Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Confessional integrity of the WELS

Some of us in the ELS are concerned about the confessional integrity of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. I believe that this will be discussed in the upcoming ELS convention. At least, I hope that it is.

Norman Teigen
ELS layman

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I accept the challenge. I will go to Mankato and ask for the floor and raise the question myself.

Norman Teigen
ELS layman

78 comments:

Rev. Fr. Spencer said...

I'm curious as to just what specific questions you will raise at the ELS Convention about the WELS. "Confessional integrity" is a pretty broad subject. You need to narrow it down to some exact concerns.

Norman Teigen said...

I have learned that the ELZ is discussing sensitive questions with WELZ so there will be no good reason for me to make a public spectacle at the convention. The ELZ, I am advised, has a high regard for the new
WELZ President and there is no intention to embarrass this church leader. I do hope that the two synods will in due time make all things clear. If not, we bloggers will have to go to work in a responsible way to bring that which is sometimes hidden into the clear light of public view. None of us like to be KITD (kept in the dark). I realize that it is not good manners to tell friends how to behave but conservative Lutherans have been doing this for a long time.

Norman Teigen
ELS layman

John said...

Norman,

Thanks for the update and for your blog too.

John

Anonymous said...

Norm:

i think the WELS should investigate the ELS. I checked out your blog and noticed your congregation has a woman in a leadership position over men. What gives?

Norman Teigen said...

I am a member of King of Grace in Golden Valley. Is there a specific situation that you have in mind here? I am not aware of what you have referred to.

Please note that my personal views on many subjects are not identical with the official position of the congregation and the Synod. I see some things as being adiaphora which the Synod says is not.

I would be interested in the specifics. I don't have a clue about what you are referring to. Did I say something in my blog?

Yes, we would welcome the WELZ investigation.

Norman Teigen
ELS layman

Anonymous said...

Norm, in your KOG Stewardship blog you write:

"The meeting was arranged by Jerry Schilling, chairman of the Elders. In attendance were the following: Pastor Rod Flohr; Stewardship chairwoman Ann Hengel; David Stavig; Jim Ringen; Jim Tobias; and secretary Norman Teigen."

I would imagine that within your stewardship group there are men? I would also imagine voting goes on? I would also imagine that as chairWOMAN, Ann Hengel would have to assert authority over men?

Anonymous said...

N. T.

This is Wisconsin Synod logic: voting equals authority over men. Funny though, women vote in meetings of the faculties of WLC and Luther Prep, I know.

The Mole

Norman Teigen said...

I did write that. I was going to do the minutes of the Stewardship Committee on a blog but the blog idea flopped.

I sense a practical joke here and I won't fall for it. No one would write that Ann Hengel's chairing of the Stewardship Committee was in any way improper unless he were making a joke. Nice try.

Anonymous said...

Who's making a joke? You criticize the WELS, and then when someone points out to you a female chairWOMAN on an important committee of an ELS congregation, you won't answer the question because you think it's a joke? Come on! Does she exercise authority over men in this important work of the church? Is there voting on the committee and does she vote? Or maybe your congregation allows woman sufferage? This isn't a joke Norm. Please answer the questions.

Norman Teigen said...

Ann Hengel is the Stewardship Committee chairperson. What is all this about exercising authority over men if it isn't a joke? I came from the Missouri Synod but I don't participate in the voters meetings at King of Grace. I told Pastor E. to call me when Judy could vote and then we both would go. So far he hasn't called me on this subject. In my opinion, women voting in the congregation is an adiaphoron. I admit I entered into a discussion where I probably should not have gone, but talking about a woman chairing a committee in a congregation is strange, really strange.

Anonymous said...

Norm,

What does your buddy Greg Jackson think of your position?

The Mole

Anonymous said...

Dear uppity welsers,

There are wels congregations where women chair such things as the worship committee. Really. One is only about a stone's throw from 2929.

Anonymous said...

