Friday, November 23, 2007

How Lutheran Are You?




www.How Lutheran Are You?



This unscientific quiz does not necessarily represent the view of all Lutherans (or even those in the WELS).

316 comments:

1 – 200 of 316   Newer›   Newest»
Anonymous said...

I wish they would list the correct answers somewhere; I think I confused some of the hymnal names...

Anonymous said...

John,

A nice little diversion, but knowing basic facts about the current mess in American Lutheranism does not necessarily connect to knowing much about Lutheranism.

Bespoke said...

Hilarious. There is one obvious error. Missouri was not founded by Stephan or Walther but by the Loehe group. They invited the Perry County upstarts to join them. Later, the pastors in Missouri re-wrote the history a bit.

Anonymous said...

The test spelled Wisconsin incorrectly. Just wanted to point that out.

Anonymous said...

That test should be entitled, "How Synodical Conference Lutheran are You." The "How Lutheran are you" test should have one question, "Do you attend a church which, every Lord's Day, celebrates the evangelically restored Mass?"

Anonymous said...

Coming here has introduced me to a new, weird strain of Lutheranism. I don't care for the liberal side--but this weird pseudo-Catholic side is equally unappealing.

I grew up Lutheran (LCMS and then WELS), but I have never heard the term "mass" in any of the churches I attended. Oh and I've never attended a church that didn't have a liturgical worship format.

I guess there maybe is some truth to the "Catholic-lite" jokes I hear every now and again?

Anonymous said...

"The "How Lutheran are you" test should have one question, "Do you attend a church which, every Lord's Day, celebrates the evangelically restored Mass?""

Yikes. Look, I'm as big a supporter of the historic Christian liturgy as anyone, but making celebration of the "Mass" the one and only criterion for true Lutheranism? No way. That's going way too far.

Anonymous said...

I grant absolutions to all new comers to Lutheranism who have not been taught the language (and substance) of Lutheranism as confessed in the Book of Concord. So consider yourself absolved, and welcome.

The "evangelically restored mass" is the Divine Sevice in which the Gospel is preached (and thus predominates) and in which the Sacraments are celebrated. (Cf. Augustana VII). There is no other criterion for the Church, for the Church is found nowhere else. (And I might add, what would you add?)

And perhaps you owe the pope an apology, for Lutherans confess that "falsely are our churches accused of abolishing the mass.." (AC XXIV). Has your church abolished the mass?! Egad! You would be well served to read the remainder of that article (XXIV) and the Apologia on the same.

I haven't heard any good "Catholic-lite jokes" recently. Got a good one?

Anonymous said...

No, it the Catholic-like is basically the center of the "joke."

As for the mass...I'm not a Lutheran if I don't celebrate the "mass" and use the correct language?

I've never celebrated the "mass," but rest assured, my faith in Christ is not diminshed by that obscure fact.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 12:31,

You write

"No, it the Catholic-like (sic) is basically the center of the 'joke.'"

I don't get it.

Please read what I wrote, I granted you absolution for not knowing Lutheran language. I didn't say that disqualified you as a Lutheran, it just shows you are a new comer to Lutheranism.

And to be clear here so that we do not talk past one another, to celebrate the mass is not the same thing as hearing the Gospel and receiving the Sacraments. (I did not say you have to be the celebrant, in the proper use of that term.) Where the evangelically resotred mass (as I and the Confessions define it) is celebrated is where you find the church, at least that is what Lutherans believe, and we do not consider hearing the Gospel preached and receiving the Sacraments "obscure facts." It is what creates faith and thus constitutes the church.

Can I assume you are not a Lutheran? Your theology is not Lutheran.

Anonymous said...

"Can I assume you are not a Lutheran? Your theology is not Lutheran."

I love this. If I don't agree with "x" or "y" person, then I'm not a good Lutheran and my theology is corrupt. Isn't that brilliant.

If you will re-read my first post regarding the mass issue--I stated I was first LCMS and am not WELS. I have ALWAYS worshipped in the liturigical tradition.

I am not a newcomer. I was being sarcastic, but obviously it went over your head.

I have not heard the term "mass" before, but I would bet you that most WELS and LCMS members have not either.

I am committed to beliefs that the Holy Spirit works through the Gospel and the Sacraments. We baptized our babies on the day of their births because we strongly believe in the promises of baptism.

But, yes...I understand nothing and I newbie Lutheran.

You are presumptous and a bit of a jerk. You did nothing increase my desire to agree with you. Thanks for the walls buddy.

Anonymous said...

"and am not WELS"

Should read...and am "now" WELS.

Sorry for the error...I suppose that makes me a bad Lutheran too.

Anonymous said...

My, my such a nasty tone. Is this too late at night for you and you are getting a little grumpy? That’s ok, I grant absolutions for that too. And no, your mistyping does not make you a bad Lutheran, I hope not, I typed "restored", "resotred." My mistyping is due to my Lutheran affectation of loving beer (Smithwick’s tonight).

Yes it is brilliant, if you do not agree with the Lutheran Confessions you are not a Lutheran. I said nothing more, nothing less. And by the way, being WELS does not necessarily mean you are a Lutheran. I know many WELS members who aren’t. (And why this obsession about being a "good" or a "bad" Lutheran?) And that you are ignorant of the term "mass" with your pedigree of being LCMS and WELS only speaks poorly of your catechists, not to an obscurity of the word which is used liberally in the Confessions and in the writings of the Lutheran confessors and theologians.

Sorry that you are not a new comer, you see I was just trying to put the best construction on things. New comers can be forgiven for not knowing the language of the Lutheran Confessions. Those who comment on Lutheranism, as on this blog, (and who get quite indignant when their knowledge of Lutheranism is questioned) ought to know the language of Lutheranism before they blindly and ignorantly speak. Perhaps a better tact for you would have been to asked what the phrase "evangelically restored mass" meant before you blindly and ignorantly criticized it. Ok, you are not a new comer, just a Lutheran who does not know the Lutheran Confessions for had you, you would not have been shocked by my use of Confessional language.

And, uh, work on the sarcasm, yours sucks, and I say that only in the nicest way.

And, you still owe me a joke.

And, I'm not your buddy, bub. (And I suspect you don't have many.)

Anonymous said...

Praise be to God you are not my buddy...praise God!

You are a jerk and I'm not a "bub"...you can take your pietism and shove it.

Anonymous said...

Oh and one more thing. A person speaks in arrogance publically and then are "shocked" when people are offended.

This happens on the side of the C&C and on the side of the guy above me. Funny how no matter the end of the spectrum one seems to fall here in Lutheranism...both sides are so very prone to arrogance--maybe we should focus on Christ more and not on our own selfish, prideful egos.

Anonymous said...

"maybe we should focus on Christ more and not on our own selfish, prideful egos."

Amen! I'd suggest you start by reading the Lutheran Confessions, so you have some idea what you're talking about.

You showed just as much, if not more, arrogance combined with a staggering ignorance compared with the anonymous who disagreed with you.

mav said...

"you can take your pietism and shove it."

Friend,

Learn what Pietism is before attempting to use it as an insult. It doesn't work in this case.

You are not helping yourself or your case, which is unclear. There isn't a spectrum of Lutherans, there are Lutherans and there are not. I'm not judging hearts, I'm looking at what you have publicly written. You don't know the Lutheran faith. Just because you are in a Lutheran church body does not mean that you would know the Lutheran faith, though it would be nice. I had plenty of poor teachers in churches that claimed to be Lutheran but were not, too. However, your responses here had anger and no substance. You are pointing to your own experiences and what you think as authoritative, while the other anonymous is pointing to the Lutheran Confessions. In other words, you are focusing on your selfish, prideful ego, while your antagonist is focusing on Christ.

mav

Anonymous said...

Dear "I'm not Bub" Indignant Guy,

Just so we don’t get confused with all these anony-mae flying around, I'm "evangelically restored mass" (hence ERM) Guy. I last posted before your clever "shove it" angry outburst.

I know what you are going through, but you need to calm down. I, too, was as ignorant as you, but unlike you I had no excuse, I was ordained a Lutheran pastor. I, too, was shocked at things I deemed "Catholic" but later learned were Lutheran. But you see, here is the difference, I did not become arrogantly indignant and angry. I was stunned, puzzled, asked questions, learned and rejoiced. I began my original post by tweaking that so called test for Lutheranism by posting the correct one, at least according to the Book of Concord, and you charged in with your arrogant, and oh so typical and familiar WELS ignorance with a heaping side of arrogance,

"…new, weird strain of Lutheranism. I don't care for the liberal side--but this weird pseudo-Catholic side is equally unappealing."

And then you were spanked, spanked good and hard by the Lutheran Confessions. But rather than taking your spanking as a good Lutheran, you reacted in anger and arrogance and after being catechized about what the ERM is, you label it an "obscure fact." And so you had to be spanked again.

(And I will let you in on something. I deliberately use words like "mass" that our Confessions use to expose those like you.)

Perhaps you should take this anonymous spanking – for we do not know who you are – and learn from it. You can keep you proud pedigree of being a "good Lutheran" which was shattered here and now learn to speak as a Lutheran by actually reading the Lutheran Confessions, and learn not to speak in haste, and when you do, as we all do, learn to take your spankings like a man, that would make you a good Lutheran.

And please come up with something a little more clever. Clever I can respect, but jerk and Pietist?! Pietist? Pietism is the very antithesis of what I directed you to in the Augustana and Apologia XXIV! Yes, not only is my theology the very antithesis of Pietism, my lifestyle is, I also had a nice zinfandel yesterday in addition to the ale.

So, watch it, I have my paddle of the BOC ready to use if necessary, and if I must administer another spanking to you, simply bend over and say as I have in the past when I have been so spanked, "thank you, sir, may I have another?"

Mass-Guy

Anonymous said...

Mass-Guy,

There's a huge difference between being confessional and confessionalistic. (Much as there's a difference between being Biblical and Biblistic.) Your claim that we must not only use the historic liturgy, but also must call it the mass (because the Confessions call it mass) is overly rigid and literalistic. Being a true Lutheran isn't simply a matter of what you call the service. It's what you do in the service. When the Word is rightly proclaimed and the Sacraments rightly administered, when the historic liturgy is used, when Christ is proclaimed, you're Lutheran--no matter if you call it mass, service, liturgy, whatever. Calling people un-Lutheran simply because they don't use the same terminology as you is ridiculous. But I get the impression that you already know that and are insisting on the term "mass" so much simply to rile people up.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 10:57,

Are you "I'm not bub" guy? (Sign your notes, please). Anyway, your straw man will go up in flames. Nowhere do I say what you claim I say. Please read the posts, I wrote

"The 'evangelically restored mass' is the Divine Sevice in which the Gospel is preached (and thus predominates) and in which the Sacraments are celebrated. (Cf. Augustana VII)."

I never insisted that you call the Divine Service "the mass." I simply showed you that that is a word that the Lutheran Confessions use to describe it, which you, violently reacted against, thus showing you do not know the language of the Lutheran Confessions. The term "mass" which my parish does not use, but which my congregants know well, is used in the one Lutheran Confession after Catechisms that a layman should know, the Augsburg Confession. So wrong again. And when will you learn that simply if you do not know or learned something from your WELS catechists that it must not be Lutheran? How sectarian, how blind.

Additionally, I did not call you or anyone unLutheran, as you allege, because they do not use that term. I asked whether you were Lutheran, because your theology, in which you said that attending the ERM, which I defined according to AC VII and AC and AP XXIV was "an obscure fact", thus rendering you "unLutheran."

Perhaps I should also teach you what a straw man is, it is saying your opponent says something, which he did not, and then knocking it down. That I am sure you learned from your WELS catechists. And so where in my posts do I say, as you allege,

"Your claim that we must not only use the historic liturgy, but also must call it the mass"

Nowhere. Straw man. (Whoosh!)

And as I told you in my last post, I deliberately use words like "mass" to, using your word, rile people up, rather, expose, as I wrote, ignorance of the Lutheran Confessions. Yes, the arrogant get riled, the humble get catechized. (Doesn't this tell you something, that you are "riled up" by my use of CONFESSIONAL language?}

So, slow down and read my posts and do not read into my posts.

Mass Guy

Anonymous said...

"Are you "I'm not bub" guy?"

No, I'm not.

"I simply showed you that that is a word that the Lutheran Confessions use to describe it, which you, violently reacted against, thus showing you do not know the language of the Lutheran Confessions."

Wow. Talk about strawmen! Go back and reread my post. I didn't react violently against that word. I even made a point of mentioning that I was aware that the Confessions use that word. Basically my post said the exact opposite of what you claimed.

Most of the rest of your post then attacked things that I never wrote. I think you meant to direct those comments toward someone else, so I won't answer them.

