Tuesday, December 18, 2007

U.S. News and World Report -- A Return to Tradition

From the "for what it's worth" department:

It seems that people have grown weary of the superficial and sappy contemporary worship trend of the last decade.

Do you think it is possible that a liturgical renewal can begin in the WELS?

http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/national/2007/12/13/a-return-to-tradition.html

(Can you believe it? US News even talks about weekly communion.) But we will leave this can of worms closed. US News talks about this return as "innovative." Maybe the Church and Change group will jump on the bandwagon.

60 comments:

Anonymous said...

Come on, John. not this again!

John said...

Not what again? We have not yet talked about this US news article.

When I saw this article I thought you might enjoy how this secular "rag" is reporting on the latest worship trends.

Anonymous said...

"So free-form that many don't even have pastors, these groups nevertheless engage in some ancient liturgical practices, including creedal declarations, public confession, and Communion. They may use a piece of a bagel as the body of Christ, but the liturgy is a traditional anchor in services that may include films, skits, or group discussions of a biblical topic."

Anonymous said...

But a nice chasuble on the priest on the cover of the mag, I have the same one! (But no one holds up the back while I elevate the host and cup).

I would tell you my name, but I don't trust the stalkers said...

I sincerely pray we do not go to using Latin, that would be beyond overboard.

I'd give you my name, but then I'd have to kill you said...

No, you would not be happy with this type of return to "traditionalism" because it is "innovative." In reading the article, I got the sense (especially with the references to the emergent church and neotraditionlism) that what is emerging is one most on this blog would disagree with. I would assume that their "return" to the liturgy would make many here uncomfortable.

I.B. said...

Anon dixit,

"I sincerely pray we do not go to using Latin, that would be beyond overboard."

Bene, cum Latine nescias, nolo manus meas in te maculare.

Vale,
I.B.

I'd give you my name, but I don't trust the psychos said...

I do understand plain Latin and so I guess you will have to dirty your hands with me.

Elementary phrases in Latin are not impressive.

I actually do know Latin...4 years in high school.

I still would not subject the masses to a Latin service-I actually agree with Luther on that one in regards to serving the people in their common/native language.

I.B. said...

Anon.

Antiquis temporibus, nati tibi similes in rupibus ventosissimis exponebantur ad necem.

Vale,
I.B.

Anonymous said...

"I still would not subject the masses to a Latin service...."

Uh oh, some one use latin and mass in the same sentence.

Anonymous said...

"Uh oh, some one use latin and mass in the same sentence."

I know that was an attempt at a joke, but it fell flat. Just thought you should know.

Anonymous said...

"I know that was an attempt at a joke, but it fell flat. Just thought you should know."

Agreed. You should have found a way to work weekly communion in too. Latin + mass + weekly communion = the Bailing Water trifecta.

I'd give you my name, but the stalkers are after me now said...

First of all, I wasn't an anon, I gave an alias--just fyi.

Second, cute little phrases you can get off the internet does not a Latin scholar make you.

For what its worth, I'm not a child--I am an adult, so I was not left to perish anywhere--especially not on a windswept crag.

Since we are into cute latin phrases, try this one on for size.

Braccae tuae aperiuntur

I.B. said...

Anon. dixit,

"Braccae tuae aperiuntur."

Pervert.

(And uh, don't try to make yourself the scholar that you are not, your "translation" gave you away, you have the same book I have. 4 years of Latin my foot.)

Vale,
I.B.

I.B. hears little voices which spurs him/her on to periods of idiotic buffoonery said...

Ummm, okay IB. Whatever. Saying your fly is open is hardly perverted.

Never said I was a scholar. Maybe the voices in your head said that? I don't know. It's nice to know we supposedly have the same "book." I don't have any Latin books around, but again think whatever the little voices tell you.

Catch ya later Idiotic Buffoon (aka "I.B.")

I. B. said...

So you borrowed - from the internet - a phrase from a book that popularized that particular phrase (Oh please tell me you made that up. Anyone out there can google it, as well as the other phrases with this fellow's "translations." You gotta love the internet, it catches the plagiarizers and the alleged "Latin Scholars."). You can bs a lot of people and I am sure you have, but I caught you. Throw enough stercorem and some with stick, so keep flinging it. But I am the teflon man (T.M.tm)

And my mother taught we a useful rhyme about sticks and stones, but I haven't had to use that one for some 30 years, until now.

I.B. aka T.M.

Anonymous said...

I.B., your post makes no sense. Go take your medication and get some sleep. Post when your mind is clearer.

Of course, if your post is unclear because of some dementia issues, well...I am so sorry for you.

