Monday, December 3, 2007

LCMS - thread (by request)

Anonymous said...

Let's start with an officially sanctioned and distributed LCMS worship service promoting their Ablaze! program.

That's the link. Make sure you check out the official contemporary worship options, including a praise band playing "I Am Here to Worship" and "Shine Jesus Shine". The person who had such a problem with a confession not mentioning "three days" will want to note that the Ablaze! confession doesn't mention the resurrection at all. I also like the suggestion that a "worship leader" pray spontaneously throughout the service.

There's plenty more too. Check it out! Whoever said that LCMS members should worry about the plank instead of the speck was right on.


Anonymous said...

The big difference is that no one in the LCMS, except maybe in the Purple Palace, is claiming that we are all united in doctrine and practice. So, go ahead. Please shoot down the ABLAZE! program! We LCMS members would rejoice if news of your protest got to Jerry and he ended this nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Ugh. I can't even get past the first page. The exclamation mark! The trademark on the word Ablaze! The catchy slogans! The endless talk about objectives and visions!

Anonymous said...

"The big difference is that no one in the LCMS, except maybe in the Purple Palace, is claiming that we are all united in doctrine and practice."

So, everyone in the LCMS is resigned to the fact that their synod endorses and promotes false doctrine and that they will never be united in Scriptural doctrine, and that's a good thing? Wow.

Anonymous said...

Well, the WELS isn't one in doctrine, so....

I'm WELS btw and can recognize that fact.

Anonymous said...

"Well, the WELS isn't one in doctrine, so...."

That's true, but at least the District Presidents still have the authority and the willingness to deal with false doctrine (though they could do a better job of it). The LCMS has thrown in the towel on false doctrine. That became evident after the Yankee Stadium fiasco.

I'd rather belong to a synod that still cares enough about the truth of God's Word to give an effort, even if that effort isn't always perfect.

Frustrated said...

Oh yeah, the DPs and the WELS care.

What a joke.

And the funny thing is that unless you have a synod name or are part of the illustrious "brotherhood" or are married to someone with a name, you are nothing at all in the WELS.

In our case, the DP failed us greatly. He didn't even know what gossip was and if a pastor cannot recognize the sin of gossip in his own life and in the lives of others--what other doctrines does he not get?

We are on the same road as the LCMS. So, pretend it's not coming, that is fine....but it's already begun...give it another 10 years or less.


RNN said...

Let me, as the open Missourian, voice my disgust at this service. It shows what happens when we elevate our response and our work over God's gifts to us in Christ. In this service, everything is geared toward ABLAZE!. Note how even "confession and absolution" and the Lord's Supper and the "affirmation of faith" all have to motivate us to be set ABLAZE! that we might set the world ABLAZE!.

What happens to the Gospel? It is buried. It is made subservient to a (depending on your point of view) brilliant or disgusting marketing campaign, consisting of a slick logog that is to define who we are and what we do as Christians.

Our pastor has made some comments that the ABLAZE! movement is not catching on wholesale in the LCMS. Let us pray that that is true.

Lord, have mercy upon us all.


RandomDan said...

My friends,

As a former Missourian, I must say that Ablaze!(TM) was one of the many reasons why I finally left, along with It's OK to Pray!(TM) and women elders in my last church. One should use the whole name of Ablaze!(TM) to emphasize how absolutely stupid this program (wait, it's not a program. It's a movement! (like my bowels, maybe)) is. Just remember, WELS is supposedly 10 years behind. We may be Ablaze!(TM) (with the drop in attendance that goes with it) soon. There is no reason for us to follow the LCMS into the abyss.

RandomDan said...

My apologies. I forgot to capitalize ABLAZE!(TM)

encouragement to frustrated said...

Frustrated said:

"Unless you have a synod name ..., you are nothing at all in the WELS."

This may be true. But what are we shooting for in life? No matter what church body you belong to, it is still true that the last will be first, and the first will be last.

Isn't it the most wonderful blessing in the world to be nothing when Jesus promises such a thing?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 10:56,

True. But when those in authority use their power in the church to help only their friends or relatives, it's not wrong to speak up against such abuses.

Interested observer said...

What constitutes having a "synod name"? What specific instances of favoritism for family/friends are you referring to?

Anonymous said...

If anyone was to mention names, they would be accused of gossip. So, no names will likely be given.

