The Glory Has Departed

Bethany Lutheran Hymnal

Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

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The Lutheran Hymnal. KJV.

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Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:10-13 KJV. Where we go one, we go all.

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Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year's Eve Hymn Service, 2016.
Circumcision and Name of Jesus

 The hymn graphics are all from Norma Boeckler.

New Year's Eve Hymn Service, 2016
7 PM Central Standard Time

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

The words are linked on the hymn numbers, and the melodies are linked on the hymn titles, for those who want to read and to sing the hymns later.

Hymn #123        Our God Our Help - Isaac Watts

This is Isaac Watts greatest hymn. He is remembered for changing English hymns from Psalm paraphrases (Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow) to religious poetry. This freed English hymns from one strict Calvinistic style, and led to many great contributions. 

The first Calvinist hymns were paraphrases of the Psalms and used only half and quarter notes - no rhythm. In those respects they were quite different from Lutheran hymns of the Reformation.

This was the favorite hymn of my music teacher in Moline, and we played it in a mass memorial band service when Mr. Youngdahl died. His wife Mary was also a teacher, one of the best English teachers I had. 

The hymn contrasts the temporary nature of man with the eternal streng, power, and mercy of God. The hymn is based on Psalm 90.

The Readings 

Galatians 3:23-29
King James Version (KJV)
23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Luke 2:21

King James Version (KJV)
21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Hymn #246        Holy, Holy, Holy - Reginald Heber

Heber was a brilliant student from childhood and excelled in academics. Although he became a bishop and served very well in India, he died young, at age 42 and then became famous for the hymns he left behind.

Two of the best known, besides this one, are -

Just as the Psalms inspired many hymns of Christianity, Revelation - as a New Testament book of psalms - is a second source of great hymns. Holy, Holy, Holy is based upon Revelation 1:5-6. 

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Holy, Holy, Holy is a hymn about eternal life, with phrases drawn from Revelation and the Old Testament.

Hymn #339               All Hail the Power - Edward Perronet

Persecution often leads to developments in favor of the Gospel. The author's French name comes from his Huguenot (French Protestant) heritage, which I share on the side of my paternal grandmother - the Noel clan. He is famous for giving "the greatest sermon on earth" when he opened his Bible and read the Sermon on the Mount. He is known for this one hymn, one of the greatest descriptions of the risen Christ.

Hymn #175              When I Survey the Wondrous Cross - Isaac Watts

This hymn is particularly powerful because it includes many poetic devices. For example, oxymoron is found twice in the first stanza: “my richest gain I count but loss” and “pour contempt on all my pride.” The third stanza contains a paradox in a crown of thorns, and there are two rhetorical questions in the second half of this stanza: “Did e’er such love and sorrow met, or thorns compose so rich a crown?” The piece ends with a climax, “Demands my soul, my life, my all.” 

Hymn #142              A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth - Paul Gerhardt

Gerhardt is an excellent example of bad circumstances creating the best results as the Gospel bears fruit. He spent years as a children's tutor, even though he was one of the best of brightest, a kind and gentle person. This experience doubtless gave him a special facility in expressing profound thoughts in child-like, simple, phrases. 

Verse 5 - in German - my little ship rocks back and forth, from the turbulence of the cross, and You are the anchor.

Gerhardt and Luther are the foundation of all modern Christian hymns, and many clearly try to reach the ethereal beauty of Gerhardt's. He lost all his children but one, and also his wife, to disease. Gerhardt was not one to stir things up, but he was driven from his congregation and city for refusing to give up Lutheran, Biblical doctrine in favor of the Reformed perspective. He could have remained employed by comprising, but refused. He was given another post later.

His many losses and difficulties help explain why his hymns are known for being so comforting. Some of them are:

1.All My Heart This Night Rejoices
2.Awake, My Heart, with Gladness
3.Before Thy Manger, Lord, I Stand
4.Commit Thou All Thy Griefs
5.Evening and Morning
6.Give to the Winds Thy Fears
7.Immanuel, We Sing Thy Praise
8.Jesus, Thy Boundless Love to Me
9.O Lord, How Shall I Meet You?
10.O Sacred Head, Now Wounded
11.Sing, My Soul, to God Who Made Thee

Hymn #651               Be Still My Soul - Catharina von Schlegel

Very little is known about the author of the hymn, who came from the era of Pietism. She lived near Halle. Her poem was matched with Sibelius' Finlandia, and is known as one of the most popular of all time. She may have based her poem on Psalm 46, which is also the basis for Luther's A Mighty Fortress.