But my point is still valid. I don't understand why some people get so wrapped up in terminology and make such a big deal about using particular words. I purposely avoid the term mass because of the baggage it carries in American Lutheranism. There have been many, many Lutheran pastors who made a big fuss over the word "mass" before leaving Lutheranism for Rome. Such pastors have taken the word "mass" (a fine term in and of itself) and attached Romanizing baggage to it. It's not a neutral term.

Traumatized Student said...

Wow, the tone around here got pretty belligerent over what was supposed to be an attempt at levity.

After 12 years of Lutheran grade school and prep school, I now remember why I decided not to continue on and become a called worker.

The bullying and viciousness I saw and experienced there was enough for me...it seems to continues into adulthood also.

Guess it shows: "A good Theologian does not always a good Christian make"

Anonymous said...

Dear I'm not "I'm not Bub Guy" Guy,

You see why it is important to sign your posts! Since I did ask if you were "I'm not Bub" Guy you should have read my post with that information, that is, I was writing in reference to his comments, if they don't apply, they don't apply. So I did not use the straw man argument.

You stilled used the straw man argument because nowhere did I insist what you claimed I insisted.

Yes, I agree, no term is neutral. That is why we have catechesis. And when WELS people react violently to the term "mass" or others like it that are basic to Lutheranism, I know that Lutheran catechesis is lacking. I know, as I wrote, I was just such a catechist. But my Lutheran parish, now much better catechized, does not react against Confessional language or truths, as even WELS seminary professors do (cf. the WELS Q/A).

And once again, I am not all caught up in using these terms, let alone insisting on them, but it is very telling when bold and arrogant "Lutherans" such as "I'm not Bub, Guy" get so exorcised. And when you read the Confessions you inbibe their spirit and language. And this is not just a matter of knowing certain words, it is the theology as well that is reacted against. Notice the violent reactions in WELS circles (as on this blog) to the encouragement to an every Sunday service celebration of the Sacrament or the restoration of the Confessional, and one might add, evangelical preaching.

Mass Guy

Anonymous said...

Dear Traumatized Student,

Never, ever read Luther, Chemnitz or the Lutheran Confessions, you will be floored.

Traumatized Student said...

Never, ever read Luther, Chemnitz or the Lutheran Confessions, you will be floored

Sorry, I am not sure what you mean by this.

Anonymous said...

Mass Guy,

I don't think the violent reaction is necessarily against the words or concepts themselves, but against the spirit and attitude of sarcasm and arrogance with which people try to promote them. You claim to value catechesis, so why not use even this blog to teach patiently, rather than to drop bombs and use loaded terms to rile people up? The same goes for the MM. If they had taught in a spirit of patience and gentleness, I think they would have had a totally different reception in the WELS. I think many people want to become more Confessional, but feel they can't because all of the Confessional people are just plain unlikeable.

Anonymous said...

"Never, ever read Luther, Chemnitz or the Lutheran Confessions, you will be floored."

Ugh. I am so sick of people using this excuse for their harshness. Yeah, Luther was a bully. So what? Much of it is a purely cultural difference--people simply spoke to each other differently back then. I'd rather base my teaching style on Scripture than on what Luther did. In other words, teaching with "all gentleness and respect".

Anonymous said...

Dear Traumatized Student,

Never, ever read the prophets, Paul or what our Lord wrote, you will be floored.

Anonymous said...

"Never, ever read the prophets, Paul or what our Lord wrote, you will be floored."

Oh please. This one's even worse. Whom did the prophets, Christ, and Paul speak so harshly to? It was to the hardened sinners, Pharisees, and false teachers. Those who aren't fully catechized in the Confessions don't fall into any of those categories, do they? No, they fall into the category of the sheep without a shepherd--those who Jesus had compassion on and patience with.

Anonymous said...

Dear Traumatized Student,

Never, ever read the posts above and see why the Mass Guy responded as he did to the fellow who so arrogantly attacked him, as the Pharisees did Christ, or you will be floored at your own presumption. (I trust your comments were directed to that fellow so do not be so general in your scolding.)

Anonymous said...

"Never, ever read the posts above and see why the Mass Guy responded as he did to the fellow who so arrogantly attacked him, as the Pharisees did Christ, or you will be floored at your own presumption."

Huh? I know that all analogies limp, but I don't get this one. Mass Guy is like Christ, and everyone else is like the Christ-hating Pharisees? Is that really what you meant to say? I'll pretend it wasn't.

Anonymous said...

Dear Traumatized Student,

Never, ever read what our Lord said about how his disciples would be treated when they speak his word, cf. Matthew 5:11-12 and chapter 10 (hint, like him!) or you will be floored.

(Since Mass Guy was defending the Lutheran Confessions and was Pharisaiclly attacked, yes, it was a good analogy, so take off the blinders and come out of your pretend world.)

Anonymous said...

Wow, so everyone who happens to disagree with Mass Guy is an enemy of Christ? That's exactly what I was talking about when I said that Confessional people make it awfully hard to be Confessional.

Anonymous said...

Dear Traumatized Student,

Never, ever read what was written, above, the Lutheran Confessions or the Scriptures for you will be floored, for you will read that Mass guy defended the Lutheran Confessions's doctrine of what constitutes the Church and that "I'm not Bub Guy" viciously and arrogantly, some might say, Pharisaically, attacked that view, which view is the Holy Scriptures, which view is Christ's, so to attack Mass Guy on that point is to attack Christ. For is it not an attack on Christ when we attack the mass as Mass Guy confessionally defined it?

(And yes, we are all enemies of Christ and so we have to faithfully attend, as Mass Guy said, the "evangelically restored mass.")

And that's what I'm talking about, Willis.

Anonymous said...

Arnold,

Thanks for the defense. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Mass Guy

Anonymous said...

But no one is attacking the Word and Sacraments, they're "attacking" those who insist that it must be called "mass". If they were attacking the proper use of the Word of Sacraments, then yes, they are attacking Christ. If they are attacking the term "mass" then no, they aren't attacking Christ. "Mass" is not a term instituted by Christ or the apostles (unless you believe in apostolic succession). And frankly, I don't blame some for sounding the warning bells when someone insists on calling it the "mass". The entire history of American Lutheranism is full of examples of one Lutheran after another who called it the mass, claimed it was Confessional, then joined Rome. A knowledge of history shows the term is carrying tons of baggage, and isn't one to be insisted upon.

Anonymous said...

"they're "attacking" those who insist that it must be called "mass". "

Who is insisting it "must be called mass"? No one. This straw man was already set Ablaze! above.

Anonymous said...

"And then you were spanked, spanked good and hard by the Lutheran Confessions. But rather than taking your spanking as a good Lutheran, you reacted in anger and arrogance and after being catechized about what the ERM is, you label it an "obscure fact." And so you had to be spanked again."

The above is perverse. It scares me to think what you are like in real life.

Anonymous said...

"The entire history of American Lutheranism is full of examples of one Lutheran after another who called it the mass, claimed it was Confessional, then joined Rome."

That's a gross overstatement. Unless you can back it up with concrete examples (and a lot of them since you're claiming there are so many), an apology would be nice.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 2:02,

In regards to my use of the term "spank," you write,

"The above is perverse."

Get your mind out of the gutter or I'll spank you.

MG

Anonymous said...

Anon at 1:30,

Please read the posts, which obviously you haven't. You should be spanked.

MG

Anonymous said...

Type the word "spank" into a search engine and see what you get.

It was a stupid illustration.

I agree with the previous poster that the word "spank" being used over and over is ridiculous, stupid and perverse as the author seemed to really like the idea of using the term over and over.

What a bunch of sad people are on here...wow...

Anonymous said...

"Guess it shows: "A good Theologian does not always a good Christian make"

I agree...Mass guy is a great example of the above.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 1:30,

You offer up unsubstantiated anecdotal evidence that using the word "mass" leads to Romanism. Grand logic. I will offer up the same unsubstantiated anecdotal evidence and insist that using the title WELS and the liturgical theology of the WELS leads to protestantism. Oh, wait, here's some, Dave Kriehn, Mark Frier, Randy Cutter, John Parlow, Bob Rhyne, to name a few.

MG

Anonymous said...

Anon at 2:18,

Looks like I need a spanking.

MG

Anonymous said...

"blah, blah, blah"

Keep talking Mass Guy...the above is all people are hearing.

Grow up and smooth out your sour attitude.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 2:30,

No, that is what you only want to hear, what others hear are your arguments being decimated, and I suppose when that happens that is all you do hear, because it is obvious you are not home in either the English or confessional language.

MG

Anonymous said...

Anon,

Oh, and please say something of substance to which one may respond.

MG

Anonymous said...

Actually, Mass Guy is pretty entertaining, and since no one has been able to refute him....well, maybe you all do deserve to get spanked with the BOC. And after that, you can read it.

Anonymous said...

"Blah, blah, blah"

Keep it coming!!

You guys are so much fun to read. Thanks for the laugh. Keep it coming because we all needed a good laugh.

Anonymous said...

Just when you thought Bailing Water had already hit rock bottom, it just keeps sinking lower. Surely no one still believes this is a place for constructive discussion.

John said...

Ok folks... Let's stop the spanking or I will take ya'll out behind the woodshed (and start moderating comments). That is my trump card you know. :)

I see two polarized sides. The one side says you must not use catholic terms because it causes confusion(majority of the WELS pastors?) and the other side declares this is the language of the BOC so I'm free to use this type of terminology and it may help us avoid sliding down the reformed slope (changers).

Does the use of catholic terminology help to educate the laity? Do you need to educate or catechesis before you "drop" these bombs?

What is happening at the seminary in regards to this topic? Shouldn't this be discussed there?

Anonymous said...

Come on! Could one of the original anonymouses make a real argument to Mass Guy so he'll stop writing about spankings?

Anonymous said...

You know, I understand some of the meager attempts at wit and sarcasm, but if we could discuss things without it, I think we might get somewhere.

I'd be willing to listen about the terminology, but the degratory comments have got to stop. If they don't, you may be speaking truth, but no one is going to listen to you.

Just a thought. Of course you could choose to keep talking about spankings and giving people you don't know absolution, but you will just be spinning you wheels and getting nowhere.

Anonymous said...

"Of course you could choose to keep talking about spankings and giving people you don't know absolution, but you will just be spinning you wheels and getting nowhere."

I agree. We could all use a spanking.

Traumatized Student said...

Frankly, I am lost on this conversation. I am not sure what the replies like this one even mean:

"Never, ever read the posts above and see why the Mass Guy responded as he did to the fellow who so arrogantly attacked him, as the Pharisees did Christ, or you will be floored at your own presumption."

I am not sure whether I am being criticized or being given actual advice...

I am just glad we are not somewhere where a combination of alcohol and firearms are readily available.

I fear I would be hearing the whine of bullets about now.

Its almost like a Midwestern version of Sunnis and Shiites.

Christ's Peace to you all.

RNN said...

This thread has succeeded in bringing me out of my turkey-induced stupor. And I promise that I will not use the words "mass" or "spank" in this post. (Oops! I just said them. Perhaps I should be taken out behind the wood shed and moderated.) But seriously, that is the last pathetic attempt at wit and sarcasm in this post; so read on without fear.

Back to the original point, what is the true test for Lutheranism? After all, many claim to be Lutheran who have no business doing so. What does it mean to be a Lutheran?

As confessional Lutherans, we define Lutheranism in confessional terms. That is, those who subscribe the Lutheran Confessions quia are lutherans; anything less is not--a pseudo-Lutheran at best.

How seriously do we take this? Here is an interesting article, written by CFW Walther. Unconditional Subscription Just to ge you interested, here he points out that claiming to believe what the Bible says is insufficient. But he does not elevate the confessions over scripture. To find out how and why, read it yourself.

The point is, confessional subscription is not something once done that can then be ignored. As Walther points out, the confessions then become a norm by which other writings are judged. In order to serve in this capacity, they must be known, read, and inwardly digested.

Walther also advocates agreeing with the doctrine of the Confessions in content as well as vocabulary. He realized that terms are not neutral, and that changing the language is also changing the doctrine. Doctrine is expressed in langauge; one cannot use completely different words to express the same truth. For instance, one cannot label a pastor as the church's CEO without changing the meaning of pastor and the leadership that he exercises. One cannot speak of forgivness by speaking of tolerance or excusing. As relevant as these terms are, they change the meaning of scripture. It is not sufficient to use such relevant terms, for they will lead to false understanding and belief. Instead, catechesis in sin, forgiveness, and the office of the ministry are required.

