Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Confessional WELS churches' Web sites

Anonymous said...

Could someone direct me to some confessional WELS churches' Web sites which have online sermons? I have several LCMS that I enjoy listening to (Petersen, Cwirla) and have been searching for some in Wisconsin. I know all say they are confessional, but ... nothing contemporary, please.

Thanks.

Rob

220 comments:

1 – 200 of 220   Newer›   Newest»
RTMM said...

One of the few truly confessional pastors in the Wisconsin Synod,
Rev. James Frey

http://stpaulspodcast.org/

RTMM

Anonymous said...

RTMM = Rev. James Frey LOL

RTMM said...

Anon at 10:16,

I'm not sure what you mean,

"RTMM = Rev. James Frey LOL"

I am not Rev. Frey, if that is what the "=" means.

Could you please explain, for I am at a loss at what you mean.

(And you certainly cannot mean that he is not a confessional pastor.)

Thanks,
RTMM

Anonymous said...

It was a joke, silly.

But I'm wondering how you know enough about the 1400 pastors in the WELS to be able to say that one particular pastor is one of the few truly confessional ones.

RTMM said...

Oh, a joke, ok. (I'm not that sharp.)

Ask the 1400 what they think of him and why. Then you'll know.

(Oh, and read his sermons and web site and you'll get a hint.)

RTMM

Anonymous said...

RTMM: I don't need to talk to the 1400. Few would know Pastor Frey. You are the one who needs to talk to them, because you have made the public claim that the vast majority of them are somehow less than confessional.

RTMM said...

Well, how many of them celebrate the Lord's Supper every Lord's day, festivals and when people ask for it? (The last survey that the WS did on the subject said that 5% of WS church's did, the majority of which in only one of the weekend services.) How many of them offer their members Private Confesson and Absolution as a regular rite? And how many of them teach that infants do not have an inferior faith to adults, a faith incapable of believing the Words of Christ, given and poured out for you for the forgiveness of sins? And how many preach like him? (I.e. not with the Law-Gospel (mininal at best) - Law paradigm that permeates WS preaching)

Like I said, few.

RTMM

Anonymous said...

It's amazing. Any topic here--no matter what it is--can somehow be twisted and changed to frequency of communion. Much like a certain group of pastors is able to twist and change any Scripture text into a sermon on the Lord's Supper.

Anonymous said...

Hmm, does anybody what to try and guess what church RTMM is a member of?

Anonymous said...

Thanks, RTMM. I appreciate your comment and will check him out.

Rob

Anonymous said...

Anonymouses at 7:40 & 7:44,

You're not too bright, are you?

Anonymous said...

"You're not too bright, are you?"

I must not be too bright either, because I don't see why anything either of them wrote would lead you to question their intelligence. Would you mind explaining your comment for us poor idiots?

Anonymous said...

"Hmm, does anybody what to try and guess what church RTMM is a member of?"

Let's hope a confessional one, like the one described above!

Anonymous said...

After reading several different threads on this site, there appear to be some people who are really against weekly communion. What are the Scriptural or Confessional reasons for being against it? If there aren't any, and it was offered weekly, couldn't those who are against it just choose to not partake frequently? Or do those individuals feel it is wrong to offer it weekly. Just curious. Not trying to be hateful.

Personally, I'd like to take it as often as I could get it. Unfortunately, our WELS church only does it once a month. I've expressed my desire to the pastor but he does not appear to be interested.

Rob

Anonymous said...

"Much like a certain group of pastors is able to twist and change any Scripture text into a sermon on the Lord's Supper."

Could you please let me know who these pastors are and an example of of this. Thanks! :)

RTMM said...

Rob,

You might direct your pastor to these comments of Dr. Luther,

"Now, whoever does not highly value the Sacrament thereby shows that he has no sin, no flesh, no devil, no world, no death, no danger, no hell; that is, he does not believe any such things, although he is in them over head and ears and is doubly the devil's own. On the other hand, he needs no grace, life, Paradise, heaven, Christ, God, nor anything good. For if he believed that he had so much that is evil, and needed so much that is good, he would not thus neglect the Sacrament, by which such evil is remedied and so much good is bestowed. Neither will it be necessary to force him to the Sacrament by any law, but he will come running and racing of his own accord, will force himself and urge you that you must give him the Sacrament."

RTMM

Anonymous said...

RTMM,

Are you accusing that pastor of not "highly valu[ing]" and of "neglect[ing]" the Sacrament? By applying that quote to that pastor, it sure seems that you are. That's a serious charge to make. How do you know that the pastor isn't extolling the blessings of the Sacrament every chance he gets? How do you know that he doesn't want to offer the Sacrament more frequently, but the people aren't willing? What do you expect him to do? Change the practice of that congregation by force of law? That's exactly what Luther says not to do. All a faithful pastor can do is to proclaim what a wonderful thing the Sacrament is and then wait--patiently--for the people to come running and racing of their own accord.

See people, this is why people seem somewhat resistant to those who advocate more frequent communion. When charges of not valuing and neglecting the Sacrament are thrown around simply because a congregation or a pastor isn't yet at the predetermined "ideal" frequency yet, causes the defenses to go up, especially when a pastor is striving to extol the Sacrament and build his people up and is charged nonetheless. That's also why people fight so hard to defend the fact that they don't have to offer it weekly--because they are being burdened with charges and accusations, rather than being patiently educated.

C said...

Dear self-titled Anonymous Idiots,

Why are you against offering the Scarament of the Altar every Lord's Day, on festivals, and when people ask for it? This is what the Lutheran church does. This is what our Confessions say.

Every time this confessional language comes up, your tempers flare. Perhaps you should reflect on why you become so angry whenever celebration of the Sacrament is discussed. If you have a good reason for your anger from Scripture or the Confessions, great! Please let us see it. If not, and you are being defensive because you know your practice is not Lutheran, yet you call yourselves Lutheran, kindly retract the anger, calm down, and read carefully what others are writing. You may learn something. Also, keep going to Scripture and the Confessions to test what others are saying.

BTW, I've heard of Pr. Frey, though I'm not in MI and not a member of his congregation. I would also recommend Rob read his sermons. If the anonymous has any proof that RTMM is a member of Frey's church, please produce it. How would RTMM's church membership invalidate his recommendation? Have you, Anonymous, looked at the recommended site and found something wrong there? If not, keep your thoughts to yourself.

Rob wrote that he has gone to his pastor to talk about more frequent celebrations of the Sacrament but his pastor didn't seem interested. That doesn't sound like a pastor who is extolling the Sacrament every chance he gets. If this pastor is not offering it when people ask for it, as Rob has said he did, then the quote from the Catechism applies very well to this pastor.

C

RTMM said...

Anon at 8:54,

My, my, such a violent reaction to the quote from the Small Catechism!

Well, read the posts. It seems Rob has run to his pastor and according to Rob was disinterested. Indeed, Rob, "asked for it" which is one of the times the Lutheran Church says it offers the Sacrament (Read AC 24 and AP 24). Sounds like he is precisely the kind of person who needs that quote.

A while back this scenario was presented on this blog. What do you think?

If a congregation is sufficiently catechized to receive the Sacrament of the true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ once a month, is it not sufficiently catehcized to receive it every Sunday? And conversely, if a congregation is not sufficiently catechized to be offered the Sacrament of the true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ every Sunday, is it sufficiently catechized to receive it at all?

And once again. No one makes a law of this. Those who refuse to give the Sacrmaent to those desiring do, those who offer it to those who wish it don't. When it is offered no one has to come, but if it is not offered no one can receive.

The resistence to being offered the true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ for the forgivness of sin exposes a glaring weakness in the WS (and this goes back to Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary) and, in my opinion, results from pride. As one WS women said in opposition to this practice, "So you are saying that for 150 years the WELS has been wrong."
RTMM

Anonymous said...

The reason I've been given borders on fear that the Sacrament then stands on equal footing as the Word. I think that belief, though, exposes a specific point of view which unintentionally (not to judge motivation with this) does de-value the Sacrament as something separate from God's Word (and something less), when the Sacrament is non-existent without God's Word.

Not unlike removing elements from the historic divine service with the reasoning that high church distracts from the Word when it actually is nothing without it.

I could be wrong, but this seems to stem from the Pietistic origins of WELS. Please believe, I am just trying to understand (in the process of formulating opinions) and not trying to cause problems. I realize there are people on both sides of this issue that's why I query here.

Thanks.

Rob

Anonymous said...

C said:

"Why are you against offering the Scarament of the Altar every Lord's Day, on festivals, and when people ask for it?"

Who ever said anything about being against offering the Sacrament? Go back and reread the two "anonymous idiot" comments. You'll note that neither of them spoke against it. Nothing productive will come out of this if you don't respond to what was actually written. One comment was a joke (heard of those?) that RTMM was promoting his own church. The other was an observation that it seems like every conversation here ultimately turns to the subject of communion frequency.

"Every time this confessional language comes up, your tempers flare."

I haven't sensed any anger from any of the posts here (perhaps with the exception of your post).

"read carefully what others are writing"

Perhaps you might follow your own advice. (see above)


Around and round in circles we go. This exact conversation has been had before--about a month ago. Do we really need to rehash everything again?

Anonymous said...

"Not unlike removing elements from the historic divine service with the reasoning that high church distracts from the Word when it actually is nothing without it."

Wait, I want to make sure I'm understanding this comment correctly--it's not easy to follow. Are you saying that the Word is actually "nothing" without the historic divine service? Is that really what you meant to say?

Anonymous said...

Yes we do, until you stop dispising the meas of grace by witholding it from the people every sunday.

Anonymous said...

"Yes we do, until you stop dispising (sic) the meas (sic) of grace by witholding it (sic) from the people every sunday (sic)."

I'm feeling sic. I'm not Mr. Grammarian, but I'll save him the trouble:

Perhaps we should stop talking about Communion and start talking about grammar, spelling, and punctuation until you stop dispising (sic) them.

RTMM said...

Rob,

You are correct in noting this false antithesis within the WS between the "Word" and the "Sacrament." Good grief, whoever said, "let's have the Sacrament but no Word." As you rightly said, no Word, no Sacrament.

The Anon at 9:34 doesn't want this to be rehashed because the WS is so deficient in this area and those who try to defend its practices in this regard cannot answer the critics, as seen on this blog. Of course I wouldn't want my ignorance that to be rehashed, but I am glad it was (I am Lutheran who is a convert to the Lutheran practice.) Their only recourse is to shout "legalism" when no one says, you have to, but simply asks, why don't you.

I would ask Anon at 9:34 to answer the scenario I posited above about the nature of a congregation's catechesis on the Sacrament. This scenario exposes a glaring weakness in the WS on the Sacrament (and the Seminary is to blame) and is one WS people do not wish to acknowlege because then, gasp, the WS would be shown...glup... to be deficient.