Norm:
If you don't understand where I'm coming from, questioning a woman's role as a chairWOMAN in the church, and questioning whether she should exercise a vote, then don't refer to yourself as a confessional Lutheran.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous (at 9:40 am),

Is she (chairWOMAN, sic) in the Office of the Holy Ministry?

The Mole

P.S. I think I know your answer.

Anonymous said...

What difference does it make?

Anonymous said...

"What difference does it make?" All the difference in the world.

That is, if you believe she is in the Office of the Holy Ministry it matters (and then we have a different discussion about who may be in the Office) or not (and then it doesn't matter.)

Is she, in your opinion?

The Mole

Anonymous said...

Dear Mole:

You're obviously coming from an LC-MS position on the nature of the ministry. I hope we're not getting into that discussion again on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mole:

You're obviously coming from an LC-MS position on the nature of the ministry. I hope we're not getting into that discussion again on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9:40,

Where in the Lutheran Confessions is the reference to this situation?

Norman Teigen said...

Greg Jackson reads my blog and I read his. I would like to be on friendly terms with as many people as possible. Was that a dig, that buddy thing? Tacky, very tacky.

I do consider myself a Confessional Lutheran.

I don't think that one has to buy into that headship stuff to be a Confessional Lutheran. This reminds me of a situation where my wife was visiting some WELZ friends. Someone at this home asked my wife if she happened to be a Lutheran. When she answered in the affirmative she was asked what year she had graduated from DMLC.

I am a woman suffrage guy but my congregation and my synod aren't. That is an issue of church polity, in my opinion, and I think, as Martin Marty once said, that all church polity is adiaphora.

I am also a doctrine guy. I think that worship practices say important things about what doctrine a congregation or synod declare. ELZ concerns about WELZ aren't about these non-sensical headship wrangles but about worship practices.

I am also, at age sixty-five, suffering from false doctrine fatigue. I can be concerned about church matters without invoking the MALA DOCTRINA card. I like to know what people are thinking and why they think what they do.

Anonymous said...

Norman,

You write, "I would like to be on friendly terms with as many people as possible. Was that a dig, that buddy thing? Tacky, very tacky."

Obviously you think being called a "buddy" to Greg Jackson is a negative thing or insult. I call all my buddies "buddies" and they me, and I hardly view that as tacky. I am proud to have the friends and associates I have. You must not.

The Mole

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

You write "You're obviously coming from an LC-MS position on the nature of the ministry. I hope we're not getting into that discussion again on this blog."

I am coming from a Scriptural and Confessional position on the issue. So are you willing to answer the question? Or is your obvious Wisconsin Synod position on these issues too difficult to discuss and defend? (I.e. it is a sin for a WELS woman to vote for Hillary and she to run.)


The Mole

Anonymous said...

"I don't think that one has to buy into that headship stuff to be a Confessional Lutheran."

That headship stuff?

I guess you had better tell the Apostle Paul that he was wasting his time when he was writing (repeatedly, and by inspiration) in his epistles about "that headship stuff".

Or do we have the right to dismiss those parts of inspired Scripture as adiaphoristic polity when they contradict the politically correct viewpoint of the world which we have been corrupted by?

Anonymous said...

Norm:

You call youself a confessional Lutheran and a doctrine guy. But then you say a person doesn't have to buy in to that "headship stuff," you call yourself a "woman sufferage guy" and you quote Martin Marty approvingly. Do you even realize how contradictory your statements are??? I think you need to stop promoting yourself as a representative of the ELS and join an LC-MS congregation, or even an ELCA one!

Anonymous said...

"I am coming from a Scriptural and Confessional position on the issue. So are you willing to answer the question? Or is your obvious Wisconsin Synod position on these issues too difficult to discuss and defend?"

There's no way I'm going to start rehashing this church and ministry thing. It's dreadfully tiresome and inane to go around in the same circles that have been gone around in for nearly a century.

But I did want to point out the irony of The Mole demanding discussion and defense of the WELS position while at the same time automatically equating the LCMS position with Scripture and the Confessions without a hint of discussion and defense of it.