Anonymous said...

Maturity of T.M/I.B. and the other poster is astounding. Kudos to you both!

Although, I do have to agree that I.B's last post made no sense. I didn't get the accusation of plagarism. I thought that was an odd accusation as both posters used fairly common Latin phrases.

Neither are Latin scholars it would seem.

Anonymous said...

John,
When, along the line, do you think you became the enabler for this garbage?

Anonymous said...

A message board would be better as you could hold members accountable for their words. You could also track IPs and block those who choose to be menances like I.B. and the other person with the long name.

John said...

John,
When, along the line, do you think you became the enabler for this garbage?


I guess it happened when a reader, months ago, asked me not to moderate comments. So now posters have free reign. I could start deleting comments if you'd like.

Dan has passed on some information about moving to a discussion board format(location). So that may be my New Year's resolution.

But I think I'll hang on to see if I win Blog of the Year!

So everyone behave and be sure to cast your vote.

Anonymous said...

John,
You have shown concern for the doctrine and practice of a group of believers. You have been critical of the leaders of that group, making (and allowing to be made) serious accusations of false doctrine. And know when confronted with your part in giving people "free reign" to let their anger boil over and sin- your reaction is "I'll hang on to see if I win Blog of the Year!" "be sure to cast your vote".

Please do not hold yourself up as the great conscience of the WELS any longer. You have lost any credibility. These discussions should take place but you, and many here, are not fit to provide a forum for that.

Anonymous said...

Anon of (9:07)
Who are you accusing of sinning. Please document that before you make an unfounded accusation. You owe this board and apology.

Anonymous said...

Here comes the WELSbots trying to shut us down again. Me thinks they do protest to much.

John said...

The "WELSbots" do keep slugging away.

You don't like the issues I raise. You tell me to contact the offenders. I have and did. So now how have I sinned?

Anonymous said...

Oh great, here we go again.

"Wels Sucks!!"

"No, we don't. You are all sinners going to HELL!!"

"Oh, the WELSbots are here! Ahhh"

"We aren't WELSbots, we just don't believe in knocking the WELS because it's not constructive."

"Oh, we tried to bring grievances to the WELS, but they refused to listen to us!!"

On and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.

So, here we go again. Let the dance on crack begin.

Anonymous said...

I wish we could get back to discussing the Wisconsin Synod's serious doctrinal problems. Born, raised and educted in this outift I know them intimately. Yet every time someone tries to show these errors the conversation wildly spins out of control with some (as above) making wild accusations "menace, stalking etc."

Sadly this is what I have experienced over the years in the Wisconsin Synod. No one is willing to honestly approach its errors. These matters are NOT discussed among the pastors, as there is a climate of fear. I personally have spoken with several dozen WS pastors who do not agree with it doctrine on the ministry and the role of women in society yet are too afraid or indifferent to speak up.

So nice try, John, but every thread will be kidnapped by those who think they are defending the Wisconsin Synod by these silly tactics. There are many WS people who actually desire to hear the truth, to defend the truth and to admit error when shown. Their voices are drowned out though. So, Anon. with the long names, you won! You turned this blog into a WELS Ichabod.

Anonymous said...

Well said, Anonymous at 11:48. This has been the pattern.

Anonymous said...

John, I agree with the person who spoke about this blog being hijacked. No one can even attempt a bit of humor on this site. I think more people would post here if it were worth their time. I know, I tried a while back but it was somewhat pointless with the lack of courtesy by those who make charges yet refuse to support them.

Anonymous said...

John, I really think you need to answer this question:

"When, along the line, do you think you became the enabler for this garbage?"

Those who enable sin are equally guilty of that sin. To shirk your responsibility by politicking for an award makes light of sin. This blog is spinning wildly out of control. Ultimately you are responsible for every comment posted here. You need to start moderating comments or shut this place down. I'm not saying this because I'm some WELS robot trying to silence all opposition. I thought that at first this place offered a good opportunity to discuss issues in the WELS. But such productive discussion has long since ended. Both sides of the debate here have engaged in petty, disgusting bickering which reflects poorly on all of Christendom. When you restarted this blog, you took upon yourself the responsibility for it. Time to stop shirking that responsibility and do something about the garbage heap this place has become.

Juan said...

This blog is mirror of the WELS. I asked both our circuit pastor and then his successor and also the district president in writing, "May a woman be in authority over men in society?" Neither responded. So why should those who wish to defend Mother WELS on this site do any different.

Juan

Anonymous said...

"Both sides of the debate" And of course you are above it all.

Anonymous said...

"And of course you are above it all."

Oh please, when did I say that? That's exactly the kind of baseless accusation that has destroyed this place.