RTMM

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:40 AM said ...
"Wait, I want to make sure I'm understanding this comment correctly--it's not easy to follow. Are you saying that the Word is actually "nothing" without the historic divine service? Is that really what you meant to say?"

Oh, the excitement of blogs. Not trying to say that. Trying to say the opposite. Sorry for the confusion. I think the Divine Service is the delivery of the Word of God (though I don't think I've ever truly experienced it as intended through my LCMS and WELS days as a Lutheran).

The reasons I was given for the differences of the WELS worship service was they removed Roman elements and that high church detracts from the Word (I take that to me the pastor's sermon). This is, from what I understand and admit I could be wrong, a Reformed and modernist view stemming from WELS origin.

But I sense I'm walking into a trap by answering this way. Oh well, that's how I learn, I guess. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong.

Thanks for the help.

Rob

C said...

" Do we really need to rehash everything again?"

Apparently, since you didn't get it the first time.

If you aren't against offering the Sacrament, why aren't you offering it? ( I don't know which anonymous you are, but some above (8:54 & 7:40) do get very angry.)

C :)

Please cut down the sarcasm. It hurts my feelings.

RTMM said...

Rob,

An anon asked you,

"Are you saying that the Word is actually "nothing" without the historic divine service? Is that really what you meant to say?"

This historic Divine Service is nothing but the Divine Word, and in proper order (i.e. no confusion of Law and Gospel, justification and sanctification.)

RTMM

Anonymous said...

So RTMM, are you agreeing that the Word is "nothing" without the historic divine service?

Anonymous said...

"If you aren't against offering the Sacrament, why aren't you offering it?"

Look at what Luther says. Frequency of communion isn't determined by a pastor or a church council establishing a law that communion must be offered every Sunday. It's determined by a congregation, having been thoroughly catechized, begging for it every Sunday.

Catechizing takes a long, long time. Most WELS congregations have made tremendous strides in this area: from four times a year, to once a month, to twice a month. Why not rejoice in that fact? I think that eventually WELS churches will, indeed, offer it every Sunday. Be patient, not accusatory. These things don't happen at the drop of a hat. They take years and years, sometimes generations and generations of preaching and teaching.

Anonymous said...

thats just it, you are dispising or despising (whichever) the means of grace by keeping it from the people. that is what rtmm has been trying to tell you and you just cant get it. you are not lutheran

RTMM said...

Anon at 9:56 (hey give yourself an intial or something)

You ask,

So RTMM, are you agreeing that the Word is "nothing" without the historic divine service?"

I am saying that the historic Divine Scripture is nothing but the Word. It is pure Word of God (the one without the Roman accretions).

Your question is tautological, "is the Word 'nothing' without the Word?"

RTMM

Anonymous said...

"thats just it, you are dispising or despising (whichever) the means of grace by keeping it from the people. that is what rtmm has been trying to tell you and you just cant get it. you are not lutheran"

1. If you aren't sure how a word is spelled, why not use a dictionary to find out rather than to display your ignorance? Why would anyone take seriously what you say about something so lofty as the Sacrament when you obviously aren't sure of things so mundane as spelling?

2. Use proper capitalization and grammar. They're your friends. You will communicate much more clearly. And as I said above, people will take what you have to say more seriously.

3. Your post is a classic example of how NOT to encourage a more frequent communion. Do you really believe that calling people "not lutheran (sic)" will lead them to listen to your point of view? Or will it lead them to throw all of their defenses up? Why not rather speak about how wonderful the Sacrament is instead of how terrible pastors and congregations and synods are?

Anonymous said...

OK, RTMM, let me put the question another way: Is the Word just as effective outside of the context of the Divine Service?

Anonymous said...

the truth hurst doesnt it

RTMM said...

Anon.

You ask a rather silly question,

"OK, RTMM, let me put the question another way: Is the Word just as effective outside of the context of the Divine Service?"

My answer is, I confess AC V. (And I am guessing when Nicodemus came to Christ at night, it was not during Sabbath or temple services.)

Now, why would you ask me such a silly question?

RTMM

Anonymous said...

rttm and the rest have proven thta they are smarter than you and you just cant stand it. i will stick with them.

Anonymous said...

I'm not RTMM and not interested in answering for him/her, but it would probably depend on what you mean by "effective"? The Word of God doesn't need the Divine Service for God to use it as He wills and to effect what He deems to effect. But it appears He does (and has for a long time) use the Divine Service to deliver His Word. If Joel Osteen perchance reads a verse from the Bible in his sermon, it's probably a lot different than an entire historic service designed to deliver the Word and Sacrament in Law and Gospel format. That was one of the draws to Lutheranism for me.

I think it's a good question and strikes at the heart of what makes Lutherans Lutherans as opposed to any other denomination. The question must also be at the foundation of the Church Growth Movement, I would think. It's a modern view.

My two cents. Interesting discussion. I'm sorry you've rehashed this so many times. I've only been on here for a few days.

Rob

Anonymous said...

It's too bad RTMM just can't answer the question "yes" or "no." His last answer skirts the question, since article V of the AC speaks of both the Ministry of Teaching as well as the efficacy of the means of grace.

So is the Word just as effective outside of the context of the Divine Service? Give us a simple "yes" or "no" answer. Otherwise people will see you as you really are, RTMM.

Another Observer said...

Anon,

What word describes the situation where someone asks for something but does not recieve what they have asked for?

AO

Anonymous said...

"What word describes the situation where someone asks for something but does not recieve what they have asked for?"

Like a situation where RTMM is asked a simple yes/no question, but won't answer it with a simple yes/no answer?

Anonymous said...

"Otherwise people will see you as you really are, RTMM."

What the crap does that mean? Sorry, man, losers like you make me never want to come back to this blog. I've learned a lot from people on here like RTMM. The only thing I've learned from you is that you are an argumentative jerk that cares more about avoiding typos than the truth. It is always personal isn't it?

Adios.

Anonymous said...

now you are geting other people mad cuz you dont see that you have been defeateed by a better arguer. give it up

Anonymous said...

Wow, that was probably the most ironic post in the history of BW.

He says: "you are an argumentative jerk that cares more about avoiding typos than the truth."

And then, in the VERY NEXT SENTENCE, complains that "It is always personal isn't it?"

(And just for the record, the one who bothered about the grammar business wasn't the same one that asked RTMM for a straightforward answer. So the above post is meaningless anyway.)

Still waiting for RTMM's simple yes/no answer.

Anonymous said...

"now you are geting other people mad cuz you dont see that you have been defeateed by a better arguer. give it up"

Could mom or dad get their kid off the internet? He needs to be in skool, learnin him sum gud ennglish skillz.

RTMM said...

Anon.

You aren't serious are you? How would you like to be asked the question, "Do you think Jesus died for black people?" Now what did you say that would justifiy such a silly question? Wouldn't you say that is a "silly question." I would answer that question by saing, I confess John 3:16. Maybe this is all too esoteric for you, or Biblical, or Confessional as in the case of AC V which clearly says that the Spirit works through the Word, which I referred to, and as I referred to our Lord's chat with Nicodemus. It is obvious you are not at home in the Scriptures or the Lutheran Confessions that you would think my answer evasive.

So since you cannot discuss these things on that level... The Word works where and when the Spirit wills (and I don't see any exceptions in there, such as only from 9 to 10 am on Sunday mornings during the Hauptgottesdienst.) And if you still don't get it (and I am beginning to have my doubts.) Yes.

So, why do you ask such a silly question?

RTMM

Another Observer said...

"Like a situation where RTMM is asked a simple yes/no question, but won't answer it with a simple yes/no answer?"

Wrong. The answer is "Denied." As in, that is what Rob's pastor has done when he (assuming he is male) refused to give his congregation what they are right to desire.

AO

RTMM said...

To the nasty Anon (is this a reappearance of "Jennifer"?),

You mock the poor typist. Did you ever think the person might be afflicted with MS or has Parkinson's and has difficulty typing? Put the best construction on everything, someone once wrote.
(I know just such people.)


RTMM

Anonymous said...

just admit that he is superior to you no matte what you say. you cant even think on his level

Anonymous said...

RTMM,

Why did you give such a silly response? Citing AC V isn't a clear cut answer, since as someone else pointed out, AC V has to do with both the efficacy of the Word and the preaching office (according to some at least--but that's a whole other can of worms). Thus by citing it, you could have been leaving some "wiggle room" to base the efficacy of the Word on the preaching office.

Don't worry, I can handle things on your level just fine.

Anonymous said...

RTMM,

If someone asked me if Jesus died for black people, I would simply say: "yes," and then refer them to John 3:16.

BTW, thanks for your answer.

RTMM said...

Anon,

You write,

Don't worry, I can handle things on your level just fine.

Not really, but that's ok. Read my post, I referred to our Lord's chat with Nicodemus. That didn't give you a hint?

And, do you think Jesus died for black people? (I.e. my esoteric way of asking, why do you ask such a silly question.)

RTMM

Anonymous said...

"Not really, but that's ok."

Wow, you think quite highly of yourself, don't you? Do me a favor, give the ego a rest and try having an honest and straightforward conversation.

"Read my post, I referred to our Lord's chat with Nicodemus. That didn't give you a hint?"

Yes, of course I understood your reference to the Word working outside the context of the divine service. But why give hints when you can give a clear answer? Only giving hints implies (rightly or wrongly) that you have something to hide. Thus, the further questioning.

RTMM said...

Anon.

But you see I am a catechist and by my way of answering I expose things in people, things that need to be corrected. But you can't be faulted for not knowing that technique. Just learn from it. You write,

"BTW, thanks for your answer."

Now answer mine.

(Gone for two hours, Wednesday morning catechesis... with an effective Word...)

RTMM

RTMM said...

Anon,

One more and off to catechesis.

You observe,

"Wow, you think quite highly of yourself, don't you?"

Yeh, but it is my only fault.

RTMM

C said...

Anonymous at 10:01,

Please answer these questions from RTMM:

"If a congregation is sufficiently catechized to receive the Sacrament of the true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ once a month, is it not sufficiently catehcized to receive it every Sunday? And conversely, if a congregation is not sufficiently catechized to be offered the Sacrament of the true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ every Sunday, is it sufficiently catechized to receive it at all?"

Also, where does Luther say that the frequency of the celebration is determined by the congregation? (the end of the Small Catechism is talking about reception of the Sacrament, not celebration)

Rob has given anecdotal evidence that at least some pastors are not catechizing their people toward wanting a more frequent celebration of the Sacrament of the Altar. I and friends of mine experienced the same thing in various WELS churches. The accusations come out of frustration with pastors who are withholding the Lord's Body and Blood three Sundays a month, two Sundays a month, or whatever the current practice happens to be and are not catechizing their people as to the "benefit and harm, the need and use, the danger and the blessing, connected with this Sacrament." SC.

