Thursday, September 20, 2007

Extreme Theology

So do you think the innovative ideas of Church and Change -- could lead to EXTREME theology?

Those that follow maybe led into this relevant type of extreme theology. When a focus is on the works we do instead of what Christ has done for us this is what happens -- Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Dribble which leads to self-fulfillment void of the suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ.

What denomination is this church? mythbusters

If you still want to register for the Church and Change conference just look on the synod website.


Anonymous said...

Why don't you give Pastor Adam Mueller a call? Ask him about his presentation. Of course this would mean you would have to find out the truth, and then you would have nothing to bitch about. So continue speaking in ignorance, spewing forth venom. Understand somthing: the best way to make sure church and change is here to stay is to continue what you are doing. The more absurd and completely slanderous the acusations the more Church and Change think they are in the right.
Good work!! You are ignorant.

John said...

I will contact Pr. Mueller to see how he plans to extremely make over the church. Just seems kind of ironic that he is part of a group that is looking to use extreme methods and in the past has invited Unitarian theologians to be a key note speaker -- That to me is slanderous to the Church.

Before you slander me by calling me ignorant why don't you call the leaders of the church and changers and ask them why they chose Sweet to be a presenter. Or are you a card carrying member.

I will remind you that many in synod find this group offensive.

Pr. K said...

"the best way to make sure church and change is here to stay is to continue what you are doing."

Actually, it's good to be discussing c&c and other groups in the WELS that have serious theological differences and asking them to defend and explain their actions. The alternative of denying that the synod has ANY problems or differences in doctrine/practice/beliefs/whatever has been tried and failed.

I too would be interested in how Pr. Mueller plans to makeover the church, and I hope John hears from him. However, John is not "spewing forth venom" and he has not been slanderous in his posts and doesn't seem to be ignorant. The accusations against the church and change group have been substantiated pretty well by what c&c has done and written.

As long as we are in the Church Militant, even the little WELS corner of it, there will be plenty to "bitch about", but the inspired writer put it better when he said something about testing the spirits to see whether they are from God.

Norman Teigen said...

Again I want to offer encouragement. The persons who write nasty things under the cloak of anonymity have no credibility.

Norman Teigen
ELS layman

A WELS Pastor said...

I'm not a Church and Changer, nor am I planning on attending the conference. But I did read the flyer for the conference, and I don't recall seeing anything about an extreme theology website or that the presentation was going to have anything to do with that. With a title like Extreme Makeover: Church Edition, I could see the presentation dealing with things such as making your building more attractive and user friendly (like keeping the grass mowed and the walls painted, having hearing devices for the hard of hearing, etc., etc.) It is an extreme leap in your logic to jump from the title of the seminar to your fears about "extreme" theology. I hope you do contact the pastor making the presentation and that you do so in a loving way, and not in a way that makes him think you're loaded for bear.

Anonymous said...

Come on John.

There's plenty to criticize C&C about judging it by its own merits. You don't need to find some off the wall website and then imply a connection between it and C&C simply because they both use the word "extreme". That's called sensationalism. It is the enemy of serious, honest discussion.

The first comment was a bit "extreme", but he made a good point. You're not going to win any C&C people over to your point of view by falsely associated them with groups or websites that they aren't actually associated with. That's just going to make people blow you off as a sensationalist.

Why not address the problems with C&C based on actual C&C content?

John said...

Well I haven't heard back from Pr. A. Mueller. I did read the brief blurb included in the conference brochure and it didn't mention anything about mowing the church lawn. But I'll wait until I hear more about what will be taught.

Maybe it is just these gimmicking, trying to be relevant conference titles that lead me to question the content. What about Oprah coming to Class. ?? What does that mean?

Anonymous said...

John - do you think we should abandon any sort of "attention-getters"?

Should we drop all sermon introductions?

Perhaps we should drop the sermon altogether, and literally just preach the Word? What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Preach the Word? As in, preach Christ crucified?

Yup. Sounds like a good idea to me.

Anonymous said...