My advice, just look in the Synod yearbook.

interested observer said...

You didn't answer my question. The synod yearbook contains the names of all pastors, teachers, and staff ministers. If, by a "synod name" you mean people in positions of authority, give examples of how that authority was misused to benefit family or friends. If you cannot do so, I would suggest that your charges are baseless and without credibility.

Anonymous said...

I would like to add that there was recently a "certain" big name synod guy who was accused of wrong doing. The "winkel" email group told us all to put the best construction on this problem.

Yet, also recently a couple small town pastors have had to resign because of similar accusations. So a synod name did help this fellow stay in the ministry whilst the others had to resign.

This is a problem.

Interested observer said...

Did it occur to you that the "big name" might have been falsely accused and the small town pastors might have been guilty? Or is this not a possibility because the "big name" is a "big name"?

Anonymous said...

It is certainly a possibility that the "big" name was falsely accused.

I do know that 2 of the small town ministers were also falsely accused. Yet they weren't cleared...hmmm..

Even more suspicious is that the very same "big" name that was cleared sat in on the meetings that knocked the small town (reservation) pastor out of the ministry.

Anonymous said...

Hey John,

As no one, shockingly enough(!), is going to defend the ABLAZE! movement, could we move on to something else? I think Rob asked a question about ministry on the "Members not allowed" thread. Maybe we could take that up instead of discussing anonymous pastors who were either treated badly or should have been treated badly but weren't because they were synodically connected. (Neoptism and informal patronage happens everywhere, even in the church; it shouldn't but it does, deal with it on a case by case basis and move on, people) (Oh, and this happens more in the WELS than the LCMS just because of the size of the group involved) (sorry, just trying to cause trouble) :)

John said...

This is a question I found that Rob had asked:

If a layperson or a vicar administers it, is it valid? "IF" WELS has an incorrect view of the office of the ministry, does it invalidate the sacrament? This is very interesting to me -- and important, not just a theological exercise -- so I appreciate your input. Rob

Is this the one you were thinking of? Let me know if it was a different question. I realize how sensitive some are to the various topics (especially communion).

Anonymous said...

"does it invalidate the sacrament?"

Of course not. The validity of the sacrament is not derived from ordination. It is derived from the Word of God. As long as the church proclaims that Word (without denying the meaning of the words "This is my body...this is my blood...") the Sacrament is valid. The body and blood are present.

This is really a round-about way of attacking the WELS position on church & ministry. So here we go in circles again, with everyone repeating what's already been said here in previous posts.

RTMM said...

Not invalid but disorderly (cf. AC XIV).


Anonymous said...

"You didn't answer my question. The synod yearbook contains the names of all pastors, teachers, and staff ministers. If, by a "synod name" you mean people in positions of authority, give examples of how that authority was misused to benefit family or friends. If you cannot do so, I would suggest that your charges are baseless and without credibility."

What a joke. I won't win for losing on this one. I am not going to tell you what happened, it's none of your business. Honestly, we were basically abused and now it's great to have more accusations thrown at me--great Christian love, thanks a bunch.

Believe what you want, I could really care less. I found that trusting people who are suppose to be my brothers and sisters in Christ is a huge mistake.

Go ahead, throw more stones, my hands are bound in this matter.

Anonymous said...

"I am not going to tell you what happened, it's none of your business."

If it's none of our business then why are you writing about it on a blog in the first place?

AP said...


I know this has been discussed before, so I thought some of your readers might find this interesting. This is the complete text of an answer given recently on the WELS Q&A in repsonse to a question about a woman serving on a church board:

"WELS believes that women may participate in all the offices and activities of public gospel ministry where the service does not involve authority over men (cf. 1 Timothy 2:11,12)."

Has the WELS always taught this? Do your readers beleive this?

It is also worth noting that this contradicts what the ELS says on the matter: "God has given the ministry of the Gospel to all believers; it is the office of the pastoral ministry that he has restricted to qualified men" and "...when Scripture refers to one who officiates at the Word and sacrament liturgy it speaks in male terms (1 Timothy 3:2, 1 Timothy 4:13). Therefore women shall not read the Scripture lessons in the divine service, preach the sermon, adminster Baptism or distribute the Lord's Supper, for these things are intimately related to the pastoral office (1 Timothy 4:13-14, 1 Corinthians 4:1)."