If the Sacrament, like preaching is offered every week, communicant members who desire the Sacrament can receive it every week. If there are those who choose not to receive, that is their choice. If the Sacrament is not offered every week, then on the off weeks, those who wish to receive are out of luck. Again, no one is making a law of frequency, and the church council should have nothing to do with it. Look at the Lutheran practice: every Lord's day, on festivals, and when there are those that desire it. Because of what the Sacrament is, this is when we offer it. No one is forced to receive. That would be legalism.

If your pastor only preached the Gospel twice a month, would you wait generations to work toward correcting that?

C

Anonymous said...

"But you see I am a catechist and by my way of answering I expose things in people, things that need to be corrected."

Ah, yes, I bow down to your superior skills. Just one question though--what exactly did you expose in anyone by not answering the question clearly? We asked the question, you gave a cryptic answer, we asked for further explanation, you gave it. I don't see how any deep truths were exposed by that sequence of events. Perhaps you might want to brush up on your incredible catechetical skills.

"But you can't be faulted for not knowing that technique."

You're so right. I know absolutely nothing compared to your great wisdom and insight. You are the master of all techniques in all subject areas. I will never be able to match your greatness. I am an idiot who didn't realize that "Always be prepared to give an answer," actually meant "Always be prepared to give cryptic hints so that people will be impressed by your technique."

"Now answer mine."

Which one?

Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate these threads seem to spiral into personal attacks. I understand passion and attempts to be humorous, but much of this does little to foster an engaging discussion of doctrine.

I don't know if that is intentional on the part of some, the nature of blogs in general or just the nature of the bloggers.

Is there a WELS blog known where the personal stuff is kept to a minimum? Just looking for a little help from fellow Lutherans.

I sound like a baby I know, really just a tad frustrated, but I'll be OK. Whenever we get to an interesting point -- for me anyway, I realize you've traveled down this road before -- we take a turn into the personal attacks, grammar, etc.

Rob

Anonymous said...

http://www.summerlinlutheran.org/

if confessional lutheran is what you are looking for, check out my church's website from Las Vegas.

Anonymous said...

Rob-
If you have questions about the WELS and doctrine, discuss them with your pastor. If for some reason you feel the need to ask questions anonymously, ask a sem prof through the WELS Q&A board. Your pastor, rather than random anonymous people whose backgrounds you know nothing about, would probably be better equipped to guide you in understanding why we believe what we believe. He is your spiritual shepherd.

Anonymous said...

Rob,

If your questions are about Lutheran doctrine, not WELS doctrine, this is a pretty good place to be. It's been informative for me to see that whenever there's some question that WELS doctrine or practice doesn't square with the Confessions, the claws come out on the part of the people trying to defend the WELS. I've learned a lot from those opposing the WELS defenders who do use Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions to make their points.

For what it's worth.....

And keep reading Petersen sermons! Dave rules!

Anonymous said...

"the claws come out on the part of the people trying to defend the WELS"

Let's not pretend that the cattiness has been one-sided. Both sides have used their claws plenty.

I think it just seems like the WELS supporters have been defensive since the WELS positions are the only things routinely under attack here.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. I do ask him and he is a very nice man. One of the most regular-guy ministers I've ever met. Very comfortable to be around. He understandably tows the company line, so to speak. Our conversations run thin though and I was seeking out more historically confessional Lutherans within WELS as compared to what we've got going. Sometimes you can be saying the same words but not communicating if you know what I mean.

Maybe blogs aren't the best places for this, but I do feel opposite views are voiced. And, when I'm directed to Scripture and the writings of our Fathers, I don't know if the background of the blogger is all that important.

But I should get back to work. Thank you.

Rob

Anonymous said...

Pastor McWaters you don't give communion at every service and thes means you are not confesional or lutheran get it. how many times does rttm need to tell you people, you are not listening

Jesse D. Phillips said...

Rob,

If you are still looking for good Lutheran sermons to read, at the risk of being branded as a heretic, I suggest you check out the Motley Magpie on-line. I especially like the Wedding Sermon--you can find it here:

http://www.motleymagpie.org/v1n4_a7.htm

JDP

Anonymous said...

Motley Magpie again? That's all this blog is--a cover for promoting the Bergs' theological aberrations. You sure you're not related to them, John?

RTMM said...

Anon.

You finally come to an understanding of the truth when you write

"You're so right. I know absolutely nothing compared to your great wisdom and insight. You are the master of all techniques in all subject areas. I will never be able to match your greatness."

Yes, and thank you for giving me the proper accolades I so richly deserve.

You ask

"Just one question though--what exactly did you expose in anyone by not answering the question clearly?"

First, the answer was as clear as a bell, as clear as the perninent Lutheran Confession, with a hint added. I learned that you are not a home in the Lutheran Confessions, even with a hint, thus exposing that, as well as exposing your attempt to somehow prove that those who advocate using the Historic Liturgy (which Rob spoke of) are somehow saying that the Word is not "effective" outside of that, that's all, that and your inability to properly reason by not seeing that my answer was a yes, but at the same time tweaking you and your exposing ignorance, for the answer was, again, quite plainly obvious.

And you still write,

"Which one(question}?"

Are you that obtuse?

Why would you ask such a silly question? (Which I have asked several times.)

Wait, were you being sarcastic? (...Naw.)

RTMM

Anonymous said...

"Bergs' theological aberrations"

And they are...?

Jesse D. Phillips said...

Anon,

To trash someone elses reputation, by name, while keeping your own identity anonymous is a cowardly thing to do. Per Rob's request, I pointed him to a source for good Lutheran sermons. Per Rob's request, don't let my suggestion bait you into making personal attacks and unproven accusations.

Thanks,

JDP

RTMM said...

Anon who wrote

"Catechizing takes a long, long time. Most WELS congregations have made tremendous strides in this area: from four times a year, to once a month, to twice a month. Why not rejoice in that fact? I think that eventually WELS churches will, indeed, offer it every Sunday. Be patient, not accusatory. These things don't happen at the drop of a hat. They take years and years, sometimes generations and generations of preaching and teaching."

Thank you for giving answer to my scenario,

If a congregation is sufficiently catechized to receive the Sacrament of the true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ once a month, is it not sufficiently catehcized to receive it every Sunday? And conversely, if a congregation is not sufficiently catechized to be offered the Sacrament of the true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ every Sunday, is it sufficiently catechized to receive it at all?

This is what I and others have been saying, WS catechist's aren't properly catechizing their members because they haven't learned how to. Plain and simple.

RTMM

Anonymous said...

"I think it just seems like the WELS supporters have been defensive since the WELS positions are the only things routinely under attack here."

Or maybe because there is no legitimate defense from Scripture or the Lutheran Confessions for the WELS position on some issues?

I see the Bergs being attacked fairly routinely too. Again, those attacking, and defending the WELS, never provide proof of the brothers' heresy....

Leads a lot of us to think that mayhaps the Bergs are right.

Anonymous said...

"First, the answer was as clear as a bell, as clear as the perninent Lutheran Confession, with a hint added. I learned that you are not a home in the Lutheran Confessions, even with a hint,"

Those who are at home in Lutheran Confessions know how much AC V has been debated and discussed, and how many varying positions have been derived from it. Simply citing AC V leaves room for any of these varying positions. Thus, your answer could be interpreted several different ways, depending on one's position.

In fact, what you did (unwittingly) argues against the need for the Confessions. It is simple to answer questions by saying, "Well, I believe what Scripture says." But if that's all it took to answer questions, all Christians would be united in outward fellowship. The truth is, one has to specify what exactly one believes that the Scriptures say. That's why we have the Confessions in the first place.

In the same way, it's not enough simply to say, "I believe AC V." One must specify what one believes that AC V says.

Thus, simply saying, "I believe AC V" belies an anti-confessional mindset, since the presupposition is that one doesn't need to clearly and specifically confess what it is that one believes about a specific topic.

Anonymous said...

"And they are...?"

"Again, those attacking, and defending the WELS, never provide proof of the brothers' heresy...."

I'm guessing that the two of you are relatively new here. The supposed heresies of the Bergs were discussed extremely thoroughly in several previous threads. Well reasoned and supported arguments were made on both sides. Simply because you have the presupposition that the Bergs are correct and thus reject any proof, doesn't mean that none was offered.

RTMM said...

Anon.

You do not understand the Confessions, that's right it is a "Confession" and do you know what a Confession is? A Confession means to say the same thing, and to say it in the face of opposition.

Ask me what do I believe about the real presence in the Supper? AC X.

Now one assumes (that's a dangerous enterprise) that when discussing with one who is ostensibly a Lutheran one could answer with the Confessions. Guess not. Or get an answer to your question. Guess not.

And so the Confessons are not clear for you. Does that make you a Lutheran? Guess not.

Why do you hate the Confessions so much?

RTMM

Timothy L. said...

Anon writes,

The supposed heresies of the Bergs were discussed extremely thoroughly in several previous threads. Well reasoned and supported arguments were made on both sides. Simply because you have the presupposition that the Bergs are correct and thus reject any proof, doesn't mean that none was offered.

And could you direct me to that "well reasoned" arumentation? Or did it occur only in your mind.

Timothy L.

Anonymous said...

"I'm guessing that the two of you are relatively new here. The supposed heresies of the Bergs were discussed extremely thoroughly in several previous threads. Well reasoned and supported arguments were made on both sides."

I'm not new here and I've read every comment in every thread. I think you are mistaken.

Anonymous said...

"Why do you hate the Confessions so much?"

Oh please RTMM. Have we really sunk to that level?

Did you even bother to read what I wrote?

Aren't you aware of the ongoing discussion and debate regarding the interpretation of AC V? If not, then I suggest you do some reading about it. If so, then you understand why citing AC V isn't enough to clearly state your position. If AC V is crystal clear and there is only one possible interpretation of it shared by all Lutheran theologians, then why has so much ink been spilled in American Lutheranism discussing it?

RNN said...

Dear anonymous (1:44pm),

Thank you for bringing to our attention the debates about AC V. Yes, there are different interpretations of it.

If you please, which interpretation states that the Word of God is only efficacious inside a divine service? That was the question answered by RTMM by citing AC V. So, if the debates on AC V made his answer unclear, this must mean that one side was stating that the Word was effective only within a service. Which side was that?

Because if all sides agree that the Word is efficacious outside of the divine service, then I don't see how citing AC V is an unclear answer.

Thanks!

RNN

Anonymous said...

anonynous wrote:

"Bergs' theological aberrations"

"And they are...?"

For starters, Eastern Orthodox infant communion...

RTMM said...

Oh, please Anon. have we really sunk to this level, that is,

A. You still haven't answered my question. and

B. There is not a single person in all of Christianity who believes the Word is only effective during the Divine Service (YOUR QUESTION) and the debates concering AC V of which I am a part and am very aware of, have no bearing on the POINT IN QUESTION, your question, which AC V gives crystal clear answer to. (And there is not a single person within Lutheranism who teaches that the word spoken by a layman is not effective outside of the Divine Service, all straw men aside.