Since no one was ever saved by a snappy story about the pastor's kids or a humorous tale copied off the internet, yes, we could drop all sermon introductions.

John said...

I'm not talking about sermons, but I do get tired of hearing about your kid’s soccer game. How about a clearly written description of the workshop content so that I might have a better idea about what the content is going to be about.

Don't you think these titles are a bit goofy? But this seems to be the trend in the seeker churches.

It seems to me as a Lutheran Church the message should be focused on Christ crucified, the Word and Sacraments.

So who is the online brochure for? Is it pastors and they can read beyond the title and know what they are signing up for... bringing in Oprah or finding love in all the wrong places. Don't they want laypeople to know what they mean by using this pop culture language. I realize we shouldn't assume because we know that old saying. Come on! Tell me what the sessions are about or I have to assume. Now I know your thinking about Balaam.

So tell me if you were to sign up for a session how in the world do you determine the content of the session?

What sessions are you signed up for and why?

Anonymous said...


I despise sermon introductions.

First, most sermon introductions are nothing more than cute little stories with little to no relation to the actual content of the sermon. I end up saying (in my head) "So what?!?" for the first 5-7 minutes of many sermons.

Second, why do you need to start with an "attention grabber" anyway? It's not like the church is full of random people milling around and chatting. People sit in the pews ready and expecting to listen to the sermon. They're already paying attention.

The absolute best sermon introductions are simple introductions to that particular Sunday of the church year or the theme for that day.

When I read sermons by Luther and the other greats, I don't read cute little stories about what Luther's kids did last week, I hear him get straight to the Word.

Is that too much to ask today?

John said...

I imagine you did look at the catchy mythbusters website.

You do have to do a lot of searching to find the synodical identity of this church.

I am assuming again, but why would you hide your identity from the culture around you? You do notice that the website will take on online donation if you are so inclined.

If you search long enough you will see that the church is WELS and the pastor is a presenter at the Church and Change conference. So when I am accused of taking an "extreme" leap when I connect an extreme church make over with extreme theology you must know that the slope is slippery.

Speaking of a slippery slope a commenter noted to me that the Oprah presenter is no longer in fellowship with the WELS so that session has been canceled.

Anonymous said...

In some areas of the country "Lutheran" is more associated with "liberal" and ELCA than confessional Lutheranism, so some choose to de-emphasize the "Lutheran" connection and instead simply emphasize the Word.

Does the Bible say anything about online giving?

Anonymous said...

I'll agree that Lutheran is sometimes associated with liberal. Wouldn't another solution be to catechize people so they know that confessional Lutherans are not liberal? As for Crosswalk Church, they don't even celebrate communion, which is a mark of the church. Therefore, they should not be allowed to use the name Lutheran.

Does the Bible say anything about online pornography? Why is it that it is easier to give money to Crosswalk than to find out it's denominational affiliation? Are they more interested in receiving offerings than having people know that they're part of WELS?

Anonymous said...

"Wouldn't another solution be to catechize people"

It might be, except that in certain places any association with lutheranism (perceived by outsiders as liberal) would automatically turn people away - standing as an unnecessary barrier to the Gospel message.

"they don't even celebrate communion"

From what I have heard, this statement is false. Can you back it up?

"Why is it that it is easier to..."

When I go to today it is easier to read about the Youth Rally than it is to find out that they are a member of the CELC. Tsk tsk...

Anonymous said...

So the Holy Spirit can't overcome the word "Lutheran" on a sign?

Anonymous said...

We could also lock our doors on Sunday morning and only allow members in, and never do evangelism. Could the Holy Spirit overcome this?

Absolutely! God can do all things! But we also should not put God to the test.

In some areas, "Lutheran" does not mean "Lutheran" as we know it. Yes - words mean different things in different places. Why would they try to misrepresent themselves to the public as being liberal? I doubt Crosswalk hides the fact that they are Lutheran and WELS to those they have had a chance to catechize.

Anonymous said...

"Yes - words mean different things in different places."