This ought to serve us as a reminder of what it means for us to be Lutheran: to subscribe the Lutheran Confessions quia, to belong to churches and synods that do so, and to use them as a norm to judge other writings and doctrine. All of which presupposes that we continue to study and digest them.

Of course, it should be added that these are not just texts to be studied for intellectual knowledge. These are churchly confessions and documents that speak of God giving his grace and forgiveness--those gifts that we receive in the liturgy of the church. The Confessions lead us into the life of the church, which they describe as the weekly service containing the sacrament, which is reverently celebrated using the traditional liturgies. One who claims the Confessions as his own but does not participate in this life of the church or alters it radically has some questions to ask himself about how seriously he takes the Lutheran Confessions.

RNN

Anonymous said...

How seriously he takes the Lutheran Confessions or how seriously he takes the Bible.

I am fine with talking about the Lutheran confessions, but what is bothering me is that I see no references to Scripture whatsoever.

Why is that?

If we are talking about the Lutheran Confessions, should we not also be talking about Scripture as well?

mav said...

You are talking about Scripture as well. The Lutheran Church teaches that a quia subscription to the Lutheran Confessions is made BECAUSE THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS ARE A CORRECT EXPOSITION OF SCRIPTURE. This does not hold the Lutheran Confessions above Scripture and does not claim divine authorship of the Lutheran Confessions.

Please, please, please read and study the Confessions! Even if you already have in the past. Even if you think you know what they say. Read them. Study them. This is what YOUR church teaches. You will find that they always stand on the Scriptures.

Now, no, I don't just read the Confessions. I am in both Scripture and the Confessions almost every day (time permitting).

If you are Lutheran you should know what your church teaches (just as if you are Roman Catholic, Baptist, Scientologist, whatever). For us, this means we should be studying the Book of Concord.

mav

Anonymous said...

I understand that and I got the exact answer I expected.

However, in reading...many will see the levels as being the Confessions first and then Scripture.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree. I am some what surprised some have not already quoted the MM.

RNN said...

Dear 5:08 (and 7:34, I think),

What do you think of Walther's paper? Does he make a case for using the confessions without setting scripture aside? I am curious to know what your (and everybody elses') reaction is to Walther's paper. It is a real opportunity for us to grow in understanding--not that we all have to agree with it completely, but as a good basis for conversation.

When I speak of the Confessions, I do so as a member of a church that has subscribed unconditionally to them. That is, our church has said, after long study, these confessions are the correct expostion of scripture. I am not setting the off against scripture, but rather citing them as the correct exposition of scripture.

If one holds to such an unconditional subscription, of course, scripture cannot be played off against the confessions; then the Book of Concord is no longer the correct exposition of Scripture, and the subscription is meaningless.

Even in my previous post, you will note that I spoke of the life in the church to which the Confessions point and lead. And in that life, there is the public reading and preaching of the Word of God. The Confessions are not read there; Scripture is. That is where the real action takes place: where God comes to meet His people and give His gifts where He has placed them for you--in His Word, in Holy Baptism, in Holy Communion.

Everything else is secondary to this; it helps us understand what is going on there. So, as I said earlier, anyone who claims the Confessions but does not participate in this life of the Church has some questions to ask himself. He is also missing out on the real action.

Blessings to all as we prepare to receive those gifts tomorrow in church, where God is present for each one of us, giving us that life in His Word and in His very own body and blood as we live our Baptisms.

RNN

Anonymous said...

This blog is a joke. If someone totally unfamiliar with confessional Lutheranism wanted to know more about it, and that person came across this blog, I think they would never ever again have any desire to know anything about confessional Lutheranism. What a fine testimony you offer, John, for those who want to know more about the faith of our fathers!

Anonymous said...

A at 11:15,

You had an opportunity to offer a "better" testimony but you chose to be negative and bitter.

This blog has helped a lot of us out here. If you have something intelligent to add, go ahead. Otherwise keep your anger to yourself.

Anonymous said...

"You had an opportunity to offer a "better" testimony"

In my opinion, rebuking the nastiness and pettiness and poor example of Confessional Lutheranism presented by this blog IS a "better testimony".

"Otherwise keep your anger to yourself."

I would say that things like threats to spank people with the BOC are worthy of a bit of righteous anger.

Anonymous said...

A at 12:04,

No. You said nothing constructive. In fact, your comments were petty and nasty to John.

I'd say people, like yourself, who've not demonstrated that they know anything about Confessional Lutheranism, while they maybe shouldn't be spanked with the BOC, should be forced to read the BOC before getting so angry.

It would also be nice if you'd read what has actually been written here by those with whom you disagree. If you have a problem with what they wrote, fine. Identify it and correct it. If the best you have is the spanking silliness,...well, you don't have much to offer. (at least the Mass Guy was funny; you aren't even that)

LM said...

If I understand the Mass Guy, it sounds like he is saying that the Mass is the heart and life of the Church. Do the people on here really disagree with that, and if so, why?

LM

John said...

Anonymous said...

This blog is a joke...


Mr. Anonymous,

Please inform us of your blog site so that we can get an accurate description of what it means to be a Confessional Lutheran.

Michael Schottey said...

Maybe this has been said, but i was sick enough after the comment that i didn't want to read any more.

The Lord's supper is gospel, pure unadulterated Gospel.

To add any, ANY "Thou shalt" (as in "Thou Shalt have it every Sunday") Is romanism.

Yes, it is a blessing, yes it is fitting and proper to do it as often as we can, but to make it a law? Heaven forbid!

Anonymous said...

Mike,

What comment are you referring to?

Don't you think as a pastor you might want to offer the life-saving gift of the Lord's Supper at each and every service?

UP said...

Mike,

"To add any, ANY "Thou shalt" (as in "Thou Shalt have it every Sunday") Is romanism."

Who said this? I don't recall seeing a comment trying to make an every Sunday celebration into a law. Could you let us know which comment you meant, plase?

Thanks,

UP

Anonymous said...

UP,

You have to understand something about too many within the WELS. If you say "Lord's Supper" and "every Lord’s Day" in the same sentence they suddenly hear the words "you have to" and "thou shalt" and then they spout the only thing that comes to mind "legalism" and "don't have to" and they are content they are basking in their Gospel freedom - to withhold the Medicine of Immortality to dying souls. It is a sad and hereditary condition as we see in the above student who has this congenital defect.

GM

FWBOC said...

"Because the Mass is for the purpose of giving the Sacrament, we have Communion every holy day, and if anyone desires the Sacrament, we also offer it on other days, when it is given to all who ask for it."

Oh, no! The Augsburg Confession was written by Romanists!

"Therefore, since the Mass among us follows the example of the Church, taken from the Scripture and the Fathers, we are confident that it cannot be disapproved. This is especially so because we keep the public ceremonies, which are for the most part similar to those previously in use. Only the number of Masses differs."

Oh, no! The Augsburg Confession was written by Romanists who are against comtemporary worship!

FWBOC

Anonymous said...

RNN:

I love the sound of crickets chirping. Do you?

I love AC XXIV too. Do you?

Basking in the glow of John 6:51,

RMC

fwboc said...

"Our churches are falsely accused of abolishing the Mass. The Mass is held among us and celebrated with the highest reverence. Nearly all the usual ceremonies are also preserved, except that the parts sung in Latin are interspersed here and there with German hymns. These have been added to teach the people. For ceremonies are needed for this reason alone, that the uneducated be taught (what they need to know about Christ)....All those able to do so partake of the Sacrament together. This also increases the reverence and devotion of public worship. No one is admitted to the Sacrament without first being examined. The people are also advised about the dignity and use of the Sacrament, about how it brings great consolation to anxious consciences, so that they too may learn to believe God and to expect and ask from Him all that is good. This worship pleases God (Colossians 1:9-10). Such use of the Sacrament nourishes true devotion toward God. Therefore, it does not appear that the Mass is more devoutly celebrated among our adversaries than among us."

Anonymous said...

See here's the funny thing about those who insist on calling it the "Mass". They quickly go to the Confessions and say, "Well it clearly says Mass, so we should call it Mass." But don't the Confessions also clearly say that songs are sung in German? So why don't we sing songs in German? If we were truly Confessional, shouldn't we do what the Confessions say?

Now of course, the answer is that the Confessions here are simply describing Lutheran worship at the time and not dictating what must be done in worship for all time. But if that is true for singing songs in German, why isn't it also true for calling it the Mass? Why isn't the word Mass also simply a description of what they called it then, not necessarily a prescription for the future?

This is the danger of being Confessionalistic instead of being Confessional.

Michael Schottey said...

First off,

I personally am anti CGM and pro every sunday communion and if you want to pigeon-hole me, I am more sacramentalist than anything else.

But the fact remains. The Biblical prescription for frequency of communion is "often" and we are bound by that.

Do I think that there should be more communion? Yes

Do I think that our current communion practices are deviancies from Pietism? Yes

Does this mean we can make statements like (read in writings, although not on this site) "If you're not offering the Lord's Supper every sunday you're a bad pastor"? Heaven Forbid!

Once again I proclaim, making the gospel into a new law is nothing more than romanism.

Anonymous said...

Young Mr. Schottey,

Respond to what is written, not what isn't written (or what you allege is written elsewhere, though I seriously doubt is as you allege). This is getting tiresome.

And check the Greek on your contention of "often." Our Lord did not say "do it often." This is not where, what you label, the "frequency" issue is found. That issue is found in the invitation "Do this" and in the penitent's desire and in the broader issue of the place of the Supper, the New Testament in his Blood, in the life of the Holy Church.

You and others do not understand the fullness of the teaching of the Supper - just one of several ways of getting forgiveness, good but not all that important. Pity.

GM

fwboc said...

Anon at 6:49,

No one is insisting on calling it the Mass. That straw man argument was dealt with earlier. As for the German, here's the section I skipped from AC XXIV:"Not only has Paul commanded that a language understood by the people be used in church (1 Corinthians 14:2, 9), but human law has also commanded it." Hence, if you are in an area where German is spoken, use German; if an area where English is spoken, use English. So, in answer to your question, yes, if we are confessional, we should do what the Confessions say. (Also, if you read the AC, you would have known that it was not talking only about the German language but about a language understood by the people. You could have saved yourself some typing time and saved us from your ignorance.)

Yes, the AC is describing Lutheran worship. It clearly demonstrates Lutheranism's desire to continue and not reject the historic worship practices of the Church. The Lutheran church retained the traditional form of the Mass, or if you prefer, the service of Holy Communion. The services of the Lutherans are very similar to the Roman Church, with the difference being the rejecting of Rome's false teaching concerning the Mass.

fwboc

Michael Schottey said...

GM,

The fourth comment on this thread echoed the statement which I quoted perfectly, so as the logic world likes to say, "there is no straw man here"

St. John's, New Ulm, MN has two wonderfully gifted and humble pastors as well as a congregation that preaches the Word of God in its truth and purity and rightly administers the sacraments. They two every other sunday communion. Apparently (as the anon would have us believe) they are not Lutheran.

I am a student studying for the ministry, my Greek and Hebrew isn't the best but I try, I am in the Word and Confessions daily both for class and personal edification. I attend St. John's apparently I am not Lutheran.

Quite frankly, Older GM...If you claim to understand perfectly the full teaching of the Lord's Supper, perhaps a study of the Book of Job would be in order.

The Word says "do this" and "often" it does not say "weekly"

Thus you attempt to make a law, another rule about something which no law is meant, something meant to be a promise of gospel. Heaven forbid such things!

fwboc said...

Mike,

To quote a former sem prof, "No one cares what you think."

So, you are not refering back to a comment on this post as you originally said, but to something written elsewhere? You are hurting your credibility by shooting your mouth off here.

Making the Gospel into Law is quite serious, but you've not been able to show that anyone here is doing that. Please use quotes or some kind of references to indicate what you are talking about.

Please cite the source for your quote above. Pastors should know after 8 years of schooling that "we speak about the bread and wine that is Christ's body and blood and has the words attached to it. That, we say, is truly the treasure-and nothing else-through which such forgiveness is gained. Now the only way this treasure is passed along and made our very own is in the words 'Given...and shed for you.' For in the words you have both truths, that it is Christ's body and blood, and that it is yours as a treasure and gift. Now Christ's body can never be an unfruitful, empty thing that does or profits nothing. Yet, no matter how great the treasure is in itself, it must be included in the Word and administered to us. Otherwise we would never be able to know or seek it." LC V Pastors who know this and do not lovingly catechize their people toward a more frequent CELEBRATION of the Sacrament of the Altar are bad pastors.

You show yourself to be profoundly ignorant. Perhaps it would be wise to take some time for study, so that what you are saying in youth will not become a source of embarrassment later in life. Your future congregations would be better served having a pastor who knows the Lutheran faith instead of one who has nothing to back up his statements except his own pompously expressed feelings.