Hymn #376         Rock of Ages - Augustus Toplady

This English hymn was written at the time of our Declaration of Independence. One can see a criticism of the extremes of revivalism - "could my tears forever flow" - with its emphasis on the Gospel rather than emotions and works that merit salvation.

The Prayers and Benediction

Hymn 654                Now the Day Is Over - Sabine Baring-Gould

Baring-Gould is known for another favorite, Onward Christian Soldiers, but also for being the most prolific English author of his time:
  1. Thirty novels.
  2. A sixteen-volume of lives of the saints.
  3. Over 100 books, on a wide range of topics.
He wrote this hymn for children at the parish where he was a curate.

Squirrels Ask for a Draw

"We will accept a draw. We get one feeder.
The birds get the rest. Deal?"

I checked the squirrel dominance of the feeders by removing the window screen that served  them so well in gaining a toehold for their back legs. Stretching across the void, they grabbed the central feeder and scared the birds away.

With the slippery surface of the window allowing no purchase for their rear feet, the squirrels went back to the trees to debate, decide, and offer a compromise.

They will still nibble from their position on the brick wall, but let the birds feed from every other vantage point:

  • The central sunflower feeder
  • The suet feeders
  • The finch feeder
  • The ground.

The platform feeder, now close to the ground and packed with kernels of field corn, will be a de-militarized zone for birds and squirrels to share. Both favor sunflower seeds but are willing to eat corn on a bad day.

Sent by a Reader - Luther on Justification

Sent by a Reader, who wrote - "UOJ promoters have not read Luther, or they consider him a fool."

Luther: "There is no god to be found who will forgive sins and justify sinners in this way. God has not promised that he will save and justify people on account of the religions and ceremonies devised by them; he abhors nothing more than such rites and ceremonies, as the whole Scripture witnesses. He overthrows whole kingdoms and empires because of them. Therefore, those who trust to their own strength and righteousness serve a god they have imagined for themselves, and not the true God. The true God says: “No righteousness, wisdom, or religion pleases me, but only that by which the Father is glorified through the Son. It is those who lay hold of the Son and me and my promise in him, by faith, to whom I am a God, a Father; it is they whom I accept, justify, and save. Everyone else remains under wrath, because they worship what is no god.” Whoever forsakes this doctrine must fall into ignorance of God, not understanding what true Christian righteousness, wisdom, and service of God are. That is idolatry, and everything that such a person does is condemned."

Chapter Four - Galatians Lectures - Martin Luther

Friday, December 30, 2016

Cardinals Win - Squirrels Lose

 Squirrels feel entitled.

Readers remember that I changed the bird-feeder configuration to outsmart the squirrels, who used the platform feeder and the squirrel-proof (sic) feeder to reach the two hanging sunflower seed feeders.

I was only partially successful, which will surprise no one. The squirrels began using the screen, hanging on by their toes, to reach and hold onto one hanging feeder. The second feeder was reachable from the brick wall, but not so easily grabbed and held.

Seeing a mature squirrel stretched from the window screen to the hanging feeder, keeping the birds away, I went looking for screen-removal tools. Unlike most handyman ventures, I did not break anything this time as I popped the screen out.

I moved the screen to the Great Room (formerly the garage) and came back to hear sweet words - "The squirrel is having a meltdown on the window sill."

Soon after, one squirrel was gamely trying to get a sunflower seeds while a male cardinal sat majestically on the central feeder, calming enjoying his seeds, out of reach.

 "Yer eating my food!"

Sassy's New Song a Howling Success

 Photofunia by Norma Boeckler.

I taught Sassy two songs previously. I prompted her to howl during The Cattle Dog Blues.

She gladly barked along to Waltzing Matilda, the Australian song that has nothing to do with a girl or waltzing. Sassy is half-Australian, so I wanted her to learn her culture. She is also half-German, but we don't sing Deutschland, Deutschland, Ueber Alles.

After hearing Jackie Evancho sing God Bless America so beautifully, I came up with a new Sassy song. I didn't prompt her at all, but she added her howls to the climax, sticking her muzzle in the air.

Later the same day, she wanted the song sung twice more.