Anonymous said...

"Oh please, when did I say that?"

Your whole self serving comment says that. You are the one who has "destroyed this place" with your violent, silly reactions. Rather than simply asking, "when did I say that because I don't wish to show that attitude", you give your indignant answer. This is the not the kind of humility that Christians will exhibit.

LL said...

"Those who enable sin are equally guilty of that sin."

Yet this is the opposite of what those who defended the WELS doctrine of fellowship wrote in the fellowship discussion.

From a long time lurker, it seems that it is difficult if not impossible to explain some of the WELS positions (church and ministry, man and woman, fellowship) let alone show they are correct. I've also seen this in my own dealings with WELS pastors.

I have never seen a coherent defense of the WELS doctrines in question here. On the other hand, those showing the errors in the WELS doctrines have been quite convincing with using Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions to back up what they write.

The lack of a sense of humor shown here by some is sad. That may show too that if you have no defense, there's nothing left to do but get defensive.

Thanks to John for his continued work here. Please ignore the anonymouses accusing you of everything under the sun. They are scared that their sect is being shown for what it is and have no other recourse. Maybe you could delete all comments not pertaining to the discussion (if you have the time).

LL

Anonymous said...

For those who think that the WELS has problems, this is a pastor from the LCMS:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nj0Rx2uEZA

John, we need a new topic to discuss how the flawed LCMS doctrine of Church and Ministry has created blasphemous pastors like this.

LL said...

So you won't defend the WELS, but you'll start criticizing the LCMS, which no one here has claimed is devoid of problems? As a friend recently said, it's time to start treating blind WELS members like the anonymouses above as weaker brothers. They admit no faults and either do not know or cannot say why they believe and do as they do.

LL

Anonymous said...

Anon on Youtube,

Fascinating. Could you please tell me how this silliness relates to or results from the view that AC V speaks of the Office of the Holy Ministry? I'd be interested in your response.

Anonymous said...

Note the comments on youtube. The critical ones are from lcms pastors and laypeople. I know some of them. Go to Fr. Larry Beane's excellent blog for another perspective on the lcms. And please answer anon@9:29's question.

Anonymous said...

"Could you please tell me how this silliness relates to or results from the view that AC V speaks of the Office of the Holy Ministry?"

It doesn't. He's just a lone nut who makes everyone in the LCMS look bad. I don't actually think there's a connection between the LCMS's doctrine and this guy.

But that's my point. Every issue with the LCMS raised here is always brushed off with "Yeah, we have problems, so what?" Yet at the same time, every issue with the WELS that gets brought up here is taken as a serious sign of deep, systemic problems in the WELS. Can't the WELS just have its lone nuts too? (And that's exactly how most people in the WELS look at guys like Parlow, et. al.)

I just wanted to point out that double standard. LCMS problems are always seen as minimal and isolated. WELS problems are always seen as huge and systemic.

If anything, the reverse is true. That fact that the guy who prayed at Yankee Stadium wasn't removed from the LCMS demonstrates systemic, institutional problems in the LCMS. If that had happened in the WELS, the pastor would have been out of the WELS quicker than you can say, "Allah is God."

Anonymous said...

Anon.

I could care less about the nuts. I care about doctrine, and that is where we must always begin. The nuts will always be there. It seems that too often on this blog when doctrinal issues of the WS are raised invariably someone does what you did.

As for your contention that if something like that happened in the WELS the guy would be immediately removed - you tell me - is preaching a sermon without the Gospel, and therefore a confusion of law and Gospel and denial of the same or a sermon plagiarized or a sermon in which the pastor tells an outright lie (and these reported to their superiors who did nothing) any different than a man praying in the name of Jesus alongside of some pagans? If so, they why haven't all the WS pastors who have preached such sermons not been removed faster than you can say "Come to the WELS." (Evidence on hand and waiting, if necessary). The point being, both the WS and the LCMS can be blind to their own errorists and I would suggest stone throwing be limited to doctrinal issues because one nutcase can be called and raised by another.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of BW really and its pov on many issues. However, the LCMS video of the pastor pretending to be Jesus was beyond stupid. As far as reaching an unbelieving crowd, I don't even see how that is possible really. I could see a lot of people laughing at it, but honestly seeing Jesus as God rather than some crazy idiot...umm, no.

I'm not high, high church. I'm not a fan of contemporary worship. I hate slick campaigns and stupid videos that aren't worth much beyond the junk pile. I am just not sure were many of us belong. It seems like there are 2 polorazied ends of the spectrum when what is sorely needed is middle ground.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 10:01,

"Yet at the same time, every issue with the WELS that gets brought up here is taken as a serious sign of deep, systemic problems in the WELS."