UP said...

"The test spelled Wisconsin incorrectly. Just wanted to point that out."

From the 4th comment on this thread. I don't think you meant that one, Mike. Which did you mean?

UP

UP said...

Mike,

You wrote,"Quite frankly, Older GM...If you claim to understand perfectly the full teaching of the Lord's Supper, perhaps a study of the Book of Job would be in order.

The Word says "do this" and "often" it does not say "weekly"

Thus you attempt to make a law, another rule about something which no law is meant, something meant to be a promise of gospel. Heaven forbid such things!"

I just reread GM's comments. He/she didn't say any of what you say he/she said. Who are you arguing against? Your last comment was very confusing. Please clarify.

Thanks,
UP

Anonymous said...

I think he meant the 5th comment, specifically:

The "How Lutheran are you" test should have one question, "Do you attend a church which, every Lord's Day, celebrates the evangelically restored Mass?"

Anonymous said...

we see that people seem weary and lazy about receiving the Sacrament. A great multitude hears the Gospel.

They act as though they were such strong Christians that they have no need of it. Some allow themselves to be hindered and held up by the excuse that we have taught that no one should approach the Sacrament except those who feel hunger and thirst, which drive them to it. Some pretend that it is a matter of liberty and not necessary. They pretend that it is enough to believe without it. For the most part, they go so far astray that they become quite brutish and finally despise both the Sacrament and God's Word.

So you see, it is not left free in the sense that we may despise it.

the Lord desires it and it is pleasing to Him. You must not let people force you to faith or any good work. We are doing no more than talking about and encouraging you about what you ought to do-not for our sake, but for your own sake. The Lord invites and allures you. If you despise it, you must answer for that yourself.

ML

Anonymous said...

Young Mr. Schottey,

I told you to check the Greek (even the English), you did not. You plucked one word out of its context and attached it to the others -

"The Word says 'do this' and 'often'..."

What are you, a Marcionite?

I told you to respond to what was written, you did not. (You persist in clinging to your straw man argument.)

Dare I suggest you read the sections of the Augustana and Apologia that the so called "Mass Guy" directed us to? Do this, often. What constitutes the Church and thus what makes one a Lutheran?

You said I attempted to make a law of the Gospel, prove that.

I am growing older and less patient as I await your responses (and retractions) and if you are unwilling to do so, perhaps you can leave this discussion and go back to doing whatever you college frat boys do (and its seems, not studying Greek).

Old GM

Mass Guy said...

A little birdie told me that the good name of the "Mass Guy" was being sullied.

Michael, you wrote,

"The fourth comment on this thread echoed the statement which I quoted perfectly,.."

Your poor counting skills aside, when did you quote me and how did you quote me perfectly? And you do you contend I wrote? I caught the whiff of a charge of legalism.

The Mass Guy

Anonymous said...

Oh blah...pulling the age card is beyond ridiculous.

Do you truly except "young" Michael to repspond when it's clear if you don't agree with him you will mock him for his age and ignorance.

You know, the funny thing about that is that a church growth pastor did that to my husband. Mocked him for being young...it seems like a good card to play by the older generation when they don't have anything useful to say.

So, keep pulling the age card. It shows how mature you are and just leaves me wanting to sit humbly at your feet to hear what you have to say--because you are so wise and loving.

What a crock.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9:08,

We were waiting for your to make an appearance, you were the same one who objected to "Mass Guy" referring to a verbal spanking. It is obvious you are not a well read person, but an old crank.

You cannot discuss the issues intelligently so you seize on some issue and try to blow it out of proportion. Young Mr. Schottely is mature enough to see the gentle ribbing and he returned the same to "older GM." No one got upset, but it seems you get upset for others.

Unless you have something of substance to add, and you never do, let those who are discussing the issue do so, without your whining and arrogance.

Old GM

Anonymous said...

Now that she is gone, where were we?

GM

MP said...

Mr. Schottey,

And St. Attila raised the hand grenade up on high saying, 'O Lord, bless this Thy hand grenade that with it Thou mayest blow Thine enemies to tiny bits, in Thy mercy" and the Lord did grin and the people did feast upon the lambs and sloths and carp and anchovies and orang-utangs and breakfast cereals and fruit bats and . . .

Skip a bit, brother . . .

. . . Er . . . oh, yes . . . and the Lord spake, saying, 'First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin, then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.

Right.

One, two, five . . .

THREE, sir!

Three.


Perhaps Sir Gallahad could give you a counting lesson as well. But you'll need to do more than count correctly to blowest thine enemies to tiny bits. You'll need to start typing in responses to what THEY actually SAY, and not to anonymous quotations from unnamed sources.

MP

Anonymous said...

Dear Fellow Bloggers,

I love the exchange, keep it up! And don't let that one person whom GM addressed distract you. Her name is Jennifer. I had a lengthy discussion with her long ago and I see she is saying the same things here as she did with me, (and using the same expressions by which she identified herself); she makes charges and never back them up.

Sorry to interrupt, carry on! :)

Regards,
Jo

Traumatized Student said...

Unbelievable....

Maybe organized religion is just not for me...

I think I will move into a stone bee-hive cell along the southwestern coast of Ireland and wait things out until the raging Vikings depart.

RNN said...

Dear Michael Schottey,

I am confused by your reference to the book of Job. What does Job have to do with the frequency of communion? Some clarification would be greatly appreciated.

Also, you keep coming back to people making laws. What do you mean by this? That is, what does it take for someone to turn Gospel into a law?

For instance, if I say that a communion celebration without the Words of Institution is not communion, have I made a law? I think not. The very nature of communion, its institution and what consitutes it, calls for the Words to be spoken. If they are not spoken, it is not communion; no law there.

Likewise, Christians do good works. This is a necessity--not something that must be forced out of them, and not something that contributes to their salvation, but an inner necessity. Christians do good works because it is the nature of a Christian to do so. Likewise, the sun gives forth light because that is its nature. This is the illustration Luther uses to make this point.

So, when one says that Lutherans celebrate communion every Lord's day, is that making a law? I say, "No." That is speaking what the Confessions say: the nature of Lutherans is to celebrate communion weekly--not because they must, but because that is part of their nature.

As you have written, and I agree, our current communion practice stems (in part) from Pietism, which has an inner necessity and logic NOT to celebrate communion. Did the Pietists make laws against communion weekly? No. They dispensed with it because they had the freedom to do so and because it had little value in their theology.

The question we must ask then is: What value do we place on communion? and What place does it have in our theology? This is not making laws. It is being who we are as Lutherans.

More of a speech than I intended. Sorry. But again: what does someone have to do to make Gospel into a law? How do we recognize this when we see it?

Thanks in advance for your response.

RNN

RNN said...

Dear RMC,

I have always found a cricket's chirp to be a soothing sound.

I also love all of the AC, not just one article. But XXIV is very good.

Seriously, all y'all, do take a few minutes to read Walther's essay on the Confessions. I think you will find it valuable catechesis and very thought-provoking. I would love to hear your reactions.

And, RMC, since we just witnessed it in church this morning, I am basking in the glow of I John 5:6-8.

RNN

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for an interesting exchange.

One point I simply wanted to make was in response to fwboc's comment of 8:11PM where it was said - "LC V Pastors who know this and do not lovingly catechize their people toward a more frequent CELEBRATION of the Sacrament of the Altar are bad pastors."

Would it not be better to simply have the pastors lovingly catechize on the Lord's Supper itself? When that is done, the people will ask and beg the pastor for a more frequent celebration.

Also, a side note, this loving catechesis may take a long time, but the pastor should not be discouraged when a more frequent celebration doesn't happen right away, but continue to carry out his duty to those whose souls are entrusted to him - patiently and lovingly catechizing on the Supper. Again when that is done, we no more will be talking about "laws" and such, but the people themselves will urge the pastors to give them the Supper!

FWIW, I will now retreat back to lurkerland.

PSJ

Anonymous said...

To the person who wrote "what a crock."

I am deeply offended by that, do you know what the REST of that expression is! Of course you do and I do not wish to her any more of your implied profanity.

Michael Schottey said...

RNN (specifically), et al. (generally)

Poor counting aside (my apologies, thank you for your gentle mocking), I was referring to the 5th comment.

Also, the references to 'Straw Man' are ridiculous. That comment among others in this thread and other treads(yes, surprise surprise this topic is redux)have shown the argument to be "To be Lutheran (or to be a good pastor, christian, confessionalist, etc.) you have to offer the Sacrament every Sunday."

The reference to Job was such, that the author I was responding to referred to myself and others who "don't understand the fullness of the teaching of the supper"

I am but a clay jar (with many imperfections) I refuse to claim to "know the fullness" of any of the teachings of the Bible. In fact, even the Gospel I sit back and know that by human reason it is foolishness. God's ways are higher than our ways. Thus the Job reference.

Perhaps Old Gm (funny, I own and old GM- an oldsmobile in fact) would point me to which facet of the Greek he/she would like me to understand better. I have looked a few times and have yet to find a word which means "weekly".

Communion is a means of grace, it is no more or less important than the other two. To elevate it above the others is foolishness. Luther himself claimed that the Sermon should be the center of the Lutheran service.

Am I a Marcionite? No thank you...in jab-like response, What are you a semi-pelagian?

RNN said...

Dear Michael Schottey,

Thanks for your response, in particular the explanation of your Job reference.

But back to my other question: what does it take to make the Gospel into a law?

Thanks again in advance for your response!

RNN

Michael Schottey said...

The Gospel is the most beautiful thing in existence, that is, what we could not do, Christ did for us. Holy Communion (Lord's Supper, Mass) is pure Gospel ("...for the forgiveness of sins") To attach rules and regulations to that is to make it a law, something it was not meant to be.

Also...thanks to john for including "Why I am a Lutheran" as the picture for this post, I have read blurbs from it and have wanted to buy it on occasion (my wife has limited my library spending) It is, however, on my Christmas list.

For another good book (my last buy) "meditations" has a anniversary book out, I bought it at convention, it is a nice beginning to one's day.

Anonymous said...

"I am deeply offended by that, do you know what the REST of that expression is! Of course you do and I do not wish to her any more of your implied profanity."

What?!? Are you for real? I was not implying anything other than "what a joke." I've actually never used the term I "think" you are referring to, probably because it's an old term--so this young'un wouldn't have understood it.

As for bad language, that is reserved for the Berg guy who used bad language previously in this blog. Funny if old people use bad language you are cool with it, but I make an innocent comment which your perverted mind warped and I get nailed (even though I am fully innocent of your ridiculous moronic charge).

Anonymous said...

For the linguistically challenged among us:

CROCK
3. falsehood: something, especially a story, that is ridiculous or untrue ( slang )
His story about working until midnight is just a crock!

http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861601440

I rest my case. The above proves my intent. Sorry you were raised in a more vulgar environment than I was.

Anonymous said...

"I am but a clay jar (with many imperfections)"

Or a crock jar as crock can also mean:

"1. clay pot: a pot made of clay"

http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/DictionaryResults.aspx?refid=1861601440

Okay, grammar lesson done children and no, I'm not an MLC grad (for those among us that like to make potshots towards MLC grads).

Michael Schottey said...

anon,

Thanks for the levity

Anonymous said...

"Now that she is gone, where were we?"

I don't think she is gone, though I wish you would take a break, leave of absence, vacation, siesta--you pick.

Anonymous said...

Young Mr. Schottey,

I know this might mean a little work, but go back to my posts...ok? Good. Now, substantiate from them your charge of legalism. This is the third time I have asked for that proof. Your so-called "proof" is YOUR evaluation of my comments, and of others without quoting what I said (or others for that matter). If this is what I, or others (whom you should address and not me) said, then it shouldn't be hard for your to do so.

Also, where do I contend that our Lord said "weekly"? This should be easy for you if I said that the Lord said we should offer it weekly (I would argue for daily, but that is another thread). This, young Mr. Schottey, is what is called erecting a straw man. So you are indeed guilty on that count.

(Also when you quote Luther, quote Luther and that means providing attribution.)

And your jab missed. Although I will accept all appropriate jabs by analogy, yours makes no sense. In what sense was I "semi-Pelagian"? No proof again. You were Marcionite-like by chopping up the Holy Scriptures to prove your point. I submit you caught that.

Ok, crack your Greek text to 1 Cor. 11. In 1 Cor. 11:25 Paul records our Lord's words, "Do this as often as (osakis ean) you drink it," or "do this whenever you drink it". Not as you patched our Lord's words together "Do this" and "often" to "Do this often." The meaning is that we do this (eat his Body and drink his Blood) and whenever or as often as we do this, we do this in his remembrance.