God Bless Our Sassy Sue
God bless our Sassy Sue
Dog that we love
Stand beside her and guide her
As she walks on the streets that she loves.
Loves the children, loves the doggies, sends the cats right up the tree.

God bless our Sassy Sue (howling starts), she aims to please-ease.
(More howling)
God bless our Sassy Sue, she aims to please.
(The end can be repeated, because she loves to join me on the high notes.)

When Sassy sang The Cattle Dog Blues with me at a tire store, two men copied down her blog address so they could look up more stories about her.

The funny part is that after we sang the first verse, Sassy scratched my leg to ask for the second verse. Of course, her fans were clapping for her and asking about her. They loved the second verse too.

When we sang The Cattle Dog Blues for cousin Peter and his wife Helene, family was gathered with their pets. The dogs added their howls, sticking their muzzles in the air. It looked just like the kennel singing in Lady and the Tramp.

Time-Life listed dogs as a miracle, a wonder of the world. Those who have pets realize how special their dogs, cats, and other animals are to them.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Not for the Timid - Video about Vatican Scandals

I have had to tell a few people,
"Francis is not a Franciscan. He is a Jesuit.
Jesuits are power hungry extreme Leftists - and devious.
Jesuit is a common insult in the Roman Catholic Church.

I am only linking this video because it is quite disgusting in one place and not accurate in dealing with Pope Francis, who is hardly the answer to anything. The video ends with glowing references to Francis. Ha.

This video touches on the ways of the real power in the Vatican, the Curia, and the major scandals in the world-wide Church of Rome, chiefly child abuse and the homosexual control of Rome, but also sinister banking practices at the Vatican Bank. I have been following the major scandals since 1987 or so and researched some of them at the University of Notre Dame before that.

The use of intimidation, divide-and-conquer, and other forms of manipulation should not be unusual for Lutherans or any other denomination. The clericalism of Rome is no different from the clericalism in the LCMS, WELS, ELCA, the CLC (sic), or the ELS - Rome's methods are just bigger and better.

I expect more of this in Catholic parishes.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Immediate Rewards - Long-Term Disasters - Await the Bruce Jenners of Christendom

The effects of micro-apostasy do not surprise me, even though they have been relatively slow in coming, given their origins in the land of fruit and nuts.

Long ago, when all the stars of Protestant denominations gathered at Fuller Seminary in California, the alleged conservatives could comfort themselves with the notion that their new Harvard was Evangelical. The mainline leaders could reassure their associates that Fuller saw the light and dropped inerrancy, a "newly invented word" though it is found in Luther's Large Catechism.

WELS was embarrassed that Fuller sent around a list of all the WELS mission leaders that studied there. That was a secret! The LCMS did not worry about it. Few said anything and the propaganda wars began. "Everything has to change," intoned John Lawrenz, who had to be OK, since he was immaculately conceived in a WELS parsonage and raised at Mordor.

The old ALC seminary in Columbus - where Lenski, Leupold, and other greats once taught - gave me an opportunity to read all the Church Growth books I had missed before. Fuller repudiated inerrancy before McGavran and Wagner turned the school into the Ford Pinto plant of missions. I wondered when the Evangelicals would crumble and burn.

One advantage the apostates have is the willingness of members and clergy to overlook the beginnings. Lenski quoted Pfotenhauer in saying, "Resist the beginnings."

Looking at ELCA, a most tolerant group, the red line was not:
  1. Inerrancy
  2. Open Communion
  3. Communion with the Reformed
  4. Women's Ordination
  5. Compromise and surrender to Rome, or 
  6. Almost anything else.
But the campaign to add gay marriage and ordination to the agenda in 2009 broke the bank. Members, congregations, pastors, yea even retired bishops - made an eight-door exit out of ELCA, taking their funds with them. Seminaries began crumbling from lack of support.

Recent Church Growth Explosions
Here are a few of the Protestant detonations that began to remind people not to depart from the Truth. Below are links to the Ichabod stories.

Among the So-Called Conservative Lutherans
  1. Bohlmann promoted Church Growth fanaticism in the LCMS
  2. Naumann endorsed Church Growth in WELS, long ago
  3. George Orvick always landed on the side of Church Growth in the ELS.
  4. The CLC (sic) followed close behind the others, following their hoof-prints.
Now that precious Andy Stanley has stepped on the Christian family and the Virgin Birth, we can expect his eventual demise, even if he gets away with it another 20 years.