That's a pretty post-modern observation. Thinkers like you would fit right in at "Crosswalk." I hear they have a full breakfast spread every Sunday morning too. And you can dress however you feel comfortable. I mean, come on, reverence means different things to different people. If cut off jeans make me comfortable, I'm sure they make Jesus comfortable too. Now lets do some praisin'!!!

Anonymous said...

"Absolutely! God can do all things! But we also should not put God to the test."

Are you saying that using the word Lutheran is putting God to the test?

"In some areas, "Lutheran" does not mean "Lutheran" as we know it."

Name one.



Anonymous said...

What "we"? You don't know where I am. So you can put charitable motives to Crosswalk's actions, but John can't question what c&c has written and done?

Is it better for Crosswalk to give the impression that they're like all the other error-ridden non-denominational "ministries" in the US than to be Lutheran?

Gotta love that brainwashed WELS double standard.

Anonymous said...

"Name one."

A year or two ago, Grace in downtown Milwaukee was picketed on a Sunday morning by a conservative Christian group.

When the pastor asked them why they were picketing, they told him that it was a Lutheran church, and that meant that they accepted homosexuality.

Does that count as one LM?

John said...

So you drop the name Lutheran to distance yourself from the ELCA. Yet you appear to be another community non-denominational church that is as liberal as the ELCA. Is this bait and switch?

Being Lutheran stands for the doctrine of our church.
Why is the synod still called the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod?

Anonymous said...

"Does that count as one LM?"

Nope. In fact, that's probably the worst example you could come up with. I've lived in Milwaukee (I even attended Grace Downtown). The WELS headquarters is in Milwaukee. WLC is in Milwaukee. You can't swing a dead cat in Milwaukee without hitting a WELS church. I'm sure people there know that not all Lutherans are ELCA Lutherans.

Look, I'm not saying that there aren't people that think Lutherans are more socially liberal than mainstream Protestants. But I'm not sure I would tie it to any particular geographical region. That’s all.


Anonymous said...

"Nope. In fact, that's probably the worst example you could come up with."

LM, that was EXACTLY my point. If people can confuse Lutheran with liberal in Milwaukee of all places, just imagine what it's like in other places!

Pr. K said...


LM already agreed with you that there may be people who see Lutheran as liberal in the comment quoted below:
"Look, I'm not saying that there aren't people that think Lutherans are more socially liberal than mainstream Protestants. But I'm not sure I would tie it to any particular geographical region. That’s all." Obviously, from the number of conservative and confessional Lutheran churches in the Milwaukee area, not everyone in metro Milwaukee believes that Lutheran equals liberal. Your Grace example proves LM's point better than yours.

"just imagine what it's like in other places!" Unless you have some better examples of GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS where your assertion is true, then you are just using your imagination.

And you never answered LM's question about whether using the name Lutheran is putting God to the test.

The unchurched are not stupid. If they attend a church that is hiding it's name or denominational affiliation, they might wonder why.

Anonymous said...

"He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God... Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way... Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food." Romans 14:6,13,19,20

I think choosing whether or not to put the word "Lutheran" on a sign falls into this category.

John said...

Pr. A. Mueller had been out of town but we did connect through email. He explained that his C&C workshop is about how Jesus blesses a solid program that focuses on the cross in all its endeavors rather than investing in preevangelism fluff.
His congregation does not use contemporary worship or blended worship (whatever that might be). He also noted that they don’t use knock off gimmicks promoted by Rick Warren and the like.

Pr. A. Mueller has been at his congregation in Kokomo for 8 years and the look of his congregation now is extreme from where it was. He assured me that his church and workshop is rooted in the Gospel and sacraments.

So now my concern is that the leaders of the C&C conference didn’t do a fair representation of his workshop. I think that a better blurb could have been in the Church and Change brochure to highlight that this extreme makeover is not using any “preevangelism fluff.” Instead it might have highlighted a church that is returning to the solid use of the Gospel and Sacraments.

I have changed the posts title.