Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bailing Water - Eulogy

After much thought and prayer, I have come to realize that it is time to bail from Bailing Water. I believe that this blog has allowed me the chance to dig deeper into Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions, and the doctrine of the WELS.

I have been reflecting back on where this journey has gone and where it is going. Not being a delegate at this year's convention I followed the streaming video on and the discussion on the imprint blog. Shortly after the convention, I stumbled on this blog run at that time by someone else. Another person picked it up to continue the discussion and then dropped it. So I resurrected this blog from the blogging ashes.

I believe much of the conversation has been fruitful and thought provoking. I also realize that some readers view every position espoused by the WELS to be inerrant. Some readers clearly articulated double standards in doctrine and practice in the WELS. Some readers simply threw mud. Some readers stood tall and identified themselves and issues of importance. Some readers yelled at me to contact the names mentioned. I did. You can read the labels and stories to the right to travel the Bailing Water journey.

So where is this blog and discussion heading? I don't know. I feel negligent in not posting a topic each day or week. Yet I need to find a balance. I have obligations to my family and work as do you.

I believe that the change in leadership in the WELS is positive. Yet I also strongly feel that the cutting edge pastors are the ones setting the worship and practice agenda (Church and Change) in the WELS.

One pastor I communicated with suggested that routinely following a liturgical format is akin to following behavior modification theories.

I have many unanswered questions. I think that a WELS internet forum is a benefit. Someone suggested a cyberspace convention.

I would like you the reader to post your reflections (eulogy) on Bailing Water. I will let the blog float along with your comments.


Anonymous said...

I may be an LCMSer but it's been good lurking on this blog. I can only ask that you do not delete the blog. You can always restart posting later, and you'll save the time and information that you and other people have contributed.


Anonymous said...

Say it isn't so. I agree, keep the blog up and let the all of the readers move the topics for discussion.

We need a forum in the WELS!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for pulling the plug!

None. said...

That's the usual course for reform in WELS. A few pokes at it, then quit. The libs can't take any exposure so they work over anyone who attempts a change. If that isn't enough, they work on friends and family.

Bye bye.

Anonymous said...

I agree with none. Please don't let the alligators win! I do not know if you are a layman or a pastor. I have learned a lot from this blog in the short time I have been aware of it. We can't let the Changers and the liberals in this Synod win! We conservatives must band together! Is there someone you trust who could take over this blog for you?

Kenny said...

Nice try "John." But anything or anyone that critiques the doctrine and practice of the Wisconsin Synod will be savagely attacked, as we have seen so often on this blog. Open and honest dialogue is not possible within the WS, period. Personally I would rather discuss doctrine with an honest liberal.


California on my mind said...

I have looked at LutherQuest a few times, and I find there the kind of discussion I would like to see among WELS members. Maybe the moderator is more on his toes on LutherQuest--from the little I have seen, I have not witnessed the name calling, snide remarks and mudslinging that ruined Bailing Water. If we could have intelligent discussion without the vitriol, this blog could have been a success. Maybe someone else could take on the mantle and do this. But if a new blog or a new moderator allows the mudslinging to continue, or if this would become an Ichabod, then I want nothing to do with it.

Anonymous said...


What do you consider mudslinging?

There has been name some name calling, dismissive sarcasm, and a few posters have urged John to remove his, in their words, idotic or stupid blog--I agree that this isn't productive.

But do you consider revealing a baptist sermon preaching pastor to be what he is as "mudslinging"?


California on my mind said...

"But do you consider revealing a baptist sermon preaching pastor to be what he is as 'mudslinging'?"

No. What I do object to is making this public without knowing if the accused pastor is reading the admonition or not.

PCK said...

"No. What I do object to is making this public without knowing if the accused pastor is reading the admonition or not."

To take that a step further... the objection I have is when bloggers pile on and make widespread generalizations of all WELS pastors, stating that "doing the greek and hebrew" is an urban legend.

While the debate has raged whether the 8th commandment has been broken when such issues are posted, there is still another side of the 8th commandment in which we are to take all words and actions of others in the kindest possible way; to give others the benefit of the doubt instead of jumping to unfounded conclusions.

So while making these revelations public is breaking the 8th commandment to some and not others, there is still another aspect that seems to be broken when the sweeping generalizations are made.

california on my mind said...

pck, I agree with you.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the clarification. But I think you are assuming that the only purpose of making such information public is to "publicly" admonish the pastor. In fact, the pastor was and has been privately admonished in the past. Moreover, the information was already public. Publishing it on bailing water was for the benefit of everyone else.

Pck ,

I agree, the sweeping generalizations are a problem, on both ends of the spectrum.

Anonymous said...

"I agree, the sweeping generalizations are a problem, on both ends of the spectrum."

Like this one.

Anonymous said...

I hesitate to even mention this but it is strange how civil the exchange of prior 6 posts has been. If all of the discussion had been so, I believe much more would have been accomplished.

Kenny said...

"If all of the discussion had been so, I believe much more would have been accomplished."

Nothing will be accomplished until Wisconsin Synod pastors face up to their theology, and they don't. One example. Ask your Wisconsin Synod pastor if he thinks a woman can be in a postion of authority over a man/men in society (police officer, manager etc.) or if he has women in his congregation in such positions. After he says that he has no problem with that and affirms that he does, ask if would he be willing to speak up at pastor's conference and to express his disagreement with the WS doctrine or if he doesn't disagree, to discipline those women.

Like I said...


Kenny said...


Forgot to add. I do not agree with the WELS position on this.


PSS Go Hillary!

LM said...


Thanks for keeping this going as long as you did. Maybe one of the more prolific regulars here will start their own blog. Jo? You still have a few angry rants left in you, don't you?


Jo said...


No, the doctor prescribed Prozac.

Copaceticly yours,

Anonymous said...

This has been a good public record of the things that divide the WELS, because people on both sides have not felt inhibited to talk.

We may not be able to bail any longer and we might sink swimming, but we'll die trying.

Rob said...

John, this "blog" format has a few weaknesses, one of which is that is burdens the author, you, with endless content and administrative duties. We all have experience with various discussion formats; perhaps a different format might serve the discussion needs of this group.
. . . Rob32

John said...


Please feel free to set-up a discussion board. I will link the site to this blog and then the discussion can happen there.

Let me know when and if you can get a board up and running.


Rob said...

John, please take a look at and let me know if you think that format might work.

. . . Rob32

John said...


This is great! I will put it up on a post. It looks like a great format for discussion!!