A Babtist faculty member really shocked me when he denied Stanley's departure from the concept of marriage. Asking for proof, he got my graphic with the evidence clearly inscribed. That made me the bad guy. Since then I learned that once someone achieves rock star status among the Evangelicals, nothing can be said about his life or doctrine. That sounds like WELS and Missouri!

 They rejoice in denying and repudiating the Chief Article
of the Christian Faith.
Apostates are easily unified by what they disbelieve.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Bad Fuddlementalist Argumentation

 "Oh Boy! I get to pose with Andy Stanley, my hero!"

 WELS clergy worshiped with Andy Stanley,
including Parlow, Glende, Ski, and Bishop Katie.

 Someone noticed a similarity between rock clubs and
Emergent churches.
 Notice the nightclub lighting and the
mucking out the stables costume.
See the same jeans, years later, with Barefoot.

When Andy Stanley solemnly declared - in time for Christmas - that the Virgin Birth of Christ was not that important, Babtists jumped into the argument.

Doubtless, such arguments are well-meaning, but they only increase the confusion. One published response went something like this, "The Virgin Birth is very important, because the entire Christian Faith falls apart without it."

Andy's rather conflicted dad, Charles Stanley, was once the president of the Southern Babtists. He was peeved that some faculty at their big seminary in Lexington refused to answer such questions as:

  1. Do you believe Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary?
  2. Do you believe Jesus rose bodily from the grave?
By the way, we stopped at that seminary during my dissertation research. They happily let me take several boxes of books home, which I returned. At Augustana College, where we graduated, the same request met with studied opposition and reluctant acceptance. I said, "Come on, A. D. Mattson was an Augustana professor, and I am an alumnus writing a PhD dissertation about him." Well, OK.

The Falling Apart Argument
Doubtless the Babtist using the falling apart argument dredged his logic from the concept of making the Scriptures reasonable and appealing. But that weak foundation is easily exploited. In fact, the ELCA leaders accept it as well, because that is their reason for denying the divinity of Christ and the meaning of His Atonement. 

Herb Chilstrom, the first bishop of ELCA, still alive at age 85, published about Jesus being an illegitimate child. His perspective comes from the Jewish Talmud, not the Scriptures. But he began his education at a Pietistic Bible school and devolved into a rationalist, as they all do in time.

Chilstrom was at a conference I attended and we talked about my dissertation during lunch. He was a student of A. D. Mattson, as all Augustana Synod pastors were.

Luther's perspective matched that of the historic Christian Church. The Scriptures are a unified Truth, with all parts linked together, supporting and explaining doctrinal matters so that anyone can understand and believe the message of the Word. 

Isaiah 7:10 Moreover the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying,
11 Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above.
12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord.
13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also?
14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:5 For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire.
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

For example, the Isaiah 7:14 prophesy not only declares the Virgin Birth in a context where the evil king is rebuked with a direct miracle from God, but also calls the Promised Messiah - God with us. The Virgin Birth is unique but so is calling a newborn baby God

The Isaiah 9:6 prophesy calls the Child The Mighty God and The Everlasting Father. The only way to escape the revelation of the Incarnation is to use magic - misdirection of the eye - getting people to think about some other person born that might fit. But which child was God? Another nagging question is the reference to Father. The New Testament - especially John but also Matthew and Paul - develops the Father/Son relationship, witnessed by the Holy Spirit. The Old Testament teaches the Trinity but not in the same stark terms as the New Testament. Nevertheless, the Old and New inform the believer together.

No passage contradicts any other in the Scriptures, so denying or doubting one means rejecting the rest. The Christian Faith does not fall apart at all. The revelation of God's Word stands on its own. But the Scriptures do indeed judge all books and all those who would teach the Word to others. They are ambassadors who do not have a message of their own, but only speak for the King.

Andy Stanley, like his dad, is so full of himself that he imagines his solemn proclamations to be truth. His followers are no different, because they catch the real agenda - form a personality cult and use it to create an earthly paradise.

Andy Stanley, who went to Dallas Seminary, uses the argument that John and Paul do not teach the Virgin Birth. That is what happens when simpletons are ordained. (Sorry, WELS, but like all anti-Confessionals, you make stuff up as you go along - and adore personality cults. Ft.Wayne graduates are no better, and act superior to WELS. Answer? - same Pietistic origins.) 