Such presumptions and double standards are precisely what makes this old chestnut so tiresome.

Anonymous said...

Anon writes,

"The Mole demanding discussion and defense of the WELS position while at the same time automatically equating the LCMS position with Scripture and the Confessions without a hint of discussion and defense of it"

Uh, where did I do that? (And the little voices in your head don't count.)

The Mole

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

Again, where is this found in the Confessions?

And why is this women's headship allowed to go on in WELS congregations?

Anonymous said...

I do not promote myself as representative of the ELS. I am a member of the ELS and have been for 46 years. I don't deny it and I am not ashamed of it. My pastors know that there are some things about the ELS that I don't endorse. President John Moldstad knows that I do not promote myself as representative of the ELS. He even asked me to serve on a Synodical Committee but I had to decline because of some upcoming conflicts. {He did not, in case anyone is wondering, ask me to serve on the Doctrine Committee).

Being a member of a Christian body does not require one to become a Nazi. You don't have to believe everything that these guys tell you. Some of them may be ordained and all but they may not be very well educated. We don't turn off our brains when we walk from the narthex into the nave.

Our responsibility is to listen to the clear preaching of the Word, confess our sins, and believe the absolution. Then we should be willing to serve.

Norman Teigen
ELS layman

Anonymous said...

"You don't have to believe everything that these guys tell you."

Does that include the Apostle Paul? He's the one who told us about that headship stuff in the first place. Or is he just one more "ordained but not very well educated" pastors whose preaching we can ignore when we know better than they do?

Anonymous said...

"You don't have to believe everything that these guys tell you."


How about everything your Lord tells you in his Word?

Whatever happened to 1 Cor 1:10?

Anonymous said...

"'The Mole demanding discussion and defense of the WELS position while at the same time automatically equating the LCMS position with Scripture and the Confessions without a hint of discussion and defense of it'

Uh, where did I do that? (And the little voices in your head don't count.)"

Go back and reread your comment of May 27, 2008 3:42 PM. You presumed that your position was Scriptural and Confessional without giving any proof or defense of that position. You then continued to ask for a proof or defense of the opposing viewpoint. No useful discussion ever takes place when one starts by saying, "OK, I'm right, now prove that you're not wrong."

Oh, let's leave the petty, ad hominem charges of mental illness out of this. They serve no beneficial purpose in any discussion, particularly one like this, and they give the impression that you don't have a logical and persuasive case to make on the merits. Why do almost all Lutheran bloggers think they need to add snide, nasty little comments to everything they say?

Anonymous said...

"Being a member of a Christian body does not require one to become a Nazi."

Umm, do you realize what you're saying here? If you believe that the ELS teaches the Word of God in truth and purity, then you have just compared faithful pastors and members to genocidal thugs. If you don't believe that the ELS teaches the Word of God in truth and purity, then you have convicted yourself of having fellowship with false teachers.

So which is it?

Anonymous said...

"We don't turn off our brains when we walk from the narthex into the nave."

We do when they try to convince us to listen to the political correctness of the world instead of the clear teaching of Scripture.

Anonymous said...

Anon writes,

"You presumed that your position was Scriptural and Confessional without giving any proof or defense of that position. You then continued to ask for a proof or defense of the opposing viewpoint."

You're nuts. Reread. I asked a simple question that you cannot answer.

The Mole

Anonymous said...

"You're nuts."

Ahh, yet another petty ad hominem. How sad.

"Reread. I asked a simple question that you cannot answer."

Perhaps you ought to reread--specifically the part right before you asked the WELS to defend its position, where you made the presumption that your position was Scriptural and Confessional without any defense.

Like I said before, saying "I'm right, now tell me how you're not wrong" only serves the purpose of argumentation, not the purpose of beneficial dialogue.

You have no business asking someone to defend their position if you aren't willing to defend yours (with something other than personal attacks).

Anonymous said...

Anon.