RTMM

Anonymous said...

"For starters, Eastern Orthodox infant communion..."

Is that all you've got? The "for starters" indicates that there is more. Lets see it.

Anonymous said...

RTMM,

To A:

I honestly don't know what question you're referring to. If you repeat it, I will be glad to answer.

To B:

I know of Lutherans who get very close (if not all the way) to saying that, according to AC V, the Lord's Supper isn't valid unless consecrated by an ordained pastor. It's not too much of a stretch to think that some Lutherans would begin saying the same about the Word. That's the only point I originally wanted to clarify. If you had just given a simple and straightforward answer, we could have avoided all of this.

Timothy L. said...

"For starters, Eastern Orthodox infant communion..."

And are there any others?

The Orthodox aside (and the whole Christian Church until Rome upped the age to 7 at Lateran IV), would you please show me from the Lutheran Confessions and the Scriptures where the faith of the infant is insufficient to recieve the Lord's Supper. (Thus making this a doctrinal aberration).

And before you jump too quickly to "they can't examine themselves" show me why they can't and why this is something different than faith. Secondly, please show me why if they can believe the truths of the Athanasian Creed, which makes you think they cannot do what you claim they must do in their examining themselves.

By the way, the Motley Magpie has several articles to this point and a new one was promised which should be out soon, (I keep checking their site but haven't seen it yet, but I'll let you know.)

Timothy L.

Anonymous said...

"and the whole Christian Church until Rome upped the age to 7 at Lateran IV"

Actually the claim made by some that infant communion was the common and accepted practice in the ancient church are simply incorrect or dishonest.

Read this article for a thorough refutation of that idea:

http://www.angelfire.com/ny4/djw/
lutherantheology.beckwithantiquity.html

Be sure to check the appendices too, one of which has numerous quotes by Luther and others rejecting infant communion.

RTMM said...

Anon.

You are serious aren't you? (Better get to the eye doctor)

WHY WOULD YOU ASK SUCH A SILLY QUESTION?

You also write,

I know of Lutherans who get very close (if not all the way) to saying that, according to AC V, the Lord's Supper isn't valid unless consecrated by an ordained pastor. It's not too much of a stretch to think that some Lutherans would begin saying the same about the Word. That's the only point I originally wanted to clarify. If you had just given a simple and straightforward answer, we could have avoided all of this."

It is a stretch. And not even close. The obejctions to a lay consecrated Sacrament are not against the issue of the effectiveness of the word, but to the issue of the Institution of Christ. If the Institution is altered, the argument goes, it invalidates the Sacrament. All Lutherans would agree with that. The argument is whether the Institution is being altered by the lay consecration. So the argument is about changing or depontenating the word.

And there is one Lutheran who so believed, a fellow by the name of Martin Luther, who labeled such actions, "only playing church."

However you feel about that, one thing does destroy a Sacrament, and that is doubt. If a practice raises doubt, it can destroy the Sacrament, I am sure you would agree. (And I can only surmise that was Luther's reasoning since he otherwise speaks of how doubt destroys a Sacrament.)


RTMM

Anonymous said...

Here's what Martin Chemnitz had to say about infant communion:

"With regard to the Lord’s Supper Paul says: “Let a man examine himself” [1 Cor. 11:28]. Likewise: “Let him discern the Lord’s body” [1 Cor. 11:29], a thing which cannot be ascribed to infants. Moreover, Christ instituted His Supper for such as had already become His disciples. In the Old Testament infants were circumcised on the eighth day, but they were admitted to the eating of the Passover lamb when they were able to ask: “What do you mean by this service?” (Ex. 12:26). There remains therefore [for infants] of the means of grace in the New Testament only the sacrament of Baptism."

(Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, Part II, pp. 165-66)

Anonymous said...

To the Anon who wrote

"Actually the claim made by some that infant communion was the common and accepted practice in the ancient church are simply incorrect or dishonest."

No. Read the following for a reasoned, scholarly and honest presentation of the subject.

http://wctc.net/~gehlbach/IC/index.htm

Anonymous said...

And where is that quote from Chemnitz in the Confessions? You might also add the Chemnitz' quotes in which he talks about the Body and Blood of Christ on the Altar, and how do you feel about that?

Anonymous said...

Here's what Luther thought about infant communion:

"I cannot side with the Bohemians in distributing the Lord’s Supper to children...."

(Martin Luther, Letter to Nicolaus Hausmann [1523]; quoted in Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, Vol. III [Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953], p. 383)

"They have also erred who have wanted to use this Gospel [John 6:55-58] as a reason to give the Sacrament to young children [infants?] and they have also done this. As you have heard, the Lord is saying nothing here about the Sacrament of the Altar or of a physical eating. He is speaking of a spiritual eating which happens only through faith in Christ which He calls here eating His flesh and drinking His blood. Through this faith the man is incorporated into Christ and becomes completely one loaf with him."

(Martin Luther, “The Feast of the Holy Corpus Christi,” Festival Sermons of Martin Luther: The Church Postils [Dearborn, Michigan: Mark V Publications, 2005], Summer Section, p. 48)

Anonymous said...

"The earliest definite reference to infant or child communion, on the other hand, is in Cyprian (On the Lapsed 9, 25) about the year 251, after the voluminous writings of Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Hippolytus, and Origen had appeared, without any reference to such a practice; and there is both earlier and contemporary evidence that this was something of a novelty. Cyprian was a Western Father, writing in the Latin-speaking seaboard of North Africa opposite Italy; but about sixteen years earlier Origen, by then permanently resident in Palestine, states that children (parvuli) are not given communion, and what he says may well apply not only to Palestine but also to his homeland of Egypt."

Anonymous said...

Anon who wrote

"Be sure to check the appendices too, one of which has numerous quotes by Luther and others rejecting infant communion."

Read more carefully. Luther does not reject the practice as heretical. But there are other reasons why he did not approve of the Bohemians practice (one does this in concert with the whole Church).

It is also interesting that Luther says the 1 Cor "examine yourself" is not Paul excluding children from the Sacrament. The adults needed this law preaching.

So watch that charge of being dishonest

Anonymous said...

Hmm, so if I'm reading these quotes right, on one side of the argument we have Iranaeus, Tertullian, Clement, Hippolytus, Origen, Luther, and Chemnitz. On the other side we have the Berg brothers. I think I know what side I'm on.

Anonymous said...

Anan at 2:32

The quote argues from silence, not a good thing to do in the early church. (Even if we accept what he wrote as true.)

Anonymous said...

"It is also interesting that Luther says the 1 Cor "examine yourself" is not Paul excluding children from the Sacrament."

Who's talking about excluding children? We're talking about infant communion, not child communion. I'm all in favor of communing children.

Anonymous said...

Could someone provide the Scriptural and Confessional obejction to the practice of communing infants?

(Yes, and the "Berg Brothers" are all alone on this issue - and Luther does not condmen the practice.)

Anonymous said...

"The quote argues from silence, not a good thing to do in the early church."

I'll grant that, but if the practice was ordinary, commonplace, and accepted (as some claim it was), it's reasonable to assume that there would be at least one or two mentions of it somewhere in all those volumes of writing.

I would also suggest reading the entire article in context. It makes a better case than that one snippet alone.

http://www.angelfire.com/ny4/djw/
lutherantheology.beckwithantiquity.html

Anonymous said...

That is what I meant about the early church. Often that which is not mentioned is accepted practice, no reason to comment on it.

Anonymous said...

"Could someone provide the Scriptural and Confessional obejction to the practice of communing infants?"

Well, since infant communion is the historical novelty, you should probably provide the Scriptural and Confessional support for it first. The Chemnitz quote, though, does provide the Scriptural objection to infant communion. Go back and read it. Would you like to argue with Chemnitz's interpretation of Scripture?

Anonymous said...

"Often that which is not mentioned is accepted practice, no reason to comment on it."

Then why the voluminous comments from those same fathers about infant baptism? It's hard to imagine why those men would speak so often about infant baptism and yet never once even mention infant communion.

Anonymous said...

Infant communion aside, what about earlier than age 16 for communion? Does that happen in WELS?

Rob

Anonymous said...

Why voluminous.... under attack.

Still waiting for the arguments against.

Anonymous said...

"Why voluminous.... under attack."

Huh? You're saying that the church fathers wrote volumes about infant baptism because it was under attack? By whom? And wouldn't those attackers also be attacking infant communion? I'm sorry, but it's quite a flight of fancy to believe that during the time of the early church there were people attacking infant baptism while at the same time supporting infant communion. That's an absurdity.

"Still waiting for the arguments against."

As I already said, read the Chemnitz quote. That's your Scriptural argument against.

Anonymous said...

"Infant communion aside, what about earlier than age 16 for communion?"

I've never heard of first communion at age 16. In most places its around 13 or 14. I think the current trend is to go younger than that, closer to 8 or 9. I think that would be a good thing.

Anonymous said...

My mistake. I think they start catechizing in 8th grade and it takes a couple of years - thus my age 16 conclusion.

The trend is 8 or 9? That does sound good. Is there anything official within WELS about that? I had discussed briefly with my pastor, but if I had some synodical information he might be more inclined.

Thanks.

Rob

Anonymous said...

Anon wrote,

"Well, since infant communion is the historical novelty, you should probably provide the Scriptural and Confessional support for it first."

It is not a historical novelty. (The WS and other's practice inherited from the pietists to commune at 8th grade - and in many churches not on the day of "confirmation"- is the novelty.)

The Scriptural proof is simple. Do, this. And Drink from it, all of you.

I think the issue of John 6 interesting here. By the way, no one who sees the Eucharistic aspect of this text believes that it is the "institution of the supper." No, John, on Patmos looking back, now see the Eucharistic words in this incident and rightly shows his readers that a spiritual, that is, IN FAITH, reception of the Supper is necessary to receive benefit and not condemnation. Regardless, all LUtheran believe that John 6 is speaking primarily about an IN FAITH, or spiritual reception of the flesh and blood of Christ, and that infants can so receive. Now what is the proper way to receive the physical body and blood of Christ? IN FAITH, or a spiritual reception of him. So why is an infant, capable of receiving Christ's flesh and blood not capable of receving Christ's body and blood? The conclusion is that something must be added to faith, and that conclusion ought be intolerable to Catechism confession Lutherans.

WS Q/A answers on the issue of infant faith are disturbing here, (they cannot understnad the Word so we have baptism for them. Yikes!)

T.L.

Anonymous said...

Re: Chemnitz argument's against. Sorry, Martin is wrong here. Both in his understanding the context of the Corinthians caution (Luther disagrees as well) And he does not take into account faith, that is, he does not provide an answer to the question of what does the infant believe. He believes the Athanasian Creed.