Gensis 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

John 1King James Version (KJV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
The same was in the beginning with God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Consider this - John 1 opens with the majestic Logos Hymn, proclaiming that every item in Creation was created through Him, explaining Genesis 1 - and God said - Jesus as the Creating Word.

The Fourth Gospel supplements Matthew, Mark, and Luke, assuming that the readers already know the other Gospels. Using the Andy Stanley approach, Jesus was not baptized and did not celebrate the Last Supper, because both are indicated but not narrated in the Gospel of John.

1st John 1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.

The opening of the Fourth Gospel and the Apostle's first letter are completely harmonious with the Virgin Birth, using even more glorious language to explain the meaning of an event the readers already know from Matthew and Luke. By the way, Mark is almost 100% from Matthew and Luke, with two tiny exceptions, so conclude which one came first, as if it matters. 

 How is this NOT a declaration of the Two Natures in Christ?
The Son of God, born of a woman?

Monday, December 26, 2016

Spring in Springale - Squirrels Lost a Round - Birds Ahead in Feeding

 Inside information - squirrels bought out the Slinky business
and began running Facebook posts on how effective Slinkies
are against squirrels. Win/win.
The truth.

Spring has arrived early in Springdale, with shirtsleeve weather outside and gentle rains falling. We had no real leaf drop until late, and then Christmas was upon us. My biggest find was in Fayetteville, when I filled our Town Car with leaf bags.

I was happy about our bird-feeding array, and tragically, so were the squirrels. One stood on the platform feeder to reach the hanging sunflower seed feeder. Another leaned over from the brick wall to reach the second hanging feeder.

Cancel your Slinky order - squirrels can reach out and hold their bodies parallel to the ground, simply hanging onto a window screen or a brick wall with their hind feet. Once they capture the feeder with their front paws, eating is easy.

Filled with wrath, I went outside to move the platform feeder. I pulled the feeder's extension pipe out to begin taking apart the platform or a move away from the handing feeders.

The bottom pipe was supported by a cinder block, gravel in the holes, and a clay foundation. That part would not move, even though the soil was soft and moist from the rains, dug by earthworms and mixed by moles.

Saving work is like saving money - very enjoyable. I decided to leave the extension pipe out, refill the platform feeder with fresh corn, and let any creature feeding near the ground try to stretch up to the hanging devices. The newly shortened platform feeder was several squirrel lengths from reaching the hanging feeder.

I filled the hanging feeders with sunflower seeds and waited for the creatures to get over the shock of a minor change. Food overcame their caution and soon we had all kinds of birds - even Cardinals - feeding from the hanging sunflower seed feeders with no meddling by squirrels.

Naturally, the squirrels came back, but they no longer have a dominating effect on the food supply. They have to work to get at a few seeds, but the birds can light on the opposite side of the hanging feeders, get their food, and leave.

Group memory - have squirrels seen King Kong
and passed along this trick to scare away birds?

No more King Kong antics, batting away the birds.

Wednesday's forecast - rain, 60 degrees.

Look Back in Anger - Andy Stanley and His Adoring Lutheran Fans

McCained (Kelmed) from Wikipedia:

I don’t believe making disciples must equal making adherents to the Christian religion. It may be advisable in many (not all!) circumstances to help people become followers of Jesus and remain within their Buddhist, Hindu or Jewish contexts … rather than resolving the paradox via pronouncements on the eternal destiny of people more convinced by or loyal to other religions than ours, we simply move on … To help Buddhists, Muslims, Christians, and everyone else experience life to the full in the way of Jesus (while learning it better myself), I would gladly become one of them (whoever they are), to whatever degree I can, to embrace them, to join them, to enter into their world without judgment but with saving love as mine has been entered by the Lord (A Generous Orthodoxy, 260, 262, 264).


"Even if we are convinced that all homosexual behavior is always sinful, we still want to treat gay and lesbian people with more dignity, gentleness, and respect than our colleagues do. If we think that there may actually be a legitimate context for some homosexual relationships, we know that the biblical arguments are nuanced and multilayered, and the pastoral ramifications are staggeringly complex. We aren't sure if or where lines are to be drawn, nor do we know how to enforce with fairness whatever lines are drawn."