There is a distinction that you are not seeing. The WELS docrine allows the sort of errors being discussed on here--women communing women, women reading scripture in the service, etc. Of course, the irony is, in the LCMS, though thier doctrine does not allow these things, it is probably seen more often.

But when is the last time you saw someone in the LCMS puff out their chest for being unified in doctrine and practice? That is the difference. Sure there are nuts in the LCMS, but there are just as many openly and vocally opposed to the nuts. What happens when you complain about the nuts in the WELS? You get accused of causing division and shown the door.

Anonymous said...

"Of course, the irony is, in the LCMS, though thier doctrine does not allow these things, it is probably seen more often. "

I agree. But since that's true, how can you even make the correlation between WELS doctrine and issues of practice. If certain practices are more prevalent in Missouri, which doesn't have those doctrines, then there can't be a correlation between the two. The problem isn't WELS doctrine, it's nuts who ignore doctrine and do whatever they want.

"But when is the last time you saw someone in the LCMS puff out their chest for being unified in doctrine and practice? That is the difference."

I don't get it. People in the LCMS have resigned themselves to the fact that their is division and heresy in their synod, and somehow that's better?

And besides, saying that WELS people "puff out their chest[s]" about unity in doctrine and practice is an old and unfair stereotype. I don't think anyone is doing such things these days (if they ever did). Groups like C&C and IIW have made it pretty clear that such unity doesn't exist.

Also, if ever there were a Lutheran church body that puffed out its chest it was Missouri in the days of Walther and Pieper. They absolutely tore Wisconsin to shreds without mercy in their writing during the decades when Wisconsin was struggling to leave its roots in pietism. I strongly believe that if Missouri had been more brotherly in their admonitions, Wisconsin, to this very day, would have been more willing to examine more deeply some of it pietistic roots. So if we want to trace the development of the "puffed chests" you have to start with Missouri. And if you want to trace the so-called "defensiveness" of Wisconsin, you have to realize why the WELS had to be so defensive in the first place.

Anonymous said...

"The problem isn't WELS doctrine, it's nuts who ignore doctrine and do whatever they want."

Well, that is where we disagree. I can't confess a doctrine that allows women to commune other women or read scripture lessons, even if in practice that doesn't happen often.

Anonymous said...

Where is the "doctrine" that say women can commune women? Do you official WELS document proving that it is official WELS doctrine?

Until you can provide that, the the poster you quoted as being "wrong" is actually right.

Also, women reading Scripture is also not endorsed formally...prove it with a WELS doctrinal statement.

Anonymous said...

"Where is the "doctrine" that say women can commune women?"

Here you go:

"Since the Bible does not assign specific duties to the pastor, WELS approaches the matter of women communing women from Scripture's man and women role relationship principle. WELS doctrinal statements on the role of man and woman say that a woman may have any part in public ministry that does not assume teaching authority over a man. That, of course, would include women communing women. WELS has had only two instances of women communing women, and our Conference of Presidents has since issued an indefinite moratorium on such practice to keep from offending our brothers until the matter is mutually resolved. WELS does not consider women who lawfully assume certain duties of the pastoral office to be pastors, does not call them pastors, and does not intend to call them pastors. The word pastor has the traditional meaning of exercising authority over both men and women and would be an inappropriate title for women who minister only to women."

-WELS Q&A referencing WELS Doctrinal Statement and COP.

Anonymous said...

"Also, women reading Scripture is also not endorsed formally...prove it with a WELS doctrinal statement."

I didn't say "endorsed formally." I said allowed. WELS doctrine on the Ministry allows women to read scripture lessons.

Here is the response from a WELS Q&A on this issue:

"An article in the 1981 Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly (an exegesis of 1 Co 14:33b ff.) points out that the matter of women being silent in the church is not the principle but an application of the principle to the unique type of worship service that existed in Corinth. The principle is that a woman is not to assume authority over a man.

This principle is not being denied by saying that a woman could serve as a lector. The reading of a Scripture passage with men present is not in and of itself assuming authority over the men. However, reading from the front of the church with a posture and tone of voice that would signal a woman's attitude of lording it over others would be a violation of this principle.

So though it may be technically possible for a woman to read the Scriptures in a worship service without violating her God-given role, there are a number of other factors that need to be carefully considered before this is done. The question that brought this matter up asked whether in and of itself reading the Scripture lessons in church would be a sin for a woman. But since it is not usually an "in and of itself" matter, it would be a practice that involves a number of other important issues that need to be addressed before it is done."