Anonymous said...

"The Scriptural proof is simple."

Yes, and Scripture is equally simple when it says, "Examine yourselves." The simple fact is that infants are unable to do this. Read what Chemnitz had to say. This is a command attached to the Lord's Supper, but not to Baptism.

Anonymous said...

"Sorry, Martin is wrong here."

Wow, an anonymous blogger disagrees with the second greatest Lutheran theologian who ever lived. Which side will I choose here?

Anonymous said...

How about agreeing with this theologain, "Do this, drink from this all of you."

Glad you are sticking up for Chemnitz. He believed that the body and blood of Christ were present on the altar after the consecration. What does the WS say on that.... Oh, my! They disagree with the second greatest Lutheran theologian who ever lived.

(And the first and second would chastise you for that comment, it doesn't matter what we say, they would say, it must agree with Scripture. Naughty, naughty.)

Anonymous said...

"Do this, drink from this all of you."

So its your assertion that the "all of you" is akin to the "all nations" of baptism? Never heard that one before. If it's true, then we should be communing unbelievers.

Anonymous said...

When does it become the body and blood of Christ and what of the "leftover" elements?

My pastor said it doesn't become the body and blood until you put it in your mouth, that's why he doesn't make the sign of the cross when he speaks the words of institution. He doesn't want people to think at that moment it becomes the body and blood of Christ.

Really interesting topics. Thanks for contributing.

Rob

Anonymous said...

"Glad you are sticking up for Chemnitz. He believed that the body and blood of Christ were present on the altar after the consecration. What does the WS say on that.... Oh, my! They disagree with the second greatest Lutheran theologian who ever lived."

Huh? They don't disagree with Chemnitz. They just don't choose to fix an exact moment of presence. Every WELS pastor I know believes that the body and blood are present on the altar. But they won't call you a heretic if you believe they aren't present until distribution.

T.L. said...

(And we have been here before...)

Anon writes,

"The simple fact is that infants are unable to do this. Read what Chemnitz had to say. This is a command attached to the Lord's Supper, but not to Baptism."

You are wrong, they can. Please show me how "examine yourself" is something more than faith, and if so something more than faith is necessary for a worthy reception of the Sacrament. No this is simply Paul applying the law to these individuals by asking them to examine themselves as to what they are doing. The same can be said of Baptism, repent and be baptized. Baptism too must be received by repentance and faith, the drowning of the old flesh and the giving of the righteousness of Christ. I agree with Luther who said, this charge (1 Cor. 11) does not eliminate children who were unable to cogitate as well as the adults (why he said that).

The question for you and the WS, is what does the infant confess in Holy Baptism, gaa-gaa, goo-goo, which mean, I believe in God the Father almighty..... or you, it seems lead us to believe, nothing. For you say infants can't do that.

T.L.

tl said...

Anon writes,

"Do this, drink from this all of you."

"So its your assertion that the "all of you" is akin to the "all nations" of baptism? Never heard that one before. If it's true, then we should be communing unbelievers."

Oh please, so THEN you are saying, we should baptise unbelievers.

The issue at hand is what makes a person worthy. I have repeatedly, as the Catechism says, said faith. Christ's "all" then excludes none based on age, the issue at hand. Please come up with a more reasoned, and fair argument.

T.L.

Anonymous said...

Anon writes,

"Every WELS pastor I know believes that the body and blood are present on the altar. But they won't call you a heretic if you believe they aren't present until distribution."

Good point, I should have been clearer. The WS teaches, contrary to Chemnitz and the FC that you cannot be certain that when the pastor says "This is my body," that it is his body. And the FC, nor Chemnitz, is not setting a moment of presence, but simply saying Christ's Words are true when they are spoken by the celebrant. So the WS would not call someone a heretic who doesn't believe the Words spoken by the celebrant to be true in his speaking and does not believe that the bread about which it is said, "This is my body" is Christ's body.

Thank you for the clarification

Anonymous said...

Speaking of the mentally handicapped, Luther wrote: "Therefore if they are rational and can show by indubitable signs that they desire it in true Christian devotion"

According to that, how can infants show "indubitable signs that they desire it"?

Luther also said,

"we must speak about the...sacrament...under three headings, stating what it is, what its benefits are, and who is to receive it. All this is established from the words Christ used to institute it. So everyone who wishes to be a Christian and to go to the sacrament should know them. For we do not intend to admit to the sacrament and administer it to those who do not know what they seek or why they come."

How can infants "know what they seek [and] why they come"?

In both cases Luther seems to feel that there is an element of reason involved--there is knowledge that a communicant should have. No one is denying that infants have faith. But faith in and of itself does not convey knowledge of Christian truth. If it did, then we could baptize babies and never have to instruct them in a single Scriptural doctrine--they would already have that knowledge by faith.

Anonymous said...

"And the FC, nor Chemnitz, is not setting a moment of presence, but simply saying Christ's Words are true when they are spoken by the celebrant."

Christ's words are also spoken during the distribution. Couldn't one choose to believe those words?

Anonymous said...

You write,

"But faith in and of itself does not convey knowledge of Christian truth."

No, it holds to the knowledge of Christian truth, or Word.

Now, conversely, how can infants repent and be baptized. What truths are they grasping onto with their intellect, or is it just magic.

Your arguments are arguments against infant faith.

TL

Anonymous said...

"Yes, and Scripture is equally simple when it says, 'Examine yourselves.' The simple fact is that infants are unable to do this. Read what Chemnitz had to say. This is a command attached to the Lord's Supper, but not to Baptism."

So what happens to the fetus when a pregnant woman communes?

Anonymous said...

Could we please just receive an answer the original question - "Could someone direct me to some confessional WELS churches' Web sites which have online sermons?"

I too am interested!!

NDT

Anonymous said...

Anon writes,

"Christ's words are also spoken during the distribution. Couldn't one choose to believe those words?"

I would hope so. But why don't you believe the Consecratory Words (if you don't as the WS maintains one can)?

Anonymous said...

Anon asks,

"So what happens to the fetus when a pregnant woman communes?"

This is one of the questions we are not permitted to ask.

John said...

NDT

Two sites are mentioned above. Are there any other sites out there? I am interested also.

I leave for the day and this thread has taken on a life of its own.

I do appreciate the discussion. (no I am not related to the Berg brothers)

Please continue to sign your comments. Otherwise, it is difficult to follow your line of thought(s).

mav said...

Whoever had the Luther quote about the Bohemians, you left out the last part where he writes that he doesn't condemn them as heretics for communing infants. Please, be honest in your Luther quotations.

This issue is unclear from the Confessions and should be discussed, which by the way, was the point of the Motley Magpie pieces on infant communion, which I just reread. The authors were bringing the subject up for discussion and made very clear that they were not advocating an immediate return to the practice. They wrote that it should be discussed. Bringing things up for discussion is not wrong.

The Large Catechism, Part IV:Baptism, Infant Baptism, states clearly that infants believe, just as adults do. There is no different faith for infants or adults. Also, the LC, V, The Sacrament of the Altar, ends with "Since the children are baptized and received into the Christian Church, they should also enjoy this communion of the Sacrament, in order that they may serve us and be useful to us. They must all certainly help us to believe, love, pray, and fight against the devil." There is no age mentioned for "children", but it could arguably be from their baptisms, even as infants, since it says "baptized and received into the Christian Church".

The examination is always in the light of faith, which infants have. See LC Part V, paragraphs 76-84.

I'm not convinced either way on infant communion, but it should be discussed.

mav

Anonymous said...

"So what happens to the fetus when a pregnant woman communes?"

Here's an answer from the WELS Q&A:

http://www.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?1518&cuTopic_topicID=57&cuItem_itemID=13360

The answer seems kind of screwy to me.

Sorry, I'm not good with computers and don't know how to put it in as a link. (I'm doing well to be able to work my rotary telephone.)

Anonymous said...

Earlier ... someone mentioned the trend to commune children earlier at age 8 or 9. I thought that sounded good. Where has this been happening in WELS? Is there any information about it? I asked my pastor but thought he might be more inclined if I could present some synodical information supporting the trend.

Thanks.

Rob

MA said...

Anons,

All you have proven is that two of the three MM editors wrote articles discussing Infant Communion. I still fail to see how that proves the "Bergs' theological aberrations."

You'll have to do better than that. And for the person that suggested that this has been "thoroughly" discussed "in several previous threads," I looked back over the threads and the best I can find is someone saying--"Infant Communion, case closed." Again, that doesn't cut it.

Abberations, the word you used, is plural. So what else have you got? My theory is that you have nothing, which means that you need to identify yourself and shut your mouth. And I know, someone will say, "but you're anonymous." That is true, but I haven't accused anyone of being a heretic without proof. You have. Do you see the difference?

So, who can suggest any good websites for confessional WELS congregations?

MA

Bespoke said...

It would be far more edifying if people listed some Confessional WELS pastors. There must be a few who do not have entertainment evangelism on Sundays (Sneaker Services), praise pit bands, and pep talks.

Anonymous said...

Here's a good confessional church

http://www.stpaulsbel.org/

Anonymous said...

I think that laypeople and pastors are extremely reluctant to post links to their church websites because they know that every single word on it will be scrutinized here relentlessly for even a hint of something that might possibly be considered non-Confessional. And once that shred of evidence is found, John will post it as a new topic for everyone to rip to pieces. Why would anyone wish to subject themselves and their church to that?

Anonymous said...

"Here's a good confessional church"

Nice. The welcome page even has a quote from Augustana V.

John said...

I think that laypeople and pastors are extremely reluctant to post links to their church websites because they know that every single word on it will be scrutinized here ...

Several brave souls have already listed websites. Why be afraid? This could prove to be a valuable resource for individuals or families that are looking for a Lutheran church or sermons to use for home devotions.

Anonymous said...

"Why be afraid?"

Umm, for the very reasons that Anonymous already listed.

RandomDan said...

Here's a new topic for your consideration: Christian Worship. It has often been said that WELS has the worst hymnal in all of Lutheranism. Let us discuss the bad and the good of our hymnal. Is the current hymnal good enough? Should we completely redo it? If alternatives are available, which would be best for our synod?

One of the more fascinating directions might be th development of Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal, especially in light of the fact that they had Christian Worship available to them.

RandomDan said...

I shouldn't comment before getting a dose of caffeine in the morning. The last part of the last sentence should read the following: especially in light of the fact that the ELS had Christian Worship available to them.

Anonymous said...

Good topic, randomdan.

As for the anonymous who thinks people should be afraid to post their websites, why? The only person who has criticized a church website on this thread is an anonymous who assumed others would attack Pr. McWaters' congregation, which hasn't happened. Posting a link to your congregation's website may be a help to some here, and the fear is unfounded. No one has posted a critique of the church websites already posted here, so don't be so negative and bitter.