"Our interpretations reveal less about God or the Bible than they do about ourselves. They reveal what we want to defend, what we want to attack, what we want to ignore, what we're unwilling to question..." (A New Kind of Christian, 50)

Remember Rob Bell, the apostate "evangelist" who rejected Christian doctrine in Love Wins? McLaren defended Rob Bell - and why not? - McLaren teaches the same Universalism while denying he is a Universalist!

More of McLaren's ravings are quoted here.

Sound familiar WELS fans?

The Church Growth Movement, which was centered at Fuller Seminary (training ground for most LCMS, WELS, ELCA, and ELS leaders) has morphed or metastasized into Emergent Church/Becoming Missional.

ELCA pastors probably put up more fuss about Church Growth than the other Lutheran groups put together. They cross-referenced each other, too. They left ELCA in disgust and joined the Church of Rome, which also uses Church Growth methods. Justice! Neuhaus is a prime example of hating Church Growth, saying some good things against it (Ad Fontes Conference, attended by the Ichabods), and joining Rome.

But WELS and Missouri "conservatives" said nothing and did nothing while heavily promoting Church Growth and participating with ELCA in Church Growth projects like the Thrivent Church Membership Initiative.

By emasculating themselves, the "conservative" clergy and laity left the field wide open for the next stage of Church Growth - Emergent Church under such leaders as McLaren, Andy Stanley, and Mark Driscoll.

Emergent Church/Missional Characteristics

  1. The parish avoids the denominational name and even the word "church" - as in The CORE, CrossWalk, CrossRoads.
  2. The clergypersons (including women pastors) dress like they are going to change the oil in their jalopy, as if they dug the clothes out of the hamper or the rag bin.
  3. No liturgy, sound hymns, or creeds in the service.
  4. The sermon is replaced by a rant - cussing is really cool and edgy.
  5. Music is loud, ecclesiatical rock.
  6. Lighting is modeled after rock concert extravaganzas.
  7. Doctrinal content is marketed as inclusive, but it is really covert Universalism, lacking the Law and making fun of faith (perfect for the UOJ Hive).
  8. Cell groups are essential, mandated, but sound doctrine is a burden, an obstacle.
  9. Pulpit views are consistently on the far Left on all social issues - in the name of love.

Andy Stanley and Ski - WELS The Core.
Ski, Tim Glende, and many other WELS disciples have attended Stanley worship conferences.
Gay activist Stanley has been a featured speaker at many Willow Creek conferences:
Missouri and WELS are deep into Willow Creek.
The Ichabods attended WC to observe and later to retch.
John Parlow is a WC disciple and Andy Stanley follower.

Ski posted his account of worship at the Drive conference for many years.
I copied most of it into this blog.
Here is what Stanley said about his gay outreach:
Kelmed from Ichabod at this link:

Pastor Ski - St. Marcus - Milwaukee
Pastor John Parlow - St. Mark - Depere
A Healthy Staff Culture
- Jeff Henderson
“Leaders don’t get people, they attract them”
- Andy Stanley


Whew!  Day 5, it has been a heck of a road trip.  Today was the last day.  As you can see it was jam packed.  Before I get into Day 5... Let me just say this, “We should have sat in traffic to go to the Brown Bridge Campus!”  Buske & I were bitter.  Remember that I had said John got frustrated sitting the parking lot for 30 minutes?  So we went to dinner & called it a night.  Well, on Day 5 they showed the video for what happened at Brown Bridge.  Sweet cookout, the food looked awesome, games and fellowship outside (without snow or cold, I might add) and then a surprise JEFF FOXWORTHY show.  Man, how are they gonna top that next year?