In the next sentence the same words are used. And "as often as you do" this (eat and drink), you "proclaim his death, or "whenver you do" this, you "proclaim his death." As I wrote, this is not where you find the answer to "how often". That is found in the invitation and in the penitent's desire, as I wrote. The Lutheran Church answered the question, or charge from Rome, that they had abolished the mass by answering "how often" the Lutheran Churches did it, "every Lord's Day, festivals and when people ask for it."

And like your old GM this one's is a guzzler as well.

Old GM

Anonymous said...

*yawn*

You are never going to agree. So why bother going back on forth?

Let's move onto something more productive.

Anonymous said...

To Dictionary Girl,

I grew up in the real world and I know where the transferred sense of the term "what a crock" comes from. A clay pot or crock holds something, silly, hence, what a crock, not because the argument is a clay pot, but what a crock of you know what. Not only did you not grow up in the real world, it appears you did not go to school either. So learn what expressions mean before you use them, Silly.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous writes,

"You are never going to agree. So why bother going back on forth?

Let's move onto something more productive."

This is akin to Hitler in his bunker saying to the on rushing Russians, Brits and Americans, "Let's call it a draw."

Another Observer said...

Mike said:

"The Biblical prescription for frequency of communion is "often" and we are bound by that."

He also said:

"Once again I proclaim, making the gospel into a new law is nothing more than romanism."

So according to you, we are "bound" (meaning, we are under an obligation or compulsion--in other words "we have to") to a particular communion frequency ("often"), but if we make the gospel (and the Lord's Supper is the Gospel) into a law (telling people they are bound to a particular frequency) then that is romanism. Is that really what you mean to say--because even if I agree with the characterizations above, which I don't, it sounds like you are doing the very thing that you accuse others of doing.

AO

Anonymous said...

"So learn what expressions mean before you use them, Silly."

Read a dictionary or any book for that matter. Reading does a mind good. I did go to school, which is why I know the English language. It is a shame you don't. I know that makes you feel bad, I'm so sorry. I suppose that is why you are lashing out. Hugs to you dear poor thing, you can always educate yourself. I actually spent my time in school learning, not exchanging vulgar sayings (which is how it seems you spent your time, what a waste and shame).

As for "growing up in the real world"..what does that mean? Just because I use a word correctly and you use it in vulgarity I am naive? Is that what you are saying?

Oh well, off to read more from my collection of dictionaries to expand my already vast vocabulary.

Anonymous said...

Dear Miss Sheltered,

You are smart becasue you say so. Can't argue with that.

Though some less delicate than I would say that that is a crock. And do you know what crocks do? They hold things, and so indeed, your assertions are a crock, (as you say, a clay pot, why no, that would make no sense) no, your assertions are a crock full of something.

Now can we let the theolgians discuss important things?

Anonymous said...

Jennifer,

You are putting your husband's future career in jeopardy by your posting here. His superiors are monitoring this and they are bound to find out what you are up to.

Regards,
Jo

Michael Schottey said...

I just threw out the Country Crock in my fridge...apparently it's vulgar.

Anonymous said...

Young Mr. Schottey,

I see you have time to play around with the crock diversion, fine, but you owe me some answers and retractions. I don't have long to live.

Old GM

Anonymous said...

Okay, now the joke's done.

I'm not Jennifer. I don't want to get her in trouble and this is losing it's fun.

As for the "theologians" getting back to whatever it was that they were doing, I see 1 theologian talking here (he's the one that uses his real name) and it's not you.

I'm done. Fun over and my apologies to Jennifer.

Dictionary girl

Anonymous said...

Ok "not Jennifer" wink, wink.

"Not Jo"

Anonymous said...

Okay, one more comment...

As for Jo and her threats (typical of a bully), the only superior we have in the church is CHRIST Himself.

I don't know what the "superiors" can do, in my opinion the DPs have no power to do anything of significance, so it is an empty threat.

DG

Anonymous said...

Whatever Jo.

Anonymous said...

Dear Dictionary Girl,

You write, "I see 1 theologian talking here (he's the one that uses his real name) and it's not you."

I think you are addressing the wrong person here, I could care less about your dictionary squabble. But if the one theologian you are referring to is Young Mr. Schottey, if he is indeed the theologian you say he is, then he will have no problem answering the questions I have put to him. Right?

Old GM

Anonymous said...

Dear DG,

Obviously you do not read well as that other poster noted. I did not threaten "Jennifer" (aka you) I was warning her/you not to get her/your husband in trouble by her/your posting on these blogs. She/you has/have already gotten him in trouble already. Read more carefully.

Regards,
Jo

Anonymous said...

Jo, no clue what you are talking about.

Get a life and stop stalking this Jennifer person. I don't know how you know her, but get a life. You are pathetic and you are embarrassing yourself.

DG

Anonymous said...

DG,

Methinks she protesteth too much.

Jo

Anonymous said...

Hamlet.

"Get thee to a nunnery."

Anonymous said...

Wow! This got a little off topic! Mr. Schottey, could you please address the questions from RNN, GM, and AO (especially AO)?

Anonymous said...

"I don't know what the "superiors" can do, in my opinion the DPs have no power to do anything of significance, so it is an empty threat."

The bigger threat to current students (and their wives) who run their mouths online is that plenty of members of your (or your husbands') future congregations are able to do Google searches on your name. They may be especially inclined to do so if they are annoyed with you and looking for dirt. (yes, this happens frequently; pastors will have enough difficulty without making their own) This is why it might be wise to read the Lutheran Confessions so that your contradicitng them doesn't come back to bite you later. Think before you post, kids.

opw

Michael Schottey said...

Anon (6:33 AM) et al.

If you would believe GM, I will not answer because I am scared and I am too busy with the activities of "typical college frat boys"

Apparently typical college frat boys work two jobs, stay up late and get up early to complete their daily homework, and are married. Not to mention carrying a full class load.

I will answer AO, because that is the easiest because it was simply a matter of not picking my words carefully, I should not have said "bound." Rather such prescriptions of Holy Communion guide us.

When Christ our Lord said "Do this" it was not a command, but a sweet and loving invitation.

I will answer others more specifically tonight when I do not have Hebrew on the brain and have my library at my disposal (right now its dark and my wife is asleep next to it) Hopefully we'll all still be a live then (Old GM, don't let them them pull the plug)

To keep you all debating until then. Let's move away from semantics for a moment, ponder this.

If two preachers preach law and gospel beautifully, their parishioners are in the Word constantly in both corporate and private Bible study, they baptize and bury members, believers all...yet because of circumstances (hypothetical I know) one does not despise the Lord's Supper, but cannot offer it nearly as much as the other. Are his sheep any less fed?

Anonymous said...

I didn't use my name. There is nothing to search. Plus, who said my husband was a pastor or a teacher or anything? I surely didn't. We are lowly lay people...so that is why I questioned what our "superiors" could do to us? I suppose the most they could is excommunicate us, which is cool, there are other churches (Lutheran) out there.

Anonymous said...

Young Mr. Schottey,

Hurry now, we just put the old buzzard on life support.

Mrs. GM

RNN said...

Dear Michael Schottey,

Sorry to hear about your busy schedule. Blessings as you continue to study in preparation for your theological work at the Seminary.

You wrote in response to my question about what it takes to make Gospel into a law:

"The Gospel is the most beautiful thing in existence, that is, what we could not do, Christ did for us. Holy Communion (Lord's Supper, Mass) is pure Gospel ("...for the forgiveness of sins") To attach rules and regulations to that is to make it a law, something it was not meant to be."


Now you tell us that "often" is not binding us, but guiding us. It seems that you make this distinction so that "often" does not become making a law out of the Gospel.

Yet if that is your intent, you have failed. Anything that "guides" us is law. That would be the third use of the law. To talk about the gospel guiding us is anti-nomian. It is also the Seminex position on the law and the gospel.

(For an excellent study on this very point, read the Rev. Dr. Scott Murray's book: Law, Life, and the Living God: The Third Use of the Law in American Lutheranism.)

Your response to my question missed the point. What does it mean to attach a rule to the Gospel? That is my question. Your posts indicate that saying we should have communion at a particular frequency is attaching the law to the gospel. If that is the case, a congregation that offers communion every other week is just as guilty of making Gospel a law as one that offers it every week. (Perhaps we might call such a place semi-Romanist.)

As I explained above, the Confessions do not make a law of weekly communion. They say that this is what Lutherans do because of who Lutherans are, what the Sacrament is, and what blessings it offers. That is not making the Gospel into a law. It is saying that this is what Lutherans do because this is who Lutherans are.

To make a Law out of the Gospel woule be something like this: You must receive communion every time it is offered, because this is the work that you must do for God to prove to him that you truly love him and are worthy of entering his heaven based on what you have done.

You raise a hypothetical question about two pastors. Is the one not offering communion as frequently not feeding his sheep as much as the other? No, he is not. That is, if we believe that communion is the life-giving body and blood of Christ, given to us Christians to eat and to drink, then not offering it as frequently is offering the sheep less food and not feeding them as well.

To argue as you do that both are in the word and offering bible studies so communion frequency does not matter is 1) beside the point and 2) ranking bible study as sufficient in itself. It is saying to Jesus, No thank you, I don't want that communion bit. The Word you have given me is sufficient; it's nice that you threw in that extra of communion, but I don't need it, thank you very much.

Rather, we look to what our Lord has given us and where he locates himself for our salvation. And, rejoicing in the specificities of his locatedness to give us salvation, we treasure these places as our source of life.

What do you mean by preaching the gospel correctly? Here is another question: can the gospel be preached correctly apart from communion? That is, can we slice doctrine up into neat little pieces and say: well, he got this bit about the gospel right, but the poor chap messed up this bit about the sacrament? I say, no. To preach the gospel correctly is to preach toward the sacrament, where Christ feeds his sheep with his own body and blood.

Luther, in Against the Heavenly Prophets, makes the point that if we are seeking forgiveness we do not run to the cross but to the sacrament. That is where Christ has located the forgiveness won on the cross for you. So to say that you can preach the cross correctly without preaching toward the sacrament (and to the Word and to Baptism as well) is impossible. It is a misunderstanding of what the Gospel is.

RNN

Anonymous said...

Michael,

You write to AO who carefully showed you your error,

"I will answer AO, because that is the easiest because it was simply a matter of not picking my words carefully, I should not have said 'bound.' Rather such prescriptions of Holy Communion guide us."

Ok, fine, a simple matter of "not picking words carefully." Now, I chose my words carefully and you charge me with legalism, without, of course, even showing by which words I was guilty. Your obligation to answer me should have preceded your desire to explain yourself. Time is no excuse. If you have time to make charges, you have time to withdraw them and apologize for them, or prove them.

The Mass Guy

GM said...

My Dear Young Mr. Schottey,

Wheez...just.. enough...strength...

I shall counter your hypotheical with this one: If a congregation is sufficiently catechized to be offered the Blessed Sacrament on the first and third Sundays of the month, is it not sufficiently catechized to be offered it every Lord's Day, on festivals and when people ask for it?

And so conversely, if a congregation is not sufficiently catechized to be offered the Blessed Sacrament "every Lord's Day" is it sufficiently catechized to be offered it at all.

The conclusion is frigthening.

GM

Anonymous said...

"To preach the gospel correctly is to preach toward the sacrament"

I was wondering how long it would take for someone to bring this one up.

This statement elevates the Lord's Supper over and above the Word (and baptism) by claiming that a proclamation of the Word is not correct or complete without a mention of the Lord's Supper. That simply isn't true. The Word has power in and of itself. Its power is not proportional in any way to how many times the Lord's Supper is mentioned. Would we say that baptism is not correct or complete unless the Lord's Supper is included? Does this inevitably lead us to infant communion? All three means of grace work in exactly the same way and offer exactly the same blessings. Claiming that the purpose of one is simply to point to another pits them against each other and denies the inherent power of each.

This statement also demonstrates a lack of understanding of liturgical/Scriptural/contextual preaching. If the pericopic readings for a Sunday (specifically the Gospel reading) do not mention or refer to the Lord's Supper, why feel bound to shoehorn a mention of it in somehow? Why not just preach on what that section of God's Word is about? A generation ago, every pastor ended every sermon with an exhortation to remain steadfast in doctrine (no matter if the sermon text had anything to do with that). This generation every sermon ends with an exhortation to tell others the good news (whether the text had anything to do with that or not). We don't need pastors to end every sermon with an exhortation to the Supper whether it's supported by the text or not.

And finally, the statement forces pastors to make allegorical leaps of fancy to try to fit the Supper in. John 6 becomes an allegory of the Lord's Supper. The water into wine at Cana becomes an allegory of the Lord's Supper. As Luther once said, Christ is in the Old Testament, but he's not hiding behind every rock. In the same way, the Lord's Supper is in the Scripture, but it's not hiding in every text.