Cheery Wannabe Confessional :)

Anonymous said...

"No one has posted a critique of the church websites already posted here, so don't be so negative and bitter."

Scroll down on the main page a little. John posted a snippet from St. Mark, Green Bay for people to bash. He has posted several snippets from the C&C website for people to bash. On this thread, Pastor McWaters was called not Confessional and not Lutheran because of his church's website. I'm not being negative and bitter, I'm being honest and realistic.

Anonymous said...

"Pastor McWaters you don't give communion at every service and thes means you are not confesional or lutheran get it. how many times does rttm need to tell you people, you are not listening"

I'm guessing this is the comment you referred to. Sounds like a joke, no?

St. Mark's DePere is happily not confessional. Their sins are public and there's no reason they can't be talked about in a public forum. Oh, and yes, I've already brought my concerns privately to Rev. Parlow, but he continues to preach sermons with no Gospel.

The people at C&C who are trying to change the church should be confronted because what they are doing is wrong.

Congregations should be able to defend what they are doing and what they are putting on their website. If they have no defense, maybe they should rethink what they are doing.

Anonymous said...

"I'm guessing this is the comment you referred to. Sounds like a joke, no?"

No. If you read through all of the posts by this particular person (you can tell which posts are by him/her based on the, umm, unique spelling and grammar) you will see that this comment, sadly, is all too serious.

Anonymous said...

I agree. I wouldn't feel comfortable posting my church's website here either. What if my pastor only mentioned communion in one out of four sermons this month? He wouldn't be preaching to the altar, and thus wouldn't be confessional or Lutheran. What if my liturgical congregation sang "Shine, Jesus, Shine" once two years ago during Epiphany? They would be CG, and thus wouldn't be confessional or Lutheran. The list could go on.

It's really a symptom of the bigger problem with this blog. This site fosters only complaints and accusations, not true openness and discussion.

John said...

I have posted a link to St. Marks, the flagship church for C&C because it is a clear indication of what is happening in the WELS.

I, too, have spoken to Pr. Kelm about my concerns.

The frequency of communion, contemporary worship, fellowship, and the OHM, are among the different issues being debated on this site.

Why not share the WELS churches that are proudly proclaiming their confessional Lutheranism on the internet? Is it because a little blog in one corner of the world is discussing theology?

Another Observer said...

Anons,

I've also contacted Pr. Parlow about my concerns. I was met with indiference. But even if I had not contacted him first, I see nothing wrong with alerting others to the dangers of his gospel-free, and occasionally plagiarized sermons.

As to the sole negative comment, I too, took that as a sarcastic comment directed against RTMM. Yes, there have been other similar comments, but when no one identifies themselves, there really is no way to tell who is who--and how do we know that all those comments weren't sarcastic? We don't.

So, if you have a church website you want to recomend to Rob, go for it. I even promise I won't mock it if that makes you feel better.

AO

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the attempts to help. I didn't think there would be a large number available. That's OK. I'm grateful for the internet as some good stuff is now available that wasn't a few years ago. It's also "comforting" to find others within Lutheranism wrestling with some of the same issues as me. God provides what we need.

Thanks.

Rob

mav said...

A@ 10:34,

As was mentioned above, your congregation should have a good reason for what it is doing. If you sang "Shine, Jesus, Shine", let us know why you did it. If your congregation doesn't offer the Sacrament every Lord's Day, defend that practice. If you have good reasons for your practices, you shouldn't be afraid to answer questions or challenges. If, however, you either have no good reason for what your congregation is doing, or don't know why your congregation is doing what they are doing, then someone questioning the practices is definitely scary.

You would like true openness and discussion. Great! So, if your congregation has practices that have been challenged here, stand up for them and back it up with Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions, as others have done.

mav

WWW said...

It strikes me that so many self-described confessional Lutherans on this blog really do tend the quote the Confessions more often than they quote Scripture.

I will defend the wonderful freedom that Christians have in the gospel -- the freedom to receive the sacrament every time their congregation gathers for worship. At the same time, I will also defend vehemently the freedom to offer the sacrament less frequently -- not because I do not value the sacrament, but because nowhere in Scripture do I find a New Testament regulation stipulating how often it Christians are to receive it. Isn't that the beauty of the gospel freedom we have? We can no more say that the sacrament should be celebrated weekly than we can say, on the basis of the New Testament, that there is a specific time and place and frequency and format required for God-pleasing public worship. I say this as someone who does not appreciate contemporary worship or radical departures from historical liturgical worship. A truly confessional Lutheran will joyfully acknowledge that God makes no such rules.

If you can argue that it is somehow un-Lutheran or less-than-confessional to conduct a divine service without the sacrament, then someone else can argue that it is un-Lutheran to conduct a divine service only once a week -- that true Lutherans, desiring worship and the sacrament and valuing its benefits, would want it daily -- or hourly.

I appreciate the value placed on the sacrament by many here -- I really do -- but I am afraid that some among you have almost adopted an ex opere operato stance -- that there is somehow God-pleasing merit in the very use of the sacrament and its frequency. If you yourselves do not believe that (and I am confident that you don't), you should be aware that you could be giving that impression to many on this blog. Your "catechizing," an activity in which you claim to have expertise, is easily teaching people to have some very un-Lutheran ideas. (PS: Is it un-confessional and un-Lutheran to use the term "instruct" rather than "catechize?") Your almost rote citations of the confessions can easily give the impression that when Luther said, "Here I stand," he was talking about the yet unwritten Book of Concord.

? said...

I'm wondering why Rev. Berg uses the title "Father." Is he asking me to acknowledge, when I address him, that he is my spiritual father in some way? why would he ask me to address him in a way that is simply not reflecting reality?

Anonymous said...

?,

You should aks them. See http://www.motleymagpie.org for contact information.

X said...

"At the same time, I will also defend vehemently the freedom to offer the sacrament less frequently -- not because I do not value the sacrament, but because nowhere in Scripture do I find a New Testament regulation stipulating how often it Christians are to receive it."

This really has been discussed, ad nauseum, here before. But it pains me to see people speak this way, so here it is:

If people want to exercise the freedom of the Gospel as freedom from the Gospel so be it. But when you say, "My congregation doesn't have to offer the sacrament every Lord's Day because nothing in the Bible says I have to" you are doing a couple things. First, you are making it impossible for those who desire the Sacrament more often to have it. In other words, you are using your own glorious Gospel freedom to prevent others from exercising theirs. The same isn't true if it is offered every Lord's Day. As has been pointed out repeatedly, that is the difference. Your exercise of "freedom" denies. Theirs allows.

Secondly, "because I don't have to" is never a good reason for not doing something that only benefits you or prevent others from doing something that benefits them. There are a lot of things we don't have to do--I don't have to brush my teeth, I don't have to smile at people on my morning walk to work--but are those really good reasons not do those things? How much more so is that answer inadequate when we're talking about the means of grace?

"If you can argue that it is somehow un-Lutheran or less-than-confessional to conduct a divine service without the sacrament, then someone else can argue that it is un-Lutheran to conduct a divine service only once a week -- that true Lutherans, desiring worship and the sacrament and valuing its benefits, would want it daily -- or hourly."

Comments like this have also been discussed at great lenght. So here is the short version: This isn't true. And even if it were, by this logic, wanting to have a sermon in every service would trigger the same slippery slope. Has it? That proves this argument is a logical fallacy.

But no one is saying, "I desire the sacrament every hour." They are saying, "why don't we have the Lord's Supper every time we have church?" The answers they recieve are: 1) We don't have to, and 2) Because it will lead to having Church every hour.

Do either of those sound like good reasons not to offer people the Lord's Supper more than twice a week?

X

Anonymous said...

But we don't have the freedom to receive the sacrament every week if it is only offered once a month.

P said...

"At the same time, I will also defend vehemently the freedom to offer the sacrament less frequently -- not because I do not value the sacrament, but because nowhere in Scripture do I find a New Testament regulation stipulating how often it Christians are to receive it."

Freedom!!!!

I'm free to wear my pants backwards every day too, but is that really a good reason to do so? I don't see anything in scripture that says I have to wear them a certain way. Sure there are some good reasons not too, like the possibility of urinating all over myself, but so what...I'm free...wheeeeeeee!!!!!!

LM said...

"But we don't have the freedom to receive the sacrament every week if it is only offered once a month."

That is what the people who repeat the mantra "but I'm free not to" seem to be missing.

LM

www said...

I do not argue that offering the sacrament during each divine service is a good thing. You seem to be missing the point that when people talk about the freedom we have in Christ, they are not talking about the freedom NOT to do something. They are talking about the freedom from manmade rules and regulations such as you want to impose.

www said...

Show me from Scripture that the sacrament MUST be a part of every divine worship service. You are burdening the consciences of people by creating a mandate when the Bible does not.

www said...

If you cannot show a clear word from the Bible that only worship that includes the sacrament is God-pleasing, you can talk all you want. You are not speaking the words of Scripture.

www said...

Does every gathering in which worship takes place become somehow less than God-plesasing if the sacrament is not offered? If your school has an opening service at the start of the year, must it offer the sacrament to be truly worship? If a called worker celebrates an anniversary in a worship service, is it somehow not Lutheran if that service does not include the sacrament? Do you insist that the sacrament be offered at a funeral service? If not, why not? I would assume that even the truly "confessional" congregations and pastors you admire do not do that. Isn't that funeral servide un-Lutheran withoutht the sacrament? You are trying to establish law by cloaking it a gospel garment. You are saying, WE do not require this; what Christian would not WANT this? We do not require every Chrsitian to give a fifth of his income to God. What Christian would not WANT this? We do not require a Christian to read the Bible 12 houres per day. What Christian would not WANT this? Your logic is blurred by your presuppositions, and your arguments fall woefully short of convincing anyone that you are only making a new law and just not calling it that.

www said...

You do nothing but burden consciences by mad-made regulations. You confuse people like Rob who have a desire to find true Lutheranism but instead are mis-led by legalistic jargon. You should be ashamed of yourselves for harming the faith of people who are looking for the gospel and finding only legalistic ranting.

www said...

OK I'm on a roll. Soon someone will wave a quote from the confession in my face, and by doing that will try to give the impression that they have made a point that is unassailable. I love the confessions, and I subscribe to them because they articulate the truths of scripture. But those same confessions are clear testimonies to the danger of legalism and imposing man-made requirements on God's people. I see no mandate in Scripture to gather for worship on a Sunday. No mandate for our worship to contain historic elements no matter how long the tradition. No command regarding outward form of worship at all. In fact, Paul warns about people who try to impose regulations regarding the celebration of certain ceremonial requirements. My worship is free. It is an expression of my faith. And no one, not you, not anyone masquerading as the real confessional Lutherans has any right to tell me otherwise. If you do, I will regard you as Paul regarded those who insisted that he circumcise Titus.

mav said...