Anyway, Day 5.  It is kind of crazy, just when you think it can’t get any better, it does.  Well, sort of.  In the morning they had Q & As for different groups.  I went to one that was about linking adults into small group studies.  It was well done, but for me it is difficult because everyone is looking for concrete answers on how to solve their own personal small group issues.  Many of the questions didn’t apply for us at St. Marcus.  However, the leaders were great and had a ton of info.
My final breakout session was entitled Parental Guidance Required.  The leader was Clay Scroggins.  He kind of looked like Steve James (he’s a St. Marcus member, Steve that is) but he talked with a Texas drawl.  He was high energy.  Based on his presentation and his passion for kids, I imagine that he rocked it out with kids.  The gist of his session was that what happens in the home has a greater influence on the spiritual life of children than what happens at church.  Based on that it becomes imperative that parents & the church partner.  Here are the steps that North Point uses:
  1. 1.Inform Parents - inform them about what is being taught to their children.
  2. 2.Partner With Parents - invite parents to be in an environment with their children.
  3. 3.Equip Parents - provide parents with the tools to assist in the spiritual development of their children.
Pretty good points and a really good session.  
After that session we broke for lunch.  John took off for the airport, so Buske and I were on our own.  That might sound a little scary, but it is true.
The final Main Session with Andy Stanley was just phenomenal.  We began with awesome worship.  Today though, they began with a Christian rapper, Toby Mac.  Our school kids would have loved it.  I’m not sure that they would have believed that it was church though.
When Andy began his session.  He started by saying that he was not going to follow his notes in the Drive ’08 Journal Book.  Instead he was going to do something that he called, “Recent Random Thoughts On Church Leadership.”  He shared 5 points and 5 takeaways.  I think that he was at his absolute best this afternoon.  Here are the 5 point & takeaways:
  1. 1.To reach people no one else is reaching we must do things no one else is doing.
Takeaway - Become preoccupied with those you haven’t reached as opposed to those you keep.  This is easier said than done.
Wow, it seems so simple.  And yet so hard.
  1. 2.The next generation product almost never comes from the previous generation.
Takeaway - Be a student not a critic.
What more can be said?  How do we approach things?  When things are different & involve change are we scared?  Do we criticize or do we look to learn and implement?
  1. 3.What do I believe is impossible to do in my field?  But if it could be done it would fundamentally change my business.
Takeaway - Pay attention to the people who are breaking the rules.
Crazy sounding isn’t it?  We can fight technology and change, but in the end it will pass us and we will become archaic and irrelevant.  Not our Message, but the manner in which we present it.  Who would have ever thought texting would be as big as it is?  How about multi-site church?  Video church?  These are all things that have changed how we worship.
  1. 4.If we got kicked out & the board brought in a new CEO what would they do?  Why shouldn’t we walk out the door & then come back in & do it ourselves?
Takeaway - Acknowledge what is NOT working & own up to why you are unwilling to change it.
Some thoughts on this - rarely does the church (in general) get concerned about change until they run out of money.  What if we asked some questions before it was too late?
  1. a.What’s in decline?
  2. b.Where are we manufacturing energy? In other words pretending something is important.  An example would be if I continued to say that Bible Study was important, but never attended.  I’m blowing hot air, “manufacturing energy.”  I don’t believe that anyone wants to stand behind that or get involved in something like that.
  3. c.Finally, when are we going to unearth all underlying assumptions?  Sometimes, what we assume, is not the reality.  Are we willing to dig to find out the truth or are we happy with assuming? 
  4. 5.When your memories exceed your dreams the end is near.
Takeaway - Don’t let success or momentum overshadow your vision.  Keep the out front.
How quickly can we be satisfied?  How often do we look at things and say, “Well, it’s not great but it is better than such and such church.” Scary, but we sometimes fool ourselves into thinking like this.  Some questions to ponder:
  1. a.What the burden on your heart? (sic, yo)
  2. b.What breaks your heart?
That was it.  After that Andy just ended and prayed for all the people there & for there ministries.  As you can see from the pictures above, Buske & I got to get a picture with Andy, pretty cool.  He is way down to earth.  His wife Sandra was there also and she is just great.  We actually got to talk to her a little more than Andy.  You also notice John with the North Point member who played Bender in one of their sermon series called “Twisted”.  The series was all about how Satan twists God’s Word.  Finally, there is a photo of Buske & Todd Fields.  I’m a little bitter about that one, but you’ll need to ask me why.

Thanks to everyone who read this while I was gone.  Be looking for some cool stuff that we will be implementing at St. Marcus, especially in Sunday Night.  Thanks also for all the patience.  Writing this thing mostly between 1 AM & 2 AM means that there are probably a ton spelling and grammar mistakes.  I can’t wait to see you guys on Sunday.  Check out the Picture Page for some added photos from Drive ’08.
I’m out!

The CORE, which is only an evening service,
has not grown at all in three years or more.
But Ski is gone, so there is hope.

Jeske connects all the dots.
He is all about Change
and all about Jeske.