rejected Pietism and unionism, joined the Synodical Conference. However, the Pietists within the Wisconsin Synod were beaten down but not conquered. They lost, too, when the Wisconsin Synod finally voted to break with the Missouri Synod after two decades of dithering. However, the Pietists did not give up. They quietly networked and got their men into key positions, using training at Fuller Seminary as their uniting force. After years of denying that anyone ever went to Fuller Seminary, even though their own Lawrence Otto Olson bragged up his D. Min. degree from Fuller, the Church Growth advocates finally came out of the closet and said, “Yes, we love Church Growth. Yes, we love religious projects with ELCA. Yes, we want women to be ordained. Now try to stop us.”


Ordination of Women

The ordination of women is a natural step for Pietists, a necessary outgrowth of the cell group. In the cell group, which is anti-Means of Grace and anti-confessional, anyone may serve as the leader. In general, women tend to be more spiritual than men and enjoy taking these positions. Cell group method books call them “lay pastors” so there is little difference between serving as a pastor in a cell group and serving as one in the congregation. Although ordination is far more important than the Pietists allow, they have already accomplished their goal when they have women teaching men and women in authority over men in the church.
Historically, women’s ordination has begun with the anti-Christian cults, whenever an alpha female can gather a group together. The Pentecostal groups follow, since they believe the Holy Spirit calls them directly in their dreams and visions. One Pentecostal woman baptized herself in a bathtub, got her tongue-speaking going by saying “yabba-dabba-doo” repeatedly, and announced she had the gift of preaching, according to her submissive husband.
If we concede that the Confessions are old-fashioned, boring, and irrevelant, even though they are not, and we claim that doctrine is divisive, then there is no particular reason why women should not be ordained and called to serve as pastors of congregations. The Lutheran Church in America took the lead in dismissing the inerrancy of the Scriptures and in teaching the flexibility of the Confessions, so they naturally, as liberal Pietists, ordained the first women pastors in America, in 1970.[54] The American Lutheran Church followed. Acknowledging the ordination of known lesbians and homosexuals followed soon after.



Method Actors
Since Pietism rejects the Confessions, the efficacy of the Word, and the Means of Grace, advocates of Enthusiasm must trust in methods. The key to understanding the Enthusiasts is not only in realizing their separation of the Holy Spirit from the Word but also in seeing the implication of that concept. The Reformed do more than imply what their Enthusiasm means. They teach it quite openly – The Word of God is dead and lifeless without human aid. Here is the secret to cell groups, tongue speaking, the seeker service, entertainment evangelism, friendship evangelism, child evangelism, mission vision statements, and all the flotsam of the Reformed. Why must the ministers pretend to be used car salesmen, talk show hosts, or stand-up comedians? In their eyes, God’s Word is dead without a boost from them to make it appealing and get results. Since they have no faith in the Holy Spirit working through the Word alone, they measure their success by visible results they can put on a graph. They take people out to their parking lots and tell them how many acres they have paved. That is good news for the National Asphalt Paving Association,[55] but it means nothing to God to watch these people clown around and carry on to win the approval of people, who are not even given the chance to hear the saving Word of Truth. In a word, these men are ashamed of the Gospel.



Pietistic Methods
J-776
"Pietist preachers were anxious to discover and in a certain sense to separate the invisible congregation from the visible congregation. They had to meet demands different than those of the preceding period: they were expected to witness, not in the objective sense, as Luther did, to God's saving acts toward all men, but in a subjective sense of faith, as they themselves had experienced it. In this way Pietism introduced a tendency toward the dissolution of the concept of the ministry in the Lutheran Church."
Helge Nyman, "Preaching (Lutheran): History," The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, 3 vols., ed. Julius Bodensieck, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1965, III, p. 1943.
J-777
"All those doctrinal questions which were not immediately connected with the personal life of faith were avoided. The standard for the interpretation of Scripture thus became the need of the individual for awakening, consolation, and exhortation. The congregation as a totality was lost from view; in fact, pietistic preaching was (and is) more apt to divide the congregation than to hold it together."
            Helge Nyman, "Preaching (Lutheran): History," The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, 3 vols., ed. Julius Bodensieck, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1965, III, p. 1943.
We might as well start on the bottom of Pietistic practices with the “holy laughter movement,” also known as the “Toronto Blessing.” Pentecostals wore out speaking in tongues, singing in tongues, as well as dancing and being slain in the spirit. They have done every rock version of every spiritual ditty one could imagine. What was left? Holy laughter! (They are actually reviving an old Pentecostal fad.) The minister begins a Toronto Blessing service by telling some lame jokes. People are already set to laugh their heads off. After a few jokes, people begin falling out of their chairs laughing. It helps if the minister does this too, as Richard Roberts, son of Oral Roberts, has done on television. Instead of piping their eyes with tears of contrition, yelling “Glory, glory, glory” on their backs on the floor, the Pentecostals now howl and bellow with laughter, with their backs on the floor. This too will fade and become wearisome. In contrast, the historic Lutheran liturgy is always uplifting to man because the worship service glorifies God, always emphasizing His grace through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Promise Keepers, a cancerous growth from cell groups and Pentecostalism, has also run through its time of excitement, its “movement of the Spirit,” and its roaringly high income. Wildly ecumenical and emotional, it offered to bring Protestants, Catholics, and Mormon men together in one big hug and cry. Stadiums were filled. Now they are not. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Visible and Invisible Church
J-778
"No one will open his eyes to the fact that mere human devices and doctrines are ensnaring souls, weakening consciences, dissipating Christian liberty and faith, and replenishing hell. Wolves! Wolves! How abominably, awfully, murderous, how harassing and destructive, are these things the world over!"
            Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 32. Second Sunday in Advent Romans 15:4-13.

Divisive Preaching
J-779
"All those doctrinal questions which were not immediately connected with the personal life of faith were avoided. The standard for the interpretation of Scripture thus became the need of the individual for awakening, consolation, and exhortation. The congregation as a totality was lost from view; in fact, pietistic preaching was (and is) more apt to divide the congregation than to hold it together."
Helge Nyman, "Preaching (Lutheran): History," The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church, 3 vols., ed. Julius Bodensieck, Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1965, III, p. 1943.