I know the disparty here concerns some in the ELS. Should those of us in the WELS be concerned too?


Anonymous said...

If WELS, in the opinion of some, is being influenced by the plague of CGM, what do they desire it to do? Return to its roots in Pietism? Become something it appears it never was?

Is this a fair question? Not looking to stir up sarcasm and hateful attacks, just a serious discussion. I realize there are passionate people on both sides.

Thanks for your responses.


Anonymous said...


Fair questions you ask. CGM is full of Petism, so I don't think that going away from CGM and it's pietism towards pietism is at all a reality or sound argument.

Yes, the fact that WELS from the get go struggled with half Reformed and peitism doctines and half Lutheran doctrine is interestiing. But it did rid itself through much struggle to become pure Lutheran. But times have changed. Those struggles are still needing to be fought in some way or another.

CGM is not just about having a good sign out in front or inviting your friends to church or even having a web site. It is an entire philosophy of doing ministry in theology and methodology. (This may be the reason many people who have visited seeker sensative services feel kind of creeped out. Perhaps they are not hearing their Shepherd's voice.) I digress, CGM is steeped in Reformed doctine and the WAY they believe the church is built.

Lutherans believe that the WORD of God is completely efficasious and fully able to cause and nourish faith even if the preacher is a stuttering, stammering person in our opinion. The Holy Spirit still builds His church they way He always has - by the Word and Sacrament WHERE AND WHEN IT PLEASES THE LORD, as the Augsburg Confession states.

So in short to answer the question of what to return it to: return it (WELS) to something it struggled and fought to be even if only for a time - a church that teaches, confesses, practices and trusts in accordance with God's Word and Sacraments alone.

Being eternally vigilant is the cost of remaining and being called a Confessional Lutheran. The devil will never rest at causing us to doubt or to make us waiver.


Anonymous said...

When, how and for how long did WELS achieve pure Lutheranism?


Anonymous said...

How being whom did God use and how did He accomplish it?


RTMM said...


It didn't (achieve pure Lutheranism).


Anonymous said...

"If it's none of our business then why are you writing about it on a blog in the first place?"

It's none of your business because you really don't want to know what happened. That's all I was saying.

Don't worry, I won't have to be silent for too much longer.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said, "I am not going to tell you what happened, it's none of your business."

"If it's none of our business then why are you writing about it on a blog in the first place?"

I, personally, am writing to respond to the above two paragraphs. I did not write either one. I feel the same way regarding how the WELS treated me at MLC. At first I thought it was just me. Since then I have learned that several others have received similar treatment. It is hard for me to now contemplate leaving worldly LCMS for the WELS after having undergone such abusive treatment from those I had pinned my hopes to. Let's just say I expected more. But I see how those who are relatives of famous WELS personalities do get better treatment in the system than those of us who came to the WELS from outside, and at times were spat upon because we didn't fit the mold.

So, for me, I could say the details are none of your business, because I don't want to name names. God knows who did what. But there is still a reason for that other "anonymous" writing. For those of us who do not have all the documentation, who came to the WELS with a hopeful heart, longing to see Christ's love in the lives of WELSdom and perhaps saw something less, who longed to study at the feet of great scholars, made great by our Lord, and were subsequently treated as dirt--for us it's important to know we are not alone. A church body can talk about their hopes and dreams and plans for the future, and how they want to share Christ's life-saving gospel with people everywhere, in new locations for the synod, in a variety of cultural settings, etc. If the people in charge, administratively, or serving in a teaching capacity, etc. etc.--if their lives do not seem to be reflecting the love of Christ Jesus, and the church is run more as a business than as the LORD'S CHURCH, then there is a problem, and all the godly aspirations in the world will not translate into the hoped for outcome. Why do they not feel when part of the Body of Christ is hurting? I say this not of all persons at said facility, neither do I mention a time period in which this was witnessed because I am not here to make specific accusations--this would not be the appropriate place for such--rather, others have suffered from sin in the church as I have, and it can potentially ruin lives. In proper perspective, who, here can deny he has missed the mark. But there IS hope, and God can redeem even lives that have been crushed by the Shepherd's under-shepherds. -Psalm 51:8. May God forgive ALL of us for when we reflect anything less than Christ Jesus our Lord. Kyrie Eleison.