RNN said...

Dear 10:24,

Thanks for your input. However, I am confused by your point. How does saying that preaching the Gospel correctly means preaching toward the Sacrament elevate communion over the word? It doesn't. It confesses that God gives doctrine. Singular. To preach the Gospel correctly is to preach all of the Gospel.

In other words, to preach a Christ who does not give His body and blood to us Christians to eat and to drink in the Sacrament of the Altar is to preach a false Christ. To say that "I preach Christ correctly" but not preach about where He gives His very body and blood is to preach a different Jesus.

Consider Luther and Zwingli (or Calvin). The Protestant Jesus (as opposed to the Lutheran Jesus) is unavoidably detained in heaven. He is locked up there, so He cannot be present in the Sacrament. That is a much different Jesus--one to whom we must ascend in Spirit.

A Jesus whose gift of His body and blood does not merit mention in preaching is a different Jesus than the one who instituted the Sacrament for us. And so to preach of such a Jesus is dangerous.

Or, perhaps we might say that pastors are called to teach and to preach the whole counsel of God--including the sacrament.

Now, where did I say that only mentioning the sacrament gives the word its power? Or that the power of the Word is proportional to the number of mentions of the sacrament? I didn't.

And all three means of grace do not work exactly the same way. This is lumping together those things that Christ gives specifically. Baptism works by water; the Word and Communion do not. Baptism is a one-time sacrament, entered into once and lived in continually thereafter. Communion is the ongoing meal that feeds the spiritual life of the communicant. As Christians, we receive these gifts from our Lord's hand whole and rejoice in the concrete specificities of each one.

Yes, each of these offers forgiveness of sins. But they offer it in different ways. We ought not be so blinded by the commonality of forgiveness to roll the means of grace into one lump.

By the by, if we are speaking of the means of grace, we ought not forget confession and absolution and the mutual conversation and consolation of the brethren. These too work in their own unique ways.

The sacraments offer unique blessings. Communion gives us a foretaste of the heavenly banquet. It joins us to angels and archangels and all who are in Christ, for where Christ is, there is the fullness of heaven. It rejoices in the created specificities of redemption--the very body and blood that won our salvation is offered in the created means of bread and wine. It brings Calvary directly to us through our mouths; why would such powerful Gospel not be preached toward?

Such blessings are not known by people apart from instruction. And so part of preaching is such instruction: showing the need for forgiveness and then showing where that forgiveness is found. It is found in the word and preaching, yes. And yes, this power is placed there by the Spirit, not by the number of references to the sacrament. But good preaching will also extol the many blessings given in communion and therefore preach to the sacrament.

Now, I did not say that EVERY sermon has to have a standard reference to the sacrament. I am speaking of the totality of preaching in a congregation. Such preaching ought to include many references to the sacrament, because of the great treasure that it is.

Preaching on what each pericope is about is, of course, a good thing. However, this assumes the Lutheran understanding that Scripture is about Christ. Jesus himself says that to read the scripture without finding him is to miss the point. A leture on the foods eaten by the Children of Israel in the wilderness is a poor sermon. Better: preach on Christ, the spiritual rock that accompanied Israel.

That is why Luther finds Christ continually in Scripture. He also finds sacramental references all over the Old Testament--God working through means. Read his Genesis lectures for some examples.

Or, better yet, in dealing with a different sacrament, read his flood prayer. Luther found no allegorical leaps in labeling the Red Sea as a foreshadowing of Baptism. In short, you might be surprised to find out how many rocks Christ is hiding behind in the Old Testament.

Of course, the hermeneutical question takes us to a whole different topic. To return to the point: Scripture proclaims Christ. Not just any Christ, but the Christ who gives His body and blood to us Christians to eat and to drink in His Sacrament. To preach the Gospel is to preach this Christ for you--Jesus applied--and to preach where He is present for you: in Word, in water, in bread and wine. Preaching that does not proclaim this Christ is not preaching the Gospel.

RNN

Anonymous said...

RNN,

You completely missed and mischaracterized my point. Never once did I say that we should "preach a Christ who does not give His body and blood to us Christians to eat and to drink in the Sacrament of the Altar". It's ridiculous that you would claim I said anything remotely close to that. My point is that if a sermon doesn't make that specific point, it still is the powerful proclamation of God's Word. Just because I don't include every point of doctrine in every sermon, doesn't mean I deny those doctrines which I didn't happen to preach on that day.

I much preferred when you said it this way, "Or, perhaps we might say that pastors are called to teach and to preach the whole counsel of God--including the sacrament." I completely agree with this statement. (If this is all you mean by "preaching toward the Supper" that's fine. But I've heard that phrase being used to mean much more than that.)

So why not just say "The preaching of the gospel is incorrect unless it points toward Christ, as he comes to us through the means of grace?" That is a more well-balanced and inclusive understanding of all of the means, rather than singling one out. Because when you continually single one out, you do elevate it over the others by default whether you mean to or not. (For example: If you had three kids and loved them equally, but were always using every opportunity to single one of them out and talk about how wonderful one of them is, don't you think the kids--and others--would get the impression that you value one more than the rest?)

mav said...

A at 11:27,

RNN answered you extremely well. The discussion on this thread concerns the Sacrament of the Altar, so that's why it keeps being brought up. If this were on the topic of preaching or Baptism, we could expect those to be mentioned more often.

The Sacraments are not in competition with each other, neither are they identical, interchangeable parts.

Consider what is most often the practice today in our circles. We do not have churches that are only hearing sermons once or twice a month. If we did, there might well be some blog chatter about that practice. You spoke about singling out one of the Sacraments and elevating it above the others. A congregation that celebrates Holy Communion every other Lord's Day or once a month or four times a year, while hearing sermons every Lord's Day is either placing preaching the Word above Communion as a priority, or if they claim to be making Communion more special by not celebrating it every Lord's Day, then they are placing Communion above the Word.

mav

RTMM said...

Well said RNN. To preach to the Sacrament is to preach repentance and faith, sin and grace, Law and Gospel and such preaching leaves people begging for the Sacrament. Faithful shepherds heed that cry.

I find it ironic that Anonymous writes,

"Does this inevitably lead us to infant communion? All three means of grace work in exactly the same way and offer exactly the same blessings."

If so, then why are you opposed to infant Communion - if they all work exactly the same way and offer exactly (sic) the same blessings? Now I would argue for infant communion from a different perspective and although I do not agree with your reasoning above I am glad to see that you are inadventently arguing for the Communion all the Communion of Saints.

RTMM

Anonymous said...

But mav, RNN made a general statement: "To preach the gospel correctly is to preach toward the sacrament." That, to me, sounds like a general truth that applies in all circumstances, not merely something that's true for the current situation "in our circles" or for the current topic in this blog.

Anonymous said...

RTMM,

Like RNN, you are (inadvertently?) missing my point. When I say that the sacraments work in the same way, I mean that the Holy Spirit works equally powerfully through each to give forgiveness, life, and salvation. Obviously there are external differences in the way they "work", but I think the point is clear. I don't want this to turn into a discussion of infant communion, but I would simply say that while God works through all of the means, he does instruct us to use them somewhat differently (namely, examining oneself before receiving the Lord's Supper--an instruction he does not give with the other two means). Does this mean that infants are deprived of something? Only if you consider the Lord's Supper to offer something different or better than the other means do.

mav said...

A at 1:21,

Here's what RNN said in context: "What do you mean by preaching the gospel correctly? Here is another question: can the gospel be preached correctly apart from communion? That is, can we slice doctrine up into neat little pieces and say: well, he got this bit about the gospel right, but the poor chap messed up this bit about the sacrament? I say, no. To preach the gospel correctly is to preach toward the sacrament, where Christ feeds his sheep with his own body and blood.

Luther, in Against the Heavenly Prophets, makes the point that if we are seeking forgiveness we do not run to the cross but to the sacrament. That is where Christ has located the forgiveness won on the cross for you. So to say that you can preach the cross correctly without preaching toward the sacrament (and to the Word and to Baptism as well) is impossible. It is a misunderstanding of what the Gospel is."

mav

Anonymous said...

Mav,

The last sentence in your 12:11 posting was very helpful to me. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

And for what it is worth, I find myself beginning to understand having communion every Sunday. Thanks to Mav for some great illustrations and for just speaking in love--without attempts at wit or sarcasm. Because you spoke without wit or sarcasm, I was actually able to *hear* what you were saying and that is huge!!

Thank you so very much. I truly appreciate your thoughtful words shared in love and grace.

Anonymous said...

mav,

I'm not quite sure why you quoted that section. The quote I gave was from a different post entirely. So I'm not sure what exactly you're providing context for.

Although, this does give me an opportunity to discuss what RNN wrote in the section you quoted.

"That is, can we slice doctrine up into neat little pieces and say: well, he got this bit about the gospel right, but the poor chap messed up this bit about the sacrament?"

There are a couple of issues here. First of all, why does RNN claim that some are messing up the bit about the sacrament? That's similar to when RNN accused me of denying the fact that Christ offers the Lord's Supper. Do you really think that if a pastor doesn't happen to preach about the Lord's Supper in a given sermon that he is denying the Lord's Supper or messing it up somehow? How silly. If a pastor doesn't happen to mention in a sermon that Christ is true man or that he descended into hell, does that mean he is denying those doctrines? Heaven forbid that pastors have to state every doctrine of Scripture in every sermon lest they be accused of denying them or messing them up.

And secondly, the pericope is designed specifically to "slice doctrine up into neat little pieces". In fact, that's an excellent translation of the word "pericope". One of the beauties of the pericopic lectionary is that we can focus on separate doctrines and teachings of Scripture on different days. To claim or imply that the Sacrament must be preached every Sunday defeats the purpose and beauty of the pericopic lectionary.

RTMM said...

Anon.

Your "exactly" is that which was misleading. You also missed, or haven't addressed RNN's point in regards to what is distinct about the Sacraments. You are not washed in the Lord's Supper, you are not feed the true Body and Blood of our Lord in Absolution or Baptism.

Also, examination does take place in Baptism, Absolution and in preaching. In our Baptism rite we examine the infant, Do you believe etc, and do you wish to be baptized, the same with Confession and Absolution. Additionally we are examined in the sermon as God examines us through the law and the Gospel. Examination is something done to us through law and Gospel and it produces repentance and faith.

And again you argue for infant communion when you write,

"Does this mean that infants are deprived of something? Only if you consider the Lord's Supper to offer something different or better than the other means do."

Obviously there is no "better" when it comes to God's gifts contrary to what the WELS teaches/practices in regard to preaching versus the Sacraments, but yes, infants are deprived of something they can only get in the Sacrament of the Altar, to eat and drink the true body and blood of our Lord.

RTMM

Anonymous said...

Re: Infant communion...how does an infant "examine" themselves? This is the only barrier I have for leaning more towards infant communion.

I actually don't like our current practice of comfirming at a generic age (generally 8th grade--so 12-14, depending on the child). I do believe that my child right now, at age 10 is more than capable of "examining" himself.

So...regarding examining one's self, how does that fit in with the belief of infant communion.

I know my question has been addressed previously..but I need it in plain, simple terms.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

"You also missed, or haven't addressed RNN's point in regards to what is distinct about the Sacraments."

I already granted that there are external differences between the Means. I think that's pretty obvious. But the point remains that they all offer the very same gifts of God, and they all offer them in equal measure.

As to your point regarding examination: If examination happens in each of the Means, and if this examination is the same examination meant by Paul in 1 Corinthians, then why did the Holy Spirit even bother to include that special instruction with the Lord's Supper specifically? If it naturally happens in each of the Means anyway, what was the point? The Holy Spirit doesn't waste words or say things without reason. Thus, there must be something different about the Lord's Supper. Another example: The Holy Spirit specifically attached the words "all nations" to baptism. Those words are not attached to the Lord's Supper. Thus, again, we see a difference in scope for the two sacraments.

And then finally you say: "yes, infants are deprived of something they can only get in the Sacrament of the Altar, to eat and drink the true body and blood of our Lord."

But Luther himself writes that the blessings of the Lord's Supper are NOT in the eating and drinking. And so if the only thing the infants are being deprived of is the act of eating and drinking, then, according to Luther, they are not being deprived of any blessings--they have forgiveness, life, and salvation in full, not in part.

Anonymous said...

"how does an infant "examine" themselves?"

They can't. The reflexive verb "examine YOURSELVES" indicates that this is something that an individual does--not that this is something done to an individual. Now obviously this is done by faith--only by faith can we repent of our sins and recognize the body and blood. And yes, infants also have this faith too. But what they lack is the ability to do this examining to themselves.

