The Glory Has Departed


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Monday, September 5, 2016

In May of 2007 - Candidates for WELS Synod President -
Nothing Changes, Except It Only Gets Worse

Natalie Pratt met with Mark Schroeder, who put her in charge of Luther Days -
with WELS funding and a promotional link.
Largest Lutheran expo in North America?

Some have asked John Seifert to run for WELS synodical president. Wayne Mueller, as President-in-Waiting, will not be amused. A third candidate may be Marc Schroeder, president of the doomed Luther Prep school in Watertown, Wisconsin. I am listing Schroeder because his enormously long proposal, sent to me by two different readers, loooks like a platform. Therefore, two candidates represent the soon-to-be extinct prep schools: Seifert for Michigan Lutheran; Schroeder for Luther Prep. One candidate stands for Church Growth, Church and Change, women's ordination, shutting down the schools to have more missions - Wayne Mueller.

WELS is completely divided now. If Mueller wins, the pro-school people will be outraged. If Seifert wins, the Church Growth/Church and Change people will be upset but ready to leverage their advantages.

Gurgel was the conservative dream candidate once, eager to fix those problems created by Mischke. Hearts were fluttering when Gurgel won. Soon a WELS pastor contacted me and said, "We are praying for Mischke to return." That did not take long.

If someone slightly conservative wins, he will be like Al Barry, the late Synodical President of the LCMS, letting everything go on as before.

One of the biggest problems of WELS is that people are supposed to speak about everything in a dream-like haze, much like another cult, the Mormons. Everything is wonderful. Lots of WELS anecdotes end with a Missouri pastor coveting the perfection of the Wisconsin Synod, mourning the loss of Paradise in the LCMS. I never heard a Missouri pastor say anything like that, but the myth is powerful in WELS.

The doctrine of WELS Infallibility is the biggest burden to carry forward. If they admitted they were wrong and stupid about the Kokomo Statements, that would mean their idol Sig Becker was imperfect. They could never admit that one of their idols--who left Missouri for WELS--was or is imperfect. They have recorded lectures from Sig Becker at Mequon, so the dead are also enrolled in the teaching office of the church. 



Here is my summary sheet for the presidential race. I will update the blog with additional candidates, if they surface.

  1. Wayne Mueller - He is the front-runner by virtue of filling the office of First VP of the Synod, previously serving as head of Fuller Parish Services, and previously serving as the McGavran Professor of Church Growth at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, Mequon. All the Fuller graduates will support him. The Church and Change fanatics, who are Legion (filled with demons), will support him. Synod administrators and world missionaries will back him because their part of the budget has increased at the expense of the schools. He has the best chance of winning, but many WELS pastors loathe him for his apostate agenda and domineering personality.
  2. John Seifert - John's only call has been as pastor of the congregation in Midland, Michigan, but he has always been in the synod bureaucracy (various boards) at the same time. He was elected District President after Mueller vocally supported the DMLC/NWC merger. Having Seifert on your side is like having the Italians on your side in warfare - worse than no help. He has always lived in a dream world about WELS, or he says those Mormonesque things because that is the way to run for office in WELS. Even when Frosty Bivens defended the Church Growth Movement by saying he went to Fuller, Seifert thought Bivens was orthodox. Seifert also "forgot" Bivens said that, in front of the Midland Circuit, in Seifert's own driveway. Later, Bivens said he could not imagine why I claimed he went to Fuller! I did not ask Bivens. He volunteered the information. When I responded with some heat, Bivens went inside to sit with the women, traumatized that someone disagreed with him. I see Seifert as having very little chance of winning. The anti-school, Church Growth, Church and Change, "missions," and women's ordination people will line up against him, determined to win even if they happen to lose the election.
  3. Marc Schroeder - I heard that pastors in Florida who questioned Church Growth were given new calls out of the district. One day I got a letter from a parish pastor in Florida, Marc Schroeder. He had some questions about Church Growth for a conference paper he was writing. I answered and then found out soon after that he was the new president of the WELS prep school in Watertown. So the story was true! Ask about Church Growth and ye shall receive a call outside the Florida district. When virtually everyone was shunning me in WELS for my opposition to clergy adultery and Church Growth, Marc Schroeder made a point to come up to me at chapel in Watertown and say hello. Outsiders can hardly imagine how dangerous this was. A true politician like Seifert would have glared at me from 100 yards, as the DP did at MLC graduation. (I got the same basilisk glare from Sparky Brenner, whom I had known for years. One graduate's parent asked me why so many people were giving me the laser beam, even across the auditorium.) Marc probably has more contact with WELS pastors since he is in the state where half the membership of WELS resides. Michigan is much smaller in membership and also divided along doctrinal lines. Most likely Schroeder and Seifert would divide the dissenter vote, giving the election to Mueller.
Confidential to Wayne Mueller's son -
Please talk to Scott Barefoot about your problems.
It will strictly confidential and only shared with Scott's Facebook friends.