Perhaps your inability is that you cannot read nor reason, rather than mental illness. Sorry.

The Mole

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps your inability is that you cannot read nor reason, rather than mental illness. Sorry."

After several consecutive posts containing nothing other than ad hominem attacks and petty personal insults, I think the character of "The Mole" and the quality of his doctrinal position should be sufficiently clear to all of the readers of these comments.

WELS woman said...

I like Norm. :)

Anonymous said...

Recall, high and mighty Anon, what I asked,

"Dear Anonymous (at 9:40 am),

Is she (chairWOMAN, sic) in the Office of the Holy Ministry?

The Mole

P.S. I think I know your answer."

And we can see the quality of your intelligence by your inability to answer this simple question, which you cannot answer because it would show your doctrinal position to be utterly foolish. So obsfucation is your only recourse.

The Mole

PS I like Norm, too.

Anonymous said...

"I like Norm."

Then you must not like the Apostle Paul.

Anonymous said...

The Mole,

The answer to that question is obvious. (And by the way I'm not even the person you addressed the question to.) No, of course she isn't. I've never heard of any synod or church body claiming that council men (or, in this case, council women) were in the OHM/representative ministry.

But as I said before, there's nothing to be gained by rehashing a century-old argument here on this blog. It's been done several times.

Anonymous said...

Anon,

And the debate over the deity of Christ is older yet, yet one side is still wrong despite it being rehashed today, and necessarily so.

What you find so obvious in the negative is not the Wisconsin Synod position. The WS says she is in the Ministry. Absurd, eh?

The Mole

PS Still liking Norm, but not in that way

John said...

8:19pm - anonymous ~

At a recent WELS church the pastor "commissioned" the youth group before they went on their mission trip to Apacheland. So it seemed to me that the minister was placing these youth into the OHM for a short time while they went on this excursion. What is the OHM in the WELS? This century old debate has caused problems in the synod as seen today by pastors allowing youth to serve communion, give the children's sermon, etc.

The role of women in the church and society is still very much confused in the WELS which I believe is linked to a view of the OHM. Just checkout the latest post on the Q & A section of wels.net.

Norm - welcome to Cheers where everybody knows your name. John

Anonymous said...

"What you find so obvious in the negative is not the Wisconsin Synod position. The WS says she is in the Ministry. Absurd, eh?"

Umm, I think you'd better do a little bit of research. The WELS does not consider council members to be in the Ministry. I've been a member of many WELS churches in several states across the country. I've never heard even a whisper of such a thing. I've never read anything remotely close to that in any official publications. Perhaps you have too readily bought into the caricatures of the WELS position that some in the LCMS like to paint. Would you like to provide even a scrap of evidence to support your claims that the WELS officially teaches that council members are in the Ministry? Or would you like to continue to make unfounded accusations?

Anonymous said...

"At a recent WELS church the pastor "commissioned" the youth group before they went on their mission trip to Apacheland. So it seemed to me that the minister was placing these youth into the OHM for a short time while they went on this excursion."

I'm assuming that he asked them to stand or maybe even step forward and then said a prayer asking for God's blessings on their trip? And from that you make the leap in logic to assume that they were officially being installed as public/representative ministers? Don't you think that's a bit of a stretch? Perhaps looking a bit too hard for a problem? Does one anecdote establish a synod's official doctrine? And don't you think that exactly the same sort of thing (if not much more blatant) occurs in the LCMS too?

John said...

Does one anecdote establish a synod's official doctrine?

No but the application of principles does tell a lot about how the doctrine is being taught.

RandomDan said...

I finally found a paper that explained the WELS view of the public ministry to me that was clear, concise, and didn't assume I was a complete imbecile (like Church-Mission-Ministry does).

The Revised This We Believe of the WELS on the Ministry

I've complained in the past on the comment threads of this blog about someone explaining the WELS position on the Public Ministry. I think I finally got my head around it.

Anonymous said...