WWW,

Show me a Bible passage that says worship in the NT church without celebration of the Sacrament is God-pleasing.

If you choose not to RECEIVE the Sacrament, that is a choice you may make. However, it is not your choice to not OFFER the Sacrament to those who desire it. By only OFFERING it every other week or once a month or four times a year, you are denying those who desire it more often. In other words, you are making a manmade rule that no one may receive the Sacrament except every other week, once a month, four times a year, or whatever.

No one here has said that the Sacrmanet MUST be a part of every worship service. If you find where someone has written that, please quote it, so we all know when it happened. What has been said is that in the Lutheran church we CELEBRATE the Sacrament of the Altar every Lord's Day, festival, and when there are those that desire it BECAUSE of what the Sacrament is.

mav

X said...

www,

You wrote:

"You seem to be missing the point that when people talk about the freedom we have in Christ, they are not talking about the freedom NOT to do something. They are talking about the freedom from manmade rules and regulations such as you want to impose."

I'm not trying to impose a man made rule or regulation. Where are you getting that? I'm just saying that if your only reason for not offering the Lord's Super to those who desire it is "because I have the freedom not to" that is not a very compelling reason. And in fact, by not offering it every service you are doing the very thing that you argue against: regulating how often people can exercise their Gopspel freedom to receive it.

You say:

"Show me from Scripture that the sacrament MUST be a part of every divine worship service."

I didn't say it MUST be. I asked, "why isn't it?".

You also say: "If you cannot show a clear word from the Bible that only worship that includes the sacrament is God-pleasing, you can talk all you want."

Where have I said that? Look at Romans 12. Every God-pleasing thing we do is a spiritual act of worship. I won't deny that. But that still doesn't answer my question: Is "because I don't have to" a good reason not to offer the the Lord's Supper every service? I say no. We should have reasons for the things we do and don't do. Yes we have freedom under the Gospel, but just because everything is permissible does not mean that everything is beneficial(and I'm not the first person to make this observation).

If you can't respond to things that I've actually written, then I'm done having this conversation with you. You seemed like a reasonable person in your first post, and I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you misunderstood my post. But please, read it again. And read this a few times too.

Thank you,

X

Jesse D. Phillips said...

"You should be ashamed of yourselves for harming the faith of people who are looking for the gospel and finding only legalistic ranting."

www,

This doesn't add anything to the discussion. Where is Mr. Schottey when we need a good admonsihment?

JDP

Jesse D. Phillips said...

Yeah, I spelled admonishment wrong. Stupid no-spell-check-comment-window (or stupid no-proof-read-poster, your choice).

JDP

mav said...

"My worship is free. It is an expression of my faith."

And there's the issue (well, one of them). First and foremost, worship is God coming to us with Absolution, preaching of the Word, and in the Sacrament of the Altar. We then respond, with the words God gave us, in praise, prayer, and thanksgiving.

Note that those who wrote your beloved Confessions did not depart from the historic liturgy of the church, because of its great value, but did away with the Roman accretions and kept the Divine Service they received from generations of faithful saints before them.

And, it's called a Funeral Mass; Lutheran churches have them all the time.

Oh, and every Lord's Day, festivals, and when there are those present who desire it doesn't mean the church did away with the salutary services (non-communion) of Matins, Vespers and the like.

Have a beer, relax, and read through some of the older posts on these issues. Your comments have all been answered already by others.

mav

P said...

"If you do, I will regard you as Paul regarded those who insisted that he circumcise Titus."

Regard me however YOU want. How YOU regard me isn't much concern to me. I hope the readers of this blog are level headed enough to see that you are making up arguments that are easy to knock down. Yeah, you're right about most of what you're saying. The problem is you are arguing with imaginary opponents.

P

Anonymous said...

It's curious that some people are so against the Sacrament being offered every week. There is freedom to not partake. It wouldn't be mandatory. You could stay in the pew. You could skip the service. I guess I don't understand why the idea is so despised. Why the reluctance?

www said...

The idea is not despised at all. What is despicable is those who say there is only one right way for the church to gather in worship. What's ironic is that I see every reason to offer the sacrament at every worship service. But I can't accept those who say that when a congregation does not follow this practice it is somehow un-Lutheran, un-confessional, or un-scriptural. Those who agree that an every Sunday offering of the sacrament is preferable should encourage, advise, convince -- but not issue sweeping condemnations to those who do not follow that practice.

You're right. The beer was good. But it hasn't made your arguments any less legalistic.

John said...

I am wondering how many Lutheran churches celebrate communion on Christmas or Christmas Eve ("Christ Mass")?

It seems this would be a festival that one would want to offer the Holy sacrament.

P said...

"Those who agree that an every Sunday offering of the sacrament is preferable should encourage, advise, convince -- but not issue sweeping condemnations to those who do not follow that practice."

wwww,

Who is doing that? Please provide quotes so we know who you're talking about.

As for the un-lutheran thing--it isn't a value judgement. People are just pointing out that in our confessions we see that Lutheran churches offer the supper every Lord's Day, festivals, and when there are those present who desire it. Other churches don't. Which is the clearer confession--to ape the protestant churches or to do what the congregations described in the Book of Concord do?

Maybe an anology will help. What looks more like a fire truck--a big red truck with a ladder or a small white sedan? The small white sedan is a perfectly nice sedan, but it isn't much of a fire truck.

Oh, and X makes some good points. I would like to see you respond, rather than just repeat the same imaginary arguments over and over. I sort of hurts your credibility.

P.

mav said...

"but not issue sweeping condemnations to those who do not follow that practice.

You're right. The beer was good. But it hasn't made your arguments any less legalistic."

When did I do this? I have not condemned anyone who does not follow a certain practice. How are my arguments legalistic? Now, you will need to quote words that I actually wrote to back up your assertion, not make sweeping judgments with no proof.

Also, please answer the questions I and others have asked you.

mav

RTMM said...

www,

(Your arguments and language are eerily similar to a past young poster...)

Offer the Sacrament to people every service, and see what happens. People will come, souls in need will come to receive that which was sacrificed once and for all on the cross, his body and blood in this Blessed Sacrament, for this is the Wedding Banquet of the Lamb celebrated with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven, saints now in glory, indeed for a school opening for all school age children should be given this blessing. As Luther said, Satan isn't afraid of anything except the body and blood of Christ.

Case closed.

That there is such a resistence to the practice among the vast majority of WS pastors and laity indicates a serious problem, and do not blame it on others (i.e. the cut off the nose to spite the face argument.)

RTMM

RTMM said...

I know his scenario has happened numerous times in the Wisconsin Synod.

Males 18 and up are asked if the congregation should be offered the Lord's Supper every Sunday (or in some case where they have it once a month, every other Sunday).

40% (or thereabouts) for.
60% (or thereabouts) against.

The whole congregation is denied the Supper.

(Read: some 18 year old says, to all, no you do not need the Supper.)

Ungodly.

RTMM

Anonymous said...

Maybe instead of saying some are "not Lutheran" it should be said they aren't aligned with historical Lutheranism. The fact of the matter is a probable majority of the Lutheran churches in America, regardless of synodical declaration, fall into that category, blurring, if not erasing, any distinction with Evangelical American Protestantism.

I've got the flu and can't sleep, thus the timing of the post. Maybe it doesn't even make sense.

Rob

RandomDan said...

One of the most basic points about Christian Freedom is that we have our freedom in Christ, not apart from him. This is why I have problems with anyone trying to defend less than weekly communion. In a way, they are saying we have the freedom not to distribute the very essence of our freedom. Huh?

www said...

Talk about straw men.

The freedom in Christ means that all Old Testament laws and ceremonies regulating the time, place, and type of worship have been fulfilled and done away with.

If I set aside ten minutes of every hour to do nothing but pray and meditate on the Word, that is a good a noble thing, right? What Christian, seeking to be talking to God in prayer, and seeking to be edified by his Word, would not want to do this? I can say that this is by far preferable and more Lutheran than setting aside time only for morning or evening devotions. And I can imply that if you are not willing to do this, you are somehow less than appreciative of the means of grace. You could even be labeled "ugodly" by RTMM's standarsds. Or, I could say that by any standard, two or three hours of worship is more edifying than one hour. After all, there would be more exposure to the means of grace, more time for prayer and praise, more time for catechising by the pastor. If the voters of my congregation vote to keep worship services at one hour --even though I have shown them than two or three would be better -- then they are somehow less than Lutheran and less than appreciative of the means of grace than they should be.

When you imply something MUST be done in a certain way -- even something good and beneficial -- it is still legalism.

If you are going to make arguments as you are, you need to follow the principles of your arguments to all possible conclusions. The destination on the road you guys are taking is legalism pure and simple.

P said...

"When you imply something MUST be done in a certain way -- even something good and beneficial -- it is still legalism."

No one is saying something MUST be done a certain way--again, where are you getting this?

Please respond to the questions that have been posed to you instead of mindlessly arguing againt things that no one is saying. Many good points have been made here. You have not responded to any of them.

"If you are going to make arguments as you are, you need to follow the principles of your arguments to all possible conclusions. The destination on the road you guys are taking is legalism pure and simple."

Follow your own advice. What happens if you follow "the principles of your arguments to all possible conclusions"? People who desire the Lord's Supper at every service don't get it because others insist that those people who desire it are saying they MUST have it, and therefore, are trying to make a law of it.

P

P said...

www,

"The freedom in Christ means that all Old Testament laws and ceremonies regulating the time, place, and type of worship have been fulfilled and done away with."

Okay, but by not including the Lord's Supper in the divine service aren't we regulating when people can receive it? How is that not a regulation on the "time, place, and type of worship"?

Please correct me it I'm wrong, but I think that problem is that you are taking this too personally. Maybe you know some pastors that don't offer the Lord's Supper to their congregation every service and you think those pastors are good confessional men, so when people point out that historically Lutherans celebrated the Supper every service and that there is no good reason not to have it, you feel like you or your pastor friends are being attacked. As long as you let your personal feelings hold you captive like that, this will never be a fruitful discussion. Instead you will continue arguing against something that you admit is beneficial. In other words you will continue arguing for the sake of arguing.

I hope you will continue to pray about this and that you will carefully consider all those who are denied the Supper because their Pastors and congregations make the same arguments you make.

P

mmm said...

"If I set aside ten minutes of every hour to do nothing but pray and meditate on the Word, that is a good a noble thing, right? What Christian, seeking to be talking to God in prayer, and seeking to be edified by his Word, would not want to do this? I can say that this is by far preferable and more Lutheran than setting aside time only for morning or evening devotions."

www,

This shows that you're missing the point here. We already gather at certain times of the week for worship. We already have communion in some of those services. But why not in all of those services? That question is different than the question you ask above.

As others have pointed out, shouldn't we have a reason for everything we do or don't do in our services. What is the reason for not having communion in every service? I haven't seen you answer that yet.