In conclusion, WELS says there is nothing techinically wrong with it. It just isn't wise. LCMS and ELS doctrine does not allow this (although, I have seen this done in the LCMS by pastors that hold a more WELSian view of the Church and Ministry).

Anonymous said...

"(although, I have seen this done in the LCMS by pastors that hold a more WELSian view of the Church and Ministry)"

Umm, if you've seen it done, and no disciplinary action was carried out against that pastor, then wouldn't it be considered "allowed" in the LCMS too?

Anonymous said...

"Umm, if you've seen it done, and no disciplinary action was carried out against that pastor, then wouldn't it be considered "allowed" in the LCMS too?"

Only in the same way thiefs who don't get prosecuted are "allowed" to steal. But that doesn't mean the penal code allows stealing.

Anonymous said...

News Flash, the WELS Q&A is NOT official church doctrine. It's an individual person's pov.

I want an official, voted on WELS document to prove the charges that have been brought forth.

Anonymous said...

Also, if you've seen it--then I want to know where and when. I am sick to death of all these abstract references to examples--but no names, times or places are provided.

I mean, I could get on here and say I saw x,y, or z...who's to say I'm telling the truth? Why would you trust me? Especially if I'm not even willing to give you my name?

Anonymous said...

"Only in the same way thiefs who don't get prosecuted are "allowed" to steal. But that doesn't mean the penal code allows stealing."

I can say with confidence that this happens far more frequently in the LCMS than in the WELS. Which brings up an interesting question: Would you rather live in a country where stealing was legal but only happened once or twice in isolated incidents or in a country where stealing was illegal but happened fairly frequently?

Anonymous said...

"Would you rather live in a country where stealing was legal but only happened once or twice in isolated incidents or in a country where stealing was illegal but happened fairly frequently?"

Sadly, this is more than a hypthetical for a lot of Lutherans. If there was a locality that did enforce the law, I'd rather live in the country where thievery is outlawed. I guess it is all about how much your conscience will allow.

Anonymous said...

"I want an official, voted on WELS document to prove the charges that have been brought forth."

I told you what I know based on what I've seen, read, and been told. Ask your pastor or D.P. if you don't believe me. If you ask the same questions I did, you'll probably get the same answers. This issue has been thoroughly discussed here already. Look at some of the older threads. You'll see WELS people defending what you deny. It isn't a matter of seeing an official, signed and sealed WELS statement, whatever that means. It is about looking at the WELS doctrinal statements and what the theologians in that synod say they mean. I'm glad you don't believe that women may commune other women. Your sem profs and COP do. Maybe you can change that. But I'll warn you, others that have publicly brought this up have not been treated well.

Bye

Anonymous said...

Look, Mr./Ms. Bye, I'm actually pretty well aware of what is or isn't going on. As for the egos and whatnot--yeah, first hand experience that as well.

However, I don't have an issue with women communing women. I don't have an issue with blended worship. I'm not even sure I believe women should not vote. I'm not a fan of contemporary worship, but I'm not a fan of extreme high church worship either. I don't like to lean towards the Evangelical model, but I don't like to lean towards a Catholic/Anglican model of worship/church gov't either. I could go on, but I will stop there.

You know if you don't like the WELS, you can join the breakoff of the ELS (the ACLC) or ELDoNA (break off of the LCMS). Both the ACLC and the ELDoNA are in fellowship via the Orthodox Lutheran Confessional Conference (OLCC).

Anonymous said...

Well, there you go. Either agree with the WELS with no criticisms or questions or leave.

Leaving looks pretty pleasant compared to staying with people who have no idea what the Lutheran church teaches or why, like the Anonymous at 10:50.

Anonymous said...

I actually do know what the Lutheran church teaches and it is the arrogance like the post above me that makes me so very sad. The arrogance is actually a barrier for me. Instead of reaching out to one another in love, we cruelly condemn and mock.

Thanks for the brother/sisterly love. Your work in the kingdom is duly noted.

Lutheranman said...

Show me a synod that is 100% correct in all of it's teachings. Is it the WELS? The LCMS? The ELCA (lol)? While all presume to be correct, they are all mistaken. Are we correct in showing our brothers and sisters the errors in their ways? Sure we are, and we are responsible in doing so. Each synod has obvious errors. I personally believe that WELS is closest to being correct (and NO, I do not go to or do not attend a WELS church). I am very concerned about the state of the LCMS.

Anonymous said...

I for one am sick of the mega churches and prefer more of a liturgical style. Will the mega churches disappear even if their theology is wrong in the Lutheran church? No. Do you know why? They bring in money. I guess it doesnt matter if they are watered down or not.