Anonymous said...

But I do agree that in many cases, the age for first communion could/should be considerably lower than it is now.

mav said...

A at 1:42,

Sorry. Which comment of RNN's were you referring to?

" First of all, why does RNN claim that some are messing up the bit about the sacrament?"

I don't think you understood RNN. Read carefully. RNN was not accusing anyone of this. It seems to be an example, not an accusation against anyone.

"That's similar to when RNN accused me of denying the fact that Christ offers the Lord's Supper. Do you really think that if a pastor doesn't happen to preach about the Lord's Supper in a given sermon that he is denying the Lord's Supper or messing it up somehow? "

No, and RNN already answered you on this. RNN did not accuse you of anything. From RNN: "Now, I did not say that EVERY sermon has to have a standard reference to the sacrament. I am speaking of the totality of preaching in a congregation. Such preaching ought to include many references to the sacrament, because of the great treasure that it is."

RNN also already addressed preaching on the pericope, a fine and wonderful thing. Here's RNN again: "Preaching on what each pericope is about is, of course, a good thing. However, this assumes the Lutheran understanding that Scripture is about Christ. Jesus himself says that to read the scripture without finding him is to miss the point. A leture on the foods eaten by the Children of Israel in the wilderness is a poor sermon. Better: preach on Christ, the spiritual rock that accompanied Israel.

That is why Luther finds Christ continually in Scripture. He also finds sacramental references all over the Old Testament--God working through means. Read his Genesis lectures for some examples.

Or, better yet, in dealing with a different sacrament, read his flood prayer. Luther found no allegorical leaps in labeling the Red Sea as a foreshadowing of Baptism. In short, you might be surprised to find out how many rocks Christ is hiding behind in the Old Testament.

Of course, the hermeneutical question takes us to a whole different topic. To return to the point: Scripture proclaims Christ. Not just any Christ, but the Christ who gives His body and blood to us Christians to eat and to drink in His Sacrament. To preach the Gospel is to preach this Christ for you--Jesus applied--and to preach where He is present for you: in Word, in water, in bread and wine. Preaching that does not proclaim this Christ is not preaching the Gospel."

Please read carefully, Rev. Anonymous. You are not being attacked as you seem to think. Hopefully, RNN will be back to answer you him/herself.

mav

mav said...

As at 1:37 & 1:40,

Glad I could help.

Blessings,
mav

RNN said...

Rev. Anonymous (If I may address you as such),

I see that others have been stating the case for me in my absence. My heart-felt thanks to them. Other duties pressed upon me for a time.

I still don't see how I am elevating communion over the other means of grace. As has been pointed out, this thread is about communion. If we were discussing baptism, I would be speaking much about baptism, etc.

Your example of the three children and only paying attention to one is interesting. I think that it well fits congregations that offer word and preaching every week but the sacrament only once or twice a month. Clearly, more attention is then being paid to preaching. Claims of treating them equally ring just as hollow as they would to the two children you described as left behind. Wouldn't you agree?

Just to be extra clear, let me repeat myself one more time. NOT EVERY SERMON needs to have a reference to the sacrament. NOT EVERY SERMON needs to talk about communion. But since Christ's body and blood are such a great treasure, and the sacrament sums up so much of Christian life (as someone pointe out, law and gospel, sin and grace, etc.) there ought to be a regular and consistent exhortation towards the sacrament from the pulpit.

To argue as you do that, since preaching is powerful on its own (which it is), therefore it need have no admonition to the sacrament is dividing up what ought to be kept together. Word and Sacrament--both of them ought to remain together.

I am curious about your Luther reference to the eating and drinking not doing anything. I guess this is from the Small Catechism. I think you are misreading Luther. Read all four questions again. Note how Luther talks about the benefit of this eating and drinking. Luther would have the sacrament remain whole; word and elements, promise and faith. To tear them apart and say that it is the word that does it and not the eating and drinking is to misunderstand Luther. Worse yet, it means that when our Lord tells us to eat and drink, he is telling us to do something that profits us none.

Or again, check the Large Catechism: "But we speak about the bread and wine that is Christ's body and blood and has the words attached to it. . . . Now Christ's body can never be an unfrutiful, empty thing that does or profits nothing. Yet, no matter how great the treasure is in itself, it must be included in the Word and administered to us." Note how Luther here lets the sacrament remain whole. The Word attached to the bread and wine does what it says: it is Christ's body and blood. And this cannot be an unfruitful thing. It must be administered to us--how is this done? Through eating and drinking.

This is the Lutheran difference: we take Christ's words seriously that His body and blood are placed into our mouths in communion. This is the very body and blood given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins. It is through the eating and drinking that Christ is given to us with all His benefits.

That is to say, the "externals" are important. In fact, I would say that there are no externals in the sacraments. There is bread and wine which is Christ's body and blood. They are placed into out mouths. That is where the action is; that is where Christ has placed His forgiveness to be given to us. (And before you think I am overlooking Word and Baptism, I confess that they are there too--but we are discussing communion.) To say that these gifts are externals implies that the real action is internal--some invisible, interior work of the Spirit loosely attached to the eating and drinking. This is, as you no doubt are aware, the teaching of Calvin which Lutherans have always rejected.

Here is incarnational theology: God uses created things to win and deliver salvation. They are more than external signs pointing to an internal reality that is invisible. The concrete, specific, located gifts in baptism, in preaching, in communion, in absolution, in the mutual conversation and consolation ARE the Gospel.

Also, you write that doctrines are divided up by the pericope. Actually, the pericopes divide up scripture into manageable readings for church. They cut up scripture, not doctrine.

Granted, we may speak of one doctrine at a time. But when we do so, we speak of it not in isolation from all other truths of scripture, but as a part of that larger whole. It is like looking at one facet of a gemstone. Doctrines are not like a string of pearls that are loosely connected; there is one doctrine and one teaching.

So again, to preach a Christ who does not give Himself in His supper is to preach a false Christ. I am not accusing you of doing this. However, the question you must ask is: what happens if I do not speak of that which I believe? If I am not preaching toward the sacrament, then am I unintentionally and de facto preaching a Christ who does not offer His Supper?

That is why I say that to preach the Gospel is to preach toward the Sacrament. To omit this from preaching is to alter the Gospel, which is Christ applied, which He does in His Sacrament as well as in His Word and in Baptism and in absolution and in the mutual conversation and consolation.

RNN

Anonymous said...

When did I ever say I was a Rev.? I think it was my use of the general "I" which you took for a specific "I". When I said, "What if I..." that was my way of saying, "What if one..." of "What if a pastor..." Sorry for the confusion. I'm not a pastor, by the way.

mav said...

A at 3:54,

Sorry. I assumed you were a pastor because at 11:27am today you wrote, "Just because I don't include every point of doctrine in every sermon, doesn't mean I deny those doctrines which I didn't happen to preach on that day."

It looks like RNN picked up the title for you too.

Thanks for clearing that up,
mav

Anonymous said...

Yeah, sorry, the generic "I". I didn't mean to take the pastorate onto myself or make the pastorate look bad.

RTMM said...

To All:

Could you all please observe the blog’s rule of somehow identifying yourself as RNN, RMC, AO, LM, GM, UP, etc do. It helps in knowing what and to whom to respond. Thanks.

First. Concerning examination. I will address the one who said infants can't. Sez who?

In the specific Corinthian situation, in regards to what were the Corinthians to examine themselves? The law of love. It was not an extra and over above examination that any other time we are examined under the law. Paul might have well said, apply the law to yourself, and by doing so, he was applying the law to them. Remember it is the alien work of the Holy Spirit not the work of man. In the same way that when the call to repent goes out, we do not do it, but it is done to us, indeed we repent, we "do" something, but it is by the power of the Holy Spirit that does it, it is the Spirit doing to us. No one can examine themselves without the power of the Holy Spirit. It is semi-Pelagian to say there is something I must do to be prepared for the Supper, as I said, something is done to us, the Spirit prepares us through repentance and faith. To make a proper reception of the Sacrament dependent on something I do over and above faith makes it a work and destroys the Sacrament. The faith of the infant in receiving the Sacrament of Baptism is no different than the faith of the penitent in receiving the Supper. For as our Catechism teaches he is properly prepared who believes these words, given and poured out for you. And in regards to Baptism, it is not the water, but faith which trusts this word of God in the water. Faith in each case, nothing more, nothing less.

To the point of why the Holy Spirit added these words in regards to the Supper. Because the Corinthians were abusing the Supper and so Paul needed to remind them that a proper reception of the Sacrament is by repentance and faith. I think it instructive to note that our Lord did not say "examine yourselves disciples, ok now, take eat." Indeed he examined them, throughout their three year tutelage with him. Paul's "examine yourself" is no different that the Baptizer's and our Lord's "repent."

Also, please observe the rule of providing attributions when quoting someone, especially Luther. One of the anonymouses writes,

"But Luther himself writes that the blessings of the Lord's Supper are NOT in the eating and drinking."

I think you confused what Luther wrote in the SC. The eating and drinking alone do not do these things, but the Words given and poured out for you apprehended by faith make the eating and drinking beneficial. (Also I see that RNN provided the relevant quote form the LC on the issue.) Yes, it is a simple truth that the unconfirmed i.e. 13 or younger is deprived of something, the body and blood of our Lord in the Supper, in the same way that the poor believer trapped inside of a Baptist sect is deprived of Holy Baptism, yet in each case they are not deprived of forgiveness, life and salvation.

Anonymous also writes

"the Holy Spirit specifically attached the words 'all nations' to baptism. Those words are not attached to the Lord's Supper. Thus, again, we see a difference in scope for the two sacraments."

Two points. Actually those words or word is added to the Supper, "drink from it, all of you." No excluding anyone in that. (That just came to me today when I was celebrating the mass!) Now anymore than do we baptize all nations, i.e. indiscriminating baptizing unwilling or unexamined people but upon examination, do we commune all, but all who are examined and absolved.

I owe this following insight to Rev. Bill Weedon, who notes that John 6 speaks of a spiritual eating and drinking of the body and blood of Christ which infants can do (and all Lutherans agree they do) is the manner by which we properly receive the body and blood of Christ in a physical manner. It does not makes sense to deny them something they do worthily, by faith.

RTMM

AP said...

Isn't saying that we have to do something, like examining ourselves, before we receive communion making a law out of the Gospel?

AP

RTMM said...

AP,

Examination by the law (ergo decimation) prepares us for grace. The Lord kills and makes alive. So yes, I agree, saying we must do something to be prepared is to make it law. Something must be done to us. God in his mercy kills us and makes us alive.

RTMM

Anonymous said...

RTMM,

I don't understand...are you saying justification is something that has to happen over and over again?

I think we need to make sure we are clearly speaking about is justification and what is sanctification....I think the 2 are coming across a bit mixed up...

MYOB

Anonymous said...

I was reading this all over and it seems some you "know" each other from somewhere else??

How do you guys know each other? Is there another area you discuss theology?

I was looking for some Lutheran message boards or something to chat a bit...I have questions...

Confused

John said...

All,

I was reading this all over and it seems some of you "know" each other from somewhere else??

This is a question I was going to ask, too.

Also, I appreciate the discussion that is taking place. As noted, please sign your comment so that posters can accurately respond.

When you are ready for me to start a new post let me know. (I haven't had the time yet to make the switch to a discussion board).

Another Observer said...

"The faith of the infant in receiving the Sacrament of Baptism is no different than the faith of the penitent in receiving the Supper."

This is something that always confused me. I was taught that the blessings of baptism come from God's Word which is in and with the water, and faith which trusts this Word used with the water; that we can baptize infants because they have faith; that, regarding the Lord's Supper, a person is properly prepared who believes these words, "Given and poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins"; yet, infants couldn't commune because they weren't capable of having faith in the words "Given and poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins," even though they were capable of having faith which trusts God's Word used with the water.

AO

Anonymous said...

"How do you guys know each other? Is there another area you discuss theology?"

I've seen Mike Schottey and Jennifer Kluender post on Lutherquest before. Mike also has his own blog and sometimes comments on the Ichabod site. Random Dan has his own blog too.

If you lurk, like me, you'll start to see a lot of the same people(even if they go by different names or post annonymously on certain blogs) elsewhere across the inter-web.

RTMM said...

MYOB,

Briefly. I am not sure to what you are referring by justification and sanctification being confused but I think you might be influenced by the belief that we are justified and then sanctification happens by obeying the law, which can be dangerously close to what Rome and the Reformed believe, not that you believe those errors. They say you are justified and then you need to be sanctified to finish the deal. That is not what Lutherans believe.

