The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
Ustream

Ash Wednesday Service, March 1 - 7 PM Central
NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM, 2017

Saved worship files 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
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

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I found out the last ELDONUT conference had a theme - "How Much Do We Hate Ichabod - Let Us Count the Ways."

Dealing with Lutherans is always an experience in irony. In this case, it is dramatic irony, in which the characters do not get it, but the audience does. The characters betray the truth by their words and actions - unknowingly.

In this case, the ELDONUTS Rydecki and Heiser shared a Facebook post about presidential candidates, in which I had a few gentle words posted about the voters making the difference in the long run. Heiser solemnly declared, "It doesn't take long for the crazy to come out." Strange they had so much time to discuss someone who was not there. Soon after Rydecki whined that I unfriended him on Facebook. I asked him directly via IM about the conference and he claimed falsely that nothing happened. He was part of it, perhaps not throwing stones, but happy to hold the cloaks.

The most ironic claim was this one - "Jackson does not work with others."

Sixteen years ago I was publishing Thy Strong Word, which Heiser chose to sell from his website.

I spoke at his church, and Hudson and Ahonen were there. Heiser and his church were LCMS. During this period of time Heiser and I spent many hours on the phone, mostly with him calling. We often discussed publishing, which printing company to use, prices, Paul McCain, and so forth. We also discussed the process of leaving a synod, since I was independent for some years already.

No ELDONA existed, except in the mind of Heiser. I found his nascent website during my Internet searching. So he formed his little group and named himself bishop in 2006.

Somehow ELDONA existed without Justification by Faith for many years, although Heiser saw the flaws in Objective Justification in 2000.

Spencer, below, and Rydecki, above, were both circuit pastors at the
first and last Intrepids Conference.
WELS broke up the group that Schroeder wanted to organize.
Spencer was the first Intrepid to bail out - another irony.


Meanwhile in WELS

WELS Pastor Steve Spencer asked me about how to form a group to support Synod President Mark Schroeder. They are classmates, hence blood-brothers. Schroeder claimed "the others" were out-organizing him, and way ahead. Those were the Church and Changers, whom Schroeder has backed 100%.

My idea, not to back Schroeder, but to air out the musty halls of WELS, was to have a group blog. We did that in the graduate classes I taught in education. An exchange of ideas would be good. Spencer asked me to nominate people who would be good to participate, so I named quite a few people who wrote intelligent comments on Ichabod.

In 2010, Spencer had corporate papers and set up what he called The Intrepid Lutherans - another irony in my narrative. Among the most prominent participants were Vernon Knepprath, Paul Rydecki, and Doug Lindee. Doug wrote often on Ichabod and recently had a new post on the Intrepids blogs.

Brett Meyer - our Bethany member, lived near the Emmaus Conference and attended one where we had lots of publications to give away. Brett spoke with Vernon, as I recall, and sat with Rydecki. Everyone got a few copy of my latest book on Justification by Faith. Jay Webber hid behind a pillar to motion Rydecki to speak with him or go to lunch with him. More irony.

Rydecki first disagree with me about Justification by Faith - in the Intrepids blog. In fact, Spencer used Rydecki's position to argue against me. That was a false use of appealing to authority; there is only one authority - the Word.

But the free exchanges on the group blog led to airing out the issues about Justification by Faith, the horrid NIV, and other issues. Rydecki began arguing against Objective Justification.

Note - I was asked a few opinions at the beginning, and I made it clear I would not be part of their leadership in any way. Once they asked my position on Justification and I posted that. But I always promoted their posts and gave them a lot of visibility.

I spent many hours back and forth with Rydecki, discussing the doctrinal issues and also the topic of leaving WELS. When he joined ELDONA, I thought that would be interesting, given all the UOJ ballast in the group:

  • Stefanski, who signed one of his famous UOJ tirades "an unbeliever."
  • The Rolf Synod, almost as fanatical as Stefanski.

But it seems Justification by Faith entered ELDONA through Vernon Knepprath and Paul Rydecki. The Rolf Synod abandoned its fellowship with ELDONA with great bitterness and threw themselves on the mercy of the ELS, begging that the terms of reconciliation might be merciful. Jay Webber helped, of course. 

So articles on Justification by Faith were posted by ELDONA in 2014 and they argued against the Objective Justification of the Rolf Synod. So Heiser and his ELDONUTS  were content with Objective Justification for at least 14 years, in spite of Heiser's obvious alarm about what it really meant. Not Objective Justification as the Atonement - no, that was wrong by definition. The entire world was already forgiven and saved in the reckless language of UOJ.

Through our little church - and the blog no one reads - these ELDONA members were influenced by the Word of God to agree with St. Paul, Luther, Melanchthon, Chemnitz, and Gerhard about Justification by Faith:
  1. Bishop Heiser Hisself.
  2. Pastor Paul Rydecki.
  3. Layman Doug Lindee.
  4. Layman Vernon Knepprath.

 When we were in Washington State for the wedding, Brett's wife told me how she worked with Vernon on the study of WELS worship practices.

So I really think the ELDONUTS should stop muttering against those who have been very friendly with them, happy to broadcast their message. They would have more friends if they treated them better.

Bishop James Milhouse Heiser, STM