Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ad-hoc Commission -Synod wide theological study

http://www.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?2601&collectionID=1332

There are several interesting sections to this report. I would like you to look at section five. The first year study is to focus on "trusting the means of grace." One side argues that this is just a smokescreen used to stop change while the other side a spirit of contentment is needed.

It will be interesting to see how these recommendations are carried out. It seems in the recent past the COP has been on more of a "confessional witch hunt" than trying to reign in the liberal methodist practices being adopted by some. Oh, the term "confessional witch hunt" is a phrase a WELS theology professor told me about.

12 comments:

Inquiring minds said...

Please explain your comment that the COP seems to be on a "confessional witchhunt" lately. It might be helpful to give specific examples. Is this a witchhunt hunting confessional people, or a witchhunt by confessinal people? Your phrase could be understood either way. Again, specific factual examples would seem to be in place.

John said...

Ok..here's the deal. Look at who is the COP representative on this ad-hoc committee. He certainly seems to be a good 'ole boy. In fact, Vi continually scolds his own district pastors that they better not take pots shots from the weeds.

His very own district has several congregations being led by pastors that are glossy eyed over Church growth methods and in fact look more Methodist than Lutheran.
Yet no church discipline is carried out on these pastors. He looks the other way. However, when a confessionally liturgical pastor or pastors stand up and point out the reformed flaws in the synod they are driven down and out.

miket said...

A question regarding disciplining those who are using church growth methods -- I'm wondering how such discipline would proceed. What would the district president be accusing them of? Saying that they're using church growth methods is too general. Some methods that church growth people advocate are common-sense actions that would fit well into an evangelical Lutheran ministry. I suppose the district president would have to identify a specific questionable service or program and then analyze it as to its proper use of law & gospel, or whether it centered on something other than the means of grace.

Such discipline would have to be preceded by a period of discussion, in person and perhaps as part of a local pastoral study group.

Part of the problem in saying that a district president has not disciplined a certain person is that we don't know what steps have been taken so far. The public only becomes aware that a disciplinary process has been underway if that disciplinary process ends in the man being removed from the clergy roster.

Anonymous said...

"reign in the liberal methodist practices being adopted by some." Can you flesh this out for me to better understanding?

Just shout'in

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed a rash of pastoral resignations lately? Could it be alot of those are the confessional liturgical being 'driven down and out'? After a minimum of eight years of pastoral training, it's sad they make the choice to leave rather than stand up, be heard, spread the news, and start their own reformation. If some of what they know about the inner workings of the synod was made public to the laity, we would all be shocked.

Anonymous said...

Breaking with the "Time of Disgrace" norm is not tolerated.
Bespoke

Anonymous said...

A second request:

"reign in the liberal methodist practices being adopted by some." Can you flesh this out for me to better understanding?

Just shout'in

John said...

Just shout'in,

The most recent WELS contemporary worship service I attended was more like an ole fashion Methodist revival than a confessional Lutheran church service. So that is what I mean by reigning in the liberal Methodist practices happening in the WELS. So I will flesh this out. First of all, this church doesn't have Lutheran in its name. The Sunday service began with a greeting by the robeless and tieless reverend who isn't addressed as pastor at all. Then he asked us to turn and greet our neighbor. Than the praise band leader took over and led the audience in a few pop songs. The first one being "Here I am to worship" and another couple of diddies about our great God (I think the melody was taken from a U2 song). The reverend than lead a Bible study type sermon that lasted about 30 minutes. The offering happened next, followed by some prayers. A contemporary version of Amazing grace was sung next. Then the blessing (hurray). One more pop song and the Methodist revival was done. I kid you not. Oh yea, there of course was a powerpoint with the lyrics and a small little kiddie church going on across the hallway since the kiddos can't read or see the powerpoint cause of the swaying adults (I kid you not). I thought the mrs in front of me was doing the electric slide. The service was held on a Sunday during the lenten season. But this church doesn't hold Wednesday evening lenten services (ie Methodist?).

So I hope that paints a better picture for you.

John said...

Just shout'in,

I fleshed out the Methodist practices that I had observed. So now its your turn. Do you think that the aforementioned service is something you would want to be apart of?

Anonymous said...

John,

Thanks for fleshing things out. Let's just take one example of "Methodist" practice at a time. I believe that will better facilitate fruitful discussion.

"First of all, this church doesn't have Lutheran in its name."

Although the church I attend does have Lutheran in its name, is that really needed? Just because someone has "Lutheran" in his name doesn't mean that conveys "we are biblical and sacramental" to the car load driving past the sign. It may even convey the opposite if they have had any experience with an ELCA church. In a decidedly anti-denominational culture that is also biblically ignorant, I'm not thinking the church sign is doing too much good for anybody. WELS members will find your church from the net, yellow pages, or their old pastor's recommendation.

Seems to me it would be better to get them in the church so you can have them focus on what makes us Lutherans, the Means, not a sign out front. Am I to understand the church sign is a litmus test for your version of confessional Lutheranism? Personally I would opt for gaining an audience than broadcasting a label that most don't have a clue about.

Just shout'in

Anonymous said...

Js,

John described the service, not just the sign. Could you respond to that also?

How about circus clowns and elephants to "gain an audience"?

Anonymous said...

Don't bail out in sarcasm.

I will be happy to address elements and formats of the service but one concern at a time. What about the name "Lutheran" on the sign - a must to be considered confessional and biblical? I'm waiting for a reply on this topic before I move to the next.

Just shout'in