Are you by any chance a present or future WELS pastor?

Anonymous said...

"The freedom in Christ means that all Old Testament laws and ceremonies regulating the time, place, and type of worship have been fulfilled and done away with."


Since when is the Lord's Supper an Old Testament law or ceremony?

P said...

"The fact of the matter is a probable majority of the Lutheran churches in America, regardless of synodical declaration, fall into that category, blurring, if not erasing, any distinction with Evangelical American Protestantism."

Rob, that makes plenty of sense. It is the same point I was trying to make, but I think you have said it better.

Thanks,

P

www said...

No one answered my question about the three-hour service. On what basis would you defend spending only one hour in worship when you could have the benefit of three? Explain why, as you have asked me to do.

RTMM said...

WWW writes,

"If I set aside ten minutes of every hour to do nothing but pray and meditate on the Word, that is a good a noble thing, right? What Christian, seeking to be talking to God in prayer, and seeking to be edified by his Word, would not want to do this? I can say that this is by far preferable and more Lutheran than setting aside time only for morning or evening devotions. And I can imply that if you are not willing to do this, you are somehow less than appreciative of the means of grace. You could even be labeled "ugodly" by RTMM's standarsds (sic). Or, I could say that by any standard, two or three hours of worship is more edifying than one hour."

You need to take lessons in logic and in the Christian faith, if not in reading, for it seems you know little of each.

One person (18 year old male) says "No, no one in this congregation should be offered the Sacrament as a part of the Communion of Saints more than (pick one) once or twice a month. I will vote that you not receive it." (As I ask when I hear of such, do you take two votes, one against the body and one against the blood?)

That is ungodly. You can pray and study your NIV bible in your conventicle all you want. Your logic here is sheer stupidity. And you dishonestly misrepresent your opponents views (as shown above by P and others.) Your comment(s) evinces a gross ignornace of the Lutheran faith and of a soul's need for the Viaticum and of how the WS and her "clergy" (sic) approach this issue, legalisticly - YOU CAN'T HAVE IT, EVEN IF YOU ASK FOR IT - pure unadulterated legalism and it is ungodly.

RTMM

www said...

You still didn't answer my question about the three-hour service. And you proved my assertion that some on this board such as you are willing to accuse people of sin (and even ungodliness) who do not practice as you have prescribe

RTMM, through name-calling you can try to divert attention from the fact that your position lacks a biblical foundation. Declaring that someone's argument is not logical does not prove anything about your own argument.

PS: Can you give me one instance in which a WELS pastor was asked to provide someone with the sacrament that it was refused (other than for disciplinary reasons)?

P said...

"PS: Can you give me one instance in which a WELS pastor was asked to provide someone with the sacrament that it was refused (other than for disciplinary reasons)?"

www,

I've asked my pastor to offer the sacrament every service. I was told that last time it was put to a vote, the council voted "no."

P

P said...

"No one answered my question about the three-hour service. On what basis would you defend spending only one hour in worship when you could have the benefit of three? Explain why, as you have asked me to do."

Tell you what. for the sake of good order, I'll answer your question when you answer all the questions posed to you. I think that's fair, considering they were asked first.

P

Anonymous said...

Is their anything in the confessions that sugests Lutheran Churches had three hour long services? Is there anything that suggests they offered the Supper every service?

RTMM said...

www.

Show me where anything I have said lacks Biblical foundation. The Lutheran Confessions say, this is what "our churches" do. Are you saying the Lutheran Confessions are not a correct exposition of Scripture. Of course you are. Therefore you by your alleged subscription to the same you have committed perjury, for you defend not giving the Sacrament to those "who ask for it".

Incidentally you are offering the same agrumnets as Zwingli - we have the "word" why do we need the Sacrament.

How's this name, Zwinglian.

RTMM

Anonymous said...

www,

I'd love to have a three hour long service--but what would we do for hours two and three? By the way, this isn't a logical response to what others have said here. I don't know anyone who has asked to have a three hour long service and been denied--but I do see people who have asked to have communion offered every Sunday and been denied.

Anonymous said...

RTMM,

I don't necessarily disagree with your main point, but I'm not so sure about your use of that quote from the Confessions. When they say this is what our churches do, isn't that really an historical observation and not an exposition of Scriptural truth? If so, then it isn't really "binding" for us today--i.e. it isn't a statement of the Confessions that we swear to adhere to.

RTMM said...

Anon at 12:21,

The key (and what www is ignoring) is the "why" of what our Churches do. Our churches preach the Gospel. Our churches baptize, our churches offer the Sacrament "every Lord's Day, on festivals and when people ask for it". Yes, those are historical observations, if you will, but they are based on the "why" what the Sacrament is, and why our Lord told us to "Do this." What www and others try to do is label this a have to, a law. No, this "have to" is the Gospel. We have to give the absolution to souls in terror, we have to baptize those who come, we have to give the Sacrament to those who ask. As our Lord had to (dei is the Greek) give himself up to death for us so we must bring that Gospel to others in the ways our Lord told us "to do."

The real issue here is the "why," why does the WS resist this practice which our churches do (and remember that was said in opposition to the Roman charge that our churches had abolished the mass). The preface of the SC tells us that preachers must preach people to the Sacrament and they will come running. But as in the real scenarios I painted above Voters go against the Confession of our Churches when they, by their uneducated majority, forbid the Sacrament to souls who ask for it, as do preachers who do not so preach.

The WS (as many other former Synodical Conference churches) do not see the place of the Supper in God's way of coming to us, teaching and eating. This is, as I said the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and we are the bride. (Throw a wedding banquet and serve no food, that is weird.)

The often violent reaction to the suggestion in churches and on blogs and all the "we have to be careful and go slow" comments, though true to a point, simply illustrates the truth that the WS catechist's and the catechists of the catechists (aka the WS Seminary) do not know the Sacrament as it should be known in the church.

So we are bound to the Confessions, we are bound to preach people to the sacrament, we are bound to offer it to them (and not force reception, a distinction www and other WS writers, it seems, deliberately ignore). And again, simply answer this question, if a church offered the Sacrament every Sunday(and in every service) would people come? You know the answer to that, and the WS, or at least 95% of its churches are ignoring that, and thus are decidedly unLutheran in that regard.

(And why this angst about being shown to be unLutheran? I was and I am blessed for having my ignornance shown.)

Thank you for your question.

RTMM

PCK said...

(And why this angst about being shown to be unLutheran? I was and I am blessed for having my ignornance shown.)

RTMM

Why this angst? Because your arrogant attitude fosters it. It's one thing to be patient in teaching (does that make me a bad catechist?) and it's another thing to arrogantly force your knowledge on those who may not be to your level. Constant jabs at an individuals knowledge, logic, comprehension etc., will certainly cause their defense mechanisms to rise.

You seem to be knowledgeable about the Confessions RTMM. That's great. We need such people. But your continued arrogance and condescending attitude will help no one see your side of the debate. You attempt to read the hearts of our WELS congregations and its members. You seem to think you know the motivation for why pastors and laymen do what they do. That, RTMM, is not what our Savior asks of us.

We want to do everything out of love for our Savior...that means teaching and educating in a loving and patient manner. Calling someone's logic "sheer stupidity", railing on the amount of knowledge of a poster(s)is not love. It's far from it.

So please, if you continue to post on this blog (which I don't doubt you will), ratchet down the arrogance and condescension, and instruct and educate with much love and great patience.

RTMM said...

Anon at 3:54,

What I have labeled ungodly and ignornant is ungodly and ignornant. What is your problem or does your flesh always so react when touched? Ignorant arrogance, as we have seen in the above posts begs to have itself exposed. I do not judge the hearts of WS just their words and actions, which speak loudly. You think that to expose someone as ignorant (and look up at that word, it means to not know something) is calling someone an ignoramous.

And so, don't tell me what to do, I will do as I please, and have the intelligence and give the respect of illustrating your points (as you have not), otherwise you are little more that all the other posters here who simply whine about their "anonymous" comments and initials (as mine) being shown for what they are and offer no defense because none is there, or who make wild claims and accusations such as yours and www's.

WS doctrine and practice is ungoldy and unLutheran, deal with that and not some anonymous poster.


RTMM

Anonymous said...

When responding to someone like www, who has shown very little love and patience, and has not even answered the questions put to him, rtmm's tone is entirely appropriate.

If arrogance is the best argument you have against what rtmm wrote, it makes his/her posts that much more credible. You have no legitimate objections to the substance of what he/she wrote.

Anonymous said...

PCK's point is proven, yet again.

Anonymous said...

"Ignorant arrogance, as we have seen in the above posts begs to have itself exposed."

So knowledgeable arrogance is ok? I'm sure scripture and the Confessions back that claim.

"You think that to expose someone as ignorant (and look up at that word, it means to not know something) is calling someone an ignoramous."

No, it is bold-faced arrogance and condescension, plan and simple. And it has no place in a theological discussion.

"And so, don't tell me what to do, I will do as I please"

Your true colors coming through plain and clear.

"have the intelligence and give the respect of illustrating your points (as you have not), otherwise you are little more that all the other posters here who simply whine about their "anonymous" comments and initials (as mine) being shown for what they are and offer no defense because none is there, or who make wild claims and accusations such as yours and www's."

Respect must be earned, and to respect an anonymous blogger is even harder to do.

"WS doctrine and practice is ungoldy and unLutheran"

The implications of these words are incredible.

I don't think anyone has an issue with your points RTMM. It's the manner in which you present them.

Another observer said...

"I don't think anyone has an issue with your points RTMM. It's the manner in which you present them."

Then you think wrong. People do have an issue with his points. See www's previous posts.

As for the tone, it would be worthwhile for you to study how the prophets from Elijah to John addressed their audiences.

AO

Anonymous said...

"Then you think wrong. People do have an issue with his points. See www's previous posts."

I meant to say PCK didn't have an issue, not "anyone." My apologies.

"As for the tone, it would be worthwhile for you to study how the prophets from Elijah to John addressed their audiences."

If I recall correctly, Elijah and John were addressing, for the most part, unbelievers or hardened sinners, not fellow believers.

mmm said...

Arrogance is false pride. Thus, it isn't arrogance if he or she is right. If I'm being stupid and illogical and wrong I deserve to be told so. Sure, it may sting. And I might violently react. But it is far better than clinging to something false because people are too timid to tell me otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Sorry. Arrogance is not "false pride."

Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition:

"an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner or in presumptuous claims or assumptions"

That sums up RTMM perfectly.

Anonymous said...

http://www.m-w.com/dictionary/arrogance

mmm said...

"Sorry. Arrogance is not "false pride.'"

Princeton University would disagree: "having or showing feelings of unwarranted importance out of overbearing pride"

mmm said...

"Sorry. Arrogance is not "false pride.'"


Wawatosians are usually better at using a dictionary.

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