Dear poor, sweet, innocent Anonymous,

You lament, "Umm, I think you'd better do a little bit of research. The WELS does not consider council members to be in the Ministry.... Would you like to provide even a scrap of evidence to support your claims that the WELS officially teaches that council members are in the Ministry? Or would you like to continue to make unfounded accusations?"

How about the "People's Bible Teachings" little tome "Church-Mission-Ministry" which gives the official WELS position on such. This book was written by former WS Seminary Prez, Armin Schuetze. And I quote (p. 123) from the subsection entitled "Distinctions within the public ministry"(You can read the whole thing if you dare),

"Examples of these are the members of the board of elders and church council, Sunday school teachers, organists, choir directiors, members of a congregation's evangelism committe, and assistants at the distribution of Holy Communion. All of these are forms of the public ministry. The congregation called thse workers to serve in their name, on their behalf."

What follows on page 125 is a nice little chart that illustrates the above. And note that according to the WS any "distinctions" among these many ministers, pastors included, is only by human right. And there's plenty more "scraps" where that came from. Just check out the so called WELS Compendium on the Ministry. It oozes with this stuff. But hey, it should, it is the WS doctrine.

Ummm, "Unfounded accusations" you say? You had better bone up on your WS doctrine, Bub. Your apology accepted (which I assume will be given.)

The Mole

California on my mind said...

Here we go again: a debate between those who hold the LCMS position vs. those who hold to the WELS position on church and ministry. There is a difference in teaching here, and we're not going to resolve it by throwing dirt at each other on this blog. Let's get back to the subject at hand--Norm Teigen questioned the confessional integrity of the WELS, and then someone called him on his congregation's lack of confessional integrity by allowing women to serve in leadership positions over men. Can't we focus our discussion on that?

Here's a question that could be discussed: In the WELS (at least in my church) we have "committees" and "boards." A committee simply brings recommendations to our boards. There is no voting, no decisions are enacted, and no women are chairpeople. Our boards make the decisions (exercise authority) that affect the whole congregation, not our committees. There are no women on our boards and no female chairpeople. We are trying to uphold what Scripture says about the roles of men and women, but we also want our women to be able to use their God-given talents in the congregation. So here's the question: Is it contrary to the roles of men and women in God's Word to allow a woman to serve as a chairperson on a committee where people do not vote or exercise authority, but simply pass on recommendations?

Anonymous said...

Mole,

I asked for an OFFICIAL doctrinal statement. What you quoted was written by one person in one book, who, I admit, wrote very unclearly, made all the more unclear by the way you quoted it out of context.

For an explanation of OFFICIAL doctrine, read the paper that randomdan cited above. It's an explanation of the WELS official statement. Read it--it will clear up many of your presumptions and caricatures about what the WELS teaches.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the discussion and the many comments. I think that I will back out of this wild west saloon before I get hit with any more bullets.

I will be writing about the ELS Convention on my blog, Norman's Demesne. Join me there.

Norman Teigen
ELS layman
(Disclaimer: I don't represent the ELS except in my own mind)

Anonymous said...

Dear sweet, confused Anonymous

You do not understand the WS at all, do you? Any book, especially in that "People's Bible" series must receive a doctrinal ok before it is published by NPH. That is an official statement.

Now of course you will say I quoted it out of context, that is your only recourse. What, do you want me to quote the whole freakin' book?! You know that I did not take it out of context, meaning to twist the meaning (which if I did you could easily show). What is unclear to you about "All of these are forms of the public ministry"? What is unclear is why you so vainly try to hold to your view that the WS puts not just church council members, but organists and janitors into the public ministry. I suggested a couple options earlier.

Here, prove me wrong, write to the WS Q and A and simply ask, "Are church council members in the public ministry?"

To California in the head. You cannot separate the discussion of church and ministry from the role of women when discussing the WS position, for the WS puts women into the Office of the Holy Ministry, aka in the WS "the public ministry." And who said anything about the Missouri Synod position. I know that is the knee jerk reaction in the WS when its position is shown in its absurdity.