God justifies us and we are sanctified. Christ is our justification and our sanctification. Justification is what God has done in Christ and sanctification is that being given to us through the means of grace. We Lutherans confess that we are simul justus et peccator, at the same time just (saint) and sinner. And as sinner we need to be daily drowned (this is what it means to daily return to your Baptism) and raised, hence the genius of Luther saying in addition to marking yourself with the Holy Cross to begin the day to recite the Ten Commandments and the Creed (and Lord’s Prayer) and then off to work. So we are daily killed and made alive. (cf. Paul’s lament in Romans 7.)

Our justification occurred when our Lord was crucified and was raised, but it is continually given us, for we continually need it. Christ died and rose for us, justification, and he works all things good in and though us through the Gospel, sanctification (but we still are hitched to that irrefractable ass, the flesh).

If you want a sanctified Christian, by the way, preach the Gospel to him and give him the Sacraments, not hammer him with the law.

I hope that helps.

RTMM

Anonymous said...

yeah...it does, thanks RTMM.

MYOB.

Anonymous said...

Oh, okay. I will have to "lurk" more. I've never heard of Lutherquest. Off to check it out.

Confused no more.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, first this blog promotes the MM and now LQ? Ugh. LQ is probably one of the few places more harsh and bitter and sarcastic than BW.

Anonymous said...

No one promoted LQ...it was an answer to my question of how certain people knew who certain people were. No promotion, they were just answering my question.

The "no longer confused" person.

Anonymous said...

Is there nothing else in all of Lutheranism to discuss besides Communion? I'm getting bored with this endless and repetitive talking about it. Not that there's anything wrong with talking about Communion in and of itself, but everyone is just making the same points that they have in past posts and we're going in circles. John, can't you find a new topic for us to talk about, perhaps one that won't get dragged into the same old stuff again?

Anonymous said...

What are they going to do to Jennifer? What's with all these threats? They are creeping me out. Too Big Brother for me. It's a free country.

What is Jennifer? Is she WELS or what and why can't she voice her opinion...you do Jo, I've seen you here mouthing off a lot here on BW (are you on LQ too? Is that why you don't like her?).

I guess, I just don't get the thing between you two, which is why I asked the how y'all knew each other.

Wasn't Confused, but confused again by the hatred between these 2women.

Anonymous said...

RE: Jennifer Kluender

I see that Semwife is not the above (unless the above is her maiden name or vice versa). I just went over to LQ to check it out.

It makes me nervous though, this type of internet stalking--it is really creepy.

Is it just me?

This is why I don't like to use my real name. Harrassment from people like Jo is really scary.

Confused/not confused/can't make up my mind.

Anonymous said...

John wrote:

"When you are ready for me to start a new post let me know."

Why don't you just close this thing down.

RTMM said...

Mr. Moderator,

Having observed this blog for a while let me make an observation. It seems some on this blog wish to contribute by articulating their position and when opposing or debating with others they do so by quoting them and then by showing how and why they disagree. You may not always enjoy their humor or sarcasm, a legitimate part of debate, but at least they substantiate their positions (cf most recently RNN and, I immodestly say, RTMM) and quote the relevant portions of the posts of those with whom they are debating or discussing. There are those, who rather than taking umbrage when they are disagreed with, ask questions and patiently await answers (cf. MYOB, AO).

And then you have those who throw in their rude comments, unsubstantiated charges and opinions that do nothing but poison the well. Then that becomes the debate.

The latest comment by this "Jennifer," or whoever she is, is case in point. He/she writes,

"Oh man, first this blog promotes the MM and now LQ? Ugh. LQ is probably one of the few places more harsh and bitter and sarcastic than BW."

That is the whole post. Notice, not one word quoted from either the MM or LQ to illustrate this hateful opinion, just his/her hateful opinion. How ironic. This happens often on this blog, for example when WLC was accused, without substantiation, of promoting false doctrine, or the charges of legalism by an MLC student. I suggest we all ignore such persons and when you have the time to yank their comments from the blog. This holds for all charges and opinions that are not substantiated. It also seems when someone is tired of the debate because their opinion or views are being shown false, then “it is time to end the blog” etc.

For what it’s worth.

RTMM

John said...

For those that have followed the topics on this blog many issues have been discussed. I, also recently, mentioned that for the next couple of weeks my work schedule is consuming much of my time.

So I have asked the readers to put forth discussion topics. So I will open an "open" thread. Feel free to address the issue that is important to you.

Please sign your comment.

Anonymous said...

The hypocrisy here is astounding! The "Confessional" group here repeatedly chastises people for posting anonymously, claiming that WELS people are cowards for not giving their names or that the WELS is a totalitarian regime that punishes anyone using their real name. (And don't ask me to go through hundreds of posts for an exact quote--you all know those things have been said or implied.)

And yet, then they cyber-stalk people, follow them from blog-to-blog, and personally attack them and issue threats against them. No wonder people want to post anonymously! It's not the WELS they are worried about! It's those who claim to be for open and free discussion! If that's what being a Confessional Lutheran Christian is all about, count me out.

It was said of the early Christians, "See how they love one another!" Nobody could possibly come to this blog and say the same thing. That's sad.

Anonymous said...

I guess that even if Jennifer is a bit of a nutty, she doesn't deserved to be hunted down by that Jo person as someone above me stated. Maybe we should focus on Jo. Jo what is your last name so that we may follow you around the net?

IT

c said...

So, what those "Confessionals" are saying isn't wrong, you just don't like them because they're not very nice?

Speaking of the early church, what do you think went on at places like the Council at Nicaea? Those were not tea parties.

The various anonymouses are difficult to keep straight. No one is asking anyone else to use his/her real name, just please use some name to identify which anonymous you are.

Part of loving other Christians is pointing out where they are in error. It seems the people who are against those you have named "Confessionals" are just as mean, sarcastic, and petty as they are.

C

Anonymous said...

"So, what those "Confessionals" are saying isn't wrong, you just don't like them because they're not very nice?"

Umm, cyber-stalking and making threats is very wrong.

Anonymous said...

I agree cyber-stalking and making threats is wrong. It is sad that this Jennifer person is being targeted, especially as we don't know if it is her and if it isn't, Jo just totally trashed her name.

Jo was trying come across authoratative, but she came across as insecure and pathetic.

Of course in writing this I will be accused of being Jennifer, so you can't really win for losing here.

I think all personal attacks should be removed.

Anonymous said...

The last 5 posts prove my point.

RTMM

Anonymous said...

What point is that? That is okay to bash someone in a public forum when we aren't even sure it is "her?" I guess, I just don't understand why that is okay.

Again, all personal attacks should be removed.

IT

Anonymous said...

There seems to be a double standard here. John and the Motley Magpie and its editors can be insulted at will without any proof of what they've done wrong, but not this "Jennifer" or whoever she/he is who has made some uncalled for attacks?

Anonymous said...

IT (and all your other initials)

The point? Thank you for making it again. Making broad unsubstantiated accusations

- "...okay to bassh somenone..."

- "...The "Confessional" group here repeatedly chastises people for posting anonymously, claiming that WELS people are cowards for not giving their names..."

without once proving this from their posts. And never once addressing the issues. And so those attacked feel obligated to defend themselves and the topic spins off, just like this post which has added to that.

We were discussing the Lord's Supper, if you don't want to, please take your hysterical reactions (please, "stalking?") and go elsewhere. I am.

Adios!
RTTM

Anonymous said...

RTTM,

Does the same apply to Jo? (Or since she's on your side, does she not fall under the same scrutiny?) She the one who started all of this by "making broad unsubstantiated accusations" against somebody (with a creepy side of cyber-bullying). Oh, and just for the record, Jo, I wrote that comment that you attributed to Jennifer, and I'm not Jennifer. Perhaps you don't know as much as you thought you did.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Jo didn't start this. It was started by the person later called Jennifer, who accused GM of playing the age card in an anonymous comment at 9:08pm on Nov. 25.

UP said...

Is Michael Schottey still out there? If so, if you have time, could you please provide your promised answers? It might help get back on topic. We have wandered far afield.

thanks,
UP

Anonymous said...

- "...okay to bassh somenone..."

I take credit for the above...though not the above spelling of the word "bash." I spelled that word correctly in the original format.

- "...The "Confessional" group here repeatedly chastises people for posting anonymously, claiming that WELS people are cowards for not giving their names..."

I do not take credit for the above because I didn't write it.

As for serious conversation. I wasn't the one that started bashing anyone. Someone made a nasty comment (I agree, it was a bit harsh). Then Jo got on and ranted and raved against Jennifer somebody.

A few people (all stated to be Jennifer, apparently Jennifer is many people) wondered why internet stalking was okay and then we have what we have now.

Again, not Jennifer, just someone who thinks it is totally ridiculous to defend Jo's treatment of this Jennifer person. Jennifer may be a witch, I don't know, but it doesn't excuse the bad behavior of trashing someone's name.

IT

Anonymous said...

9:41.

Again, prove to me it's Jennifer.

See, this is why I don't use my name. It is scary to know that someone like Jo would trail around after me on the internet.

So, get back to topic and if you think "Jennifer" is posting, JUST IGNORE HER!! You don't have to use her name, you don't even have to acknoweldge her, just carry one with the communion conversation that will just go on and on and on and on.

IT

Another Observer said...

"...just carry one with the communion conversation that will just go on and on and on and on."

It doesn't have to go on and on and on. The posters that have said that those who would like the Lord's Supper every Lord's Day are making a law of it, could admit that they have mischaracterized the argument.

AO

Anonymous said...

I know what you are saying, but they won't admit anything (and neither will your side), so it will go on and on. Two sides, both passionately feel they are right. There is nothing wrong with that, but you guys aren't going to come to an agreement...not when you both on solidly entrenched in your point of view.

Sometimes, it is just good to take a break and come back to it at a later date or just let it go. I'm not even sure everyone posting here is in communal fellowship anyways.

IT

Anonymous said...

If you went to a message board format you could track IP addresses and blog troublsome members.

Just a thought.

BMP

LM said...

"I know what you are saying, but they won't admit anything (and neither will your side), so it will go on and on."

The difference I see, is that those who would like the Lord's Supper offered more often, have made solid, well reasoned, confessional arguments of returning to that practice. Yet, the only response seems to be, "you're trying to make a law of it." So it isn't about who is right and who is wrong, but about having an honest conversation. The only way to do that is to drop this legalism nonsense. That is a strawman, and I know some people here are tired of hearing that word, but that is what it is. Everyone agrees you shouldn't force people to commune. That is a non-issue. But people can't commune as often as they desire to, if the Lord's Supper isn't offered at every service. Does anyone really disagree with that?

LM

Anonymous said...

I don't disagree LM, not at all.

IT

Another Observer said...

IT,

I agree with LM on this. But maybe you are right about "taking a break." And depending on who is suggesting the break, perhaps that can be seen as a concession that there isn't any legitimate reason not to return to offering the Lord's Supper every service (other than a lack of proper catechesis--see my "side" can admit things).

AO

Anonymous said...

This place has become a useless waste of time. Plenty of blame to go around. (yes, yes, that is not a constructive thing to say but it is nonetheless true)

It may not matter to you John, but I do think that the blog has lost a great deal of credibility.

Sad

Anonymous said...

What is the purpose of the blog exactly?

To discuss and try to correct official WELS doctrine? John has already stated that he disagrees with official WELS doctrine.

To discuss and correct practices that some would argue deviate from official WELS doctrine?

It seems more like the latter, but it is hard to do that if you already disagree with the doctrine itself.

Hard to have a constructive conversation with these conditions.

John said...

John has already stated that he disagrees with official WELS doctrine.

This isn't actually accurate. What I believe is that current WELS practices are questionable and have lead to a shift in the doctrinal perspective of the WELS.

For example, the WELS doctrine on the OHM has changed over the last couple of decades. From my understanding the WELS view has shifted in that everyone as a minister is highlighted at the expense of the divinely instituted pastoral ministry. The WELS now calls the Missouri position on the OHM heterodox. Our early church fathers did not do this. So the WELS position has shifted.

Anonymous said...

"What is the purpose of the blog exactly?"

To stick it to the man. That is what attracts all the granola eating, berkinstock wearning, electric car driving, old hippies.

Anonymous said...

Anon wrote,

"all the granola eating, berkinstock wearning (sic), electric car driving, old hippies."

Hey!

The B.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said, "John has already stated that he disagrees with official WELS doctrine."

John said, "This isn't actually accurate."

John said October 28, 2007 3:23 PM, "This is where the WELS goes astray in the doctrine of the ministry."

Michael Schottey said...

Granola is delicious and nutritious, berkinstocks are comfortable, and if I could afford a hybrid i'd be all over it!

But i'm not old.

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