The Mole

John said...


I asked for an OFFICIAL doctrinal statement. What you quoted was written by one person in one book, who, I admit, wrote very unclearly, made all the more unclear by the way you quoted it out of context.


Herein lies the problem. It seems that unofficial WELS writings and/or practices that are cited on this blog are shrugged off as anecdotal incidents. I believe that these incidents and writings make a case for how unclear the "official" doctrine in the WELS is applied.

Anonymous said...

thse workers to serve in their name, on their behalf."

What follows on page 125 is a nice little chart that illustrates the above. And note that according to the WS any "distinctions" among these many ministers, pastors included, is only by human right. And there's plenty more "scraps" where that came from. Just check out the so called WELS Compendium on the Ministry. It oozes with this stuff. But hey, it should, it is the WS doctrine.

Ummm, "Unfounded accusations" you say? You had better bone up on your WS doctrine, Bub. Your apology accepted (which I assume will be given.)

The Mole

May 27, 2008 11:37 PM
Anonymous California on my mind said...

Here we go again: a debate between those who hold the LCMS position vs. those who hold to the WELS position on church and ministry. There is a difference in teaching here, and we're not going to resolve it by throwing dirt at each other on this blog. Let's get back to the subject at hand--Norm Teigen questioned the confessional integrity of the WELS, and then someone called him on his congregation's lack of confessional integrity by allowing women to serve in leadership positions over men. Can't we focus our discussion on that?

Here's a question that could be discussed: In the WELS (at least in my church) we have "committees" and "boards." A committee simply brings recommendations to our boards. There is no voting, no decisions are enacted, and no women are chairpeople. Our boards make the decisions (exercise authority) that affect the whole congregation, not our committees. There are no women on our boards and no female chairpeople. We are trying to uphold what Scripture says about the roles of men and women, but we also want our women to be able to use their God-given talents in the congregation. So here's the question: Is it contrary to the roles of men and women in God's Word to allow a woman to serve as a chairperson on a committee where people do not vote or exercise authority, but simply pass on recommendations?

May 28, 2008 7:08 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mole,

I asked for an OFFICIAL doctrinal statement. What you quoted was written by one person in one book, who, I admit, wrote very unclearly, made all the more unclear by the way you quoted it out of context.

For an explanation of OFFICIAL doctrine, read the paper that randomdan cited above. It's an explanation of the WELS official statement. Read it--it will clear up many of your presumptions and caricatures about what the WELS teaches.

May 28, 2008 8:13 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the discussion and the many comments. I think that I will back out of this wild west saloon before I get hit with any more bullets.

I will be writing about the ELS Convention on my blog, Norman's Demesne. Join me there.

Norman Teigen
ELS layman
(Disclaimer: I don't represent the ELS except in my own mind)

May 28, 2008 8:42 AM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear sweet, confused Anonymous

You do not understand the WS at all, do you? Any book, especially in that "People's Bible" series must receive a doctrinal ok before it is published by NPH. That is an official statement.

Now of course you will say I quoted it out of context, that is your only recourse. What, do you want me to quote the whole freakin' book?! You know that I did not take it out of context, meaning to twist the meaning (which if I did you could easily show). What is unclear to you about "All of these are forms of the public ministry"? What is unclear is why you so vainly try to hold to your view that the WS puts not just church council members, but organists and janitors into the public ministry. I suggested a couple options earlier.

Here, prove me wrong, write to the WS Q and A and simply ask, "Are church council members in the public ministry?"

To California in the head. You cannot separate the discussion of church and ministry from the role of women when discussing the WS position, for the WS puts women into the Office of the Holy Ministry, aka in the WS "the public ministry." And who said anything about the Missouri Synod position. I know that is the knee jerk reaction in the WS when its position is shown in its absurdity.

The Mole

Anonymous said...

Oh Anonymous,

Here, check out this link, or you can do I what did. Google "wels, public ministry and church council." You can get this paper one the OFFICIAL WELS website in which it clearly says church council members are in the Public Ministry (sic).

I am still waiting for my apology.

The Mole

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=wels%2C+%22public+ministry%22+%22church+council%22&btnG=Google+Search

Anonymous said...

Anonymous....

This is from an essay given to the Michigna District of the WS and found on the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary essay file. This was written by now seminary professor John Brenner, and he writes and I quote,

"For although the public ministry is a divine institution, the form it takes will vary according to circumstances.
When we gather as Christians in a local congregation we call pastors, teachers Sunday School teachers, elders, church council members, etc., to administer the keys publicly in our name. As we gather as Christians in a synod, we call professors, administrators, synodical and district presidents, ‘etc.’, to administer the keys in our name. As God in His grace causes a congregation or synod to grow, Christians will often find it necessary to call more workers, often to very specific tasks in a wide variety of offices.
The difference in these offices is not that some are in the public ministry and others are not. The difference is in the scope of their call, in the specific work they are asked to do in the name of the Christians who have called them."

Now, about that apology....

The Mole

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

Again, where is this found in the Confessions?

And why is this women's headship allowed to go on in WELS congregations?

May 27, 2008 5:34 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not promote myself as representative of the ELS. I am a member of the ELS and have been for 46 years. I don't deny it and I am not ashamed of it. My pastors know that there are some things about the ELS that I don't endorse. President John Moldstad knows that I do not promote myself as representative of the ELS. He even asked me to serve on a Synodical Committee but I had to decline because of some upcoming conflicts. {He did not, in case anyone is wondering, ask me to serve on the Doctrine Committee).

Being a member of a Christian body does not require one to become a Nazi. You don't have to believe everything that these guys tell you. Some of them may be ordained and all but they may not be very well educated. We don't turn off our brains when we walk from the narthex into the nave.

Our responsibility is to listen to the clear preaching of the Word, confess our sins, and believe the absolution. Then we should be willing to serve.

Norman Teigen
ELS layman

May 27, 2008 5:43 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You don't have to believe everything that these guys tell you."

Does that include the Apostle Paul? He's the one who told us about that headship stuff in the first place. Or is he just one more "ordained but not very well educated" pastors whose preaching we can ignore when we know better than they do?

May 27, 2008 5:53 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You don't have to believe everything that these guys tell you."


How about everything your Lord tells you in his Word?

Whatever happened to 1 Cor 1:10?

May 27, 2008 5:53 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"'The Mole demanding discussion and defense of the WELS position while at the same time automatically equating the LCMS position with Scripture and the Confessions without a hint of discussion and defense of it'

Uh, where did I do that? (And the little voices in your head don't count.)"

Go back and reread your comment of May 27, 2008 3:42 PM. You presumed that your position was Scriptural and Confessional without giving any proof or defense of that position. You then continued to ask for a proof or defense of the opposing viewpoint. No useful discussion ever takes place when one starts by saying, "OK, I'm right, now prove that you're not wrong."

Oh, let's leave the petty, ad hominem charges of mental illness out of this. They serve no beneficial purpose in any discussion, particularly one like this, and they give the impression that you don't have a logical and persuasive case to make on the merits. Why do almost all Lutheran bloggers think they need to add snide, nasty little comments to everything they say?

May 27, 2008 6:01 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Being a member of a Christian body does not require one to become a Nazi."

Umm, do you realize what you're saying here? If you believe that the ELS teaches the Word of God in truth and purity, then you have just compared faithful pastors and members to genocidal thugs. If you don't believe that the ELS teaches the Word of God in truth and purity, then you have convicted yourself of having fellowship with false teachers.

So which is it?

May 27, 2008 6:08 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"We don't turn off our brains when we walk from the narthex into the nave."

We do when they try to convince us to listen to the political correctness of the world instead of the clear teaching of Scripture.

May 27, 2008 6:12 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon writes,

"You presumed that your position was Scriptural and Confessional without giving any proof or defense of that position. You then continued to ask for a proof or defense of the opposing viewpoint."

You're nuts. Reread. I asked a simple question that you cannot answer.

The Mole

May 27, 2008 6:32 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You're nuts."

Ahh, yet another petty ad hominem. How sad.

"Reread. I asked a simple question that you cannot answer."

Perhaps you ought to reread--specifically the part right before you asked the WELS to defend its position, where you made the presumption that your position was Scriptural and Confessional without any defense.

Like I said before, saying "I'm right, now tell me how you're not wrong" only serves the purpose of argumentation, not the purpose of beneficial dialogue.

You have no business asking someone to defend their position if you aren't willing to defend yours (with something other than personal attacks).

May 27, 2008 6:51 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon.

Perhaps your inability is that you cannot read nor reason, rather than mental illness. Sorry.

The Mole

May 27, 2008 7:18 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Perhaps your inability is that you cannot read nor reason, rather than mental illness. Sorry."

After several consecutive posts containing nothing other than ad hominem attacks and petty personal insults, I think the character of "The Mole" and the quality of his doctrinal position should be sufficiently clear to all of the readers of these comments.

May 27, 2008 7:25 PM
Anonymous WELS woman said...

I like Norm. :)

May 27, 2008 8:06 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recall, high and mighty Anon, what I asked,

"Dear Anonymous (at 9:40 am),

Is she (chairWOMAN, sic) in the Office of the Holy Ministry?

The Mole

P.S. I think I know your answer."

And we can see the quality of your intelligence by your inability to answer this simple question, which you cannot answer because it would show your doctrinal position to be utterly foolish. So obsfucation is your only recourse.

The Mole

PS I like Norm, too.

May 27, 2008 8:15 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I like Norm."

Then you must not like the Apostle Paul.

May 27, 2008 8:15 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Mole,

The answer to that question is obvious. (And by the way I'm not even the person you addressed the question to.) No, of course she isn't. I've never heard of any synod or church body claiming that council men (or, in this case, council women) were in the OHM/representative ministry.

But as I said before, there's nothing to be gained by rehashing a century-old argument here on this blog. It's been done several times.

May 27, 2008 8:19 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon,

And the debate over the deity of Christ is older yet, yet one side is still wrong despite it being rehashed today, and necessarily so.

What you find so obvious in the negative is not the Wisconsin Synod position. The WS says she is in the Ministry. Absurd, eh?

The Mole

PS Still liking Norm, but not in that way

May 27, 2008 8:24 PM
Blogger John said...

8:19pm - anonymous ~

At a recent WELS church the pastor "commissioned" the youth group before they went on their mission trip to Apacheland. So it seemed to me that the minister was placing these youth into the OHM for a short time while they went on this excursion. What is the OHM in the WELS? This century old debate has caused problems in the synod as seen today by pastors allowing youth to serve communion, give the children's sermon, etc.

The role of women in the church and society is still very much confused in the WELS which I believe is linked to a view of the OHM. Just checkout the latest post on the Q & A section of wels.net.

Norm - welcome to Cheers where everybody knows your name. John

May 27, 2008 8:30 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What you find so obvious in the negative is not the Wisconsin Synod position. The WS says she is in the Ministry. Absurd, eh?"

Umm, I think you'd better do a little bit of research. The WELS does not consider council members to be in the Ministry. I've been a member of many WELS churches in several states across the country. I've never heard even a whisper of such a thing. I've never read anything remotely close to that in any official publications. Perhaps you have too readily bought into the caricatures of the WELS position that some in the LCMS like to paint. Would you like to provide even a scrap of evidence to support your claims that the WELS officially teaches that council members are in the Ministry? Or would you like to continue to make unfounded accusations?

May 27, 2008 8:54 PM

Anonymous said...

Mole,

There's a point you don't understand. Those papers you quoted said that church council members could theoretically be in the public ministry, and here's the important part, if their duties involved the public administration of the Means of Grace. Again, that's a theoretical point. My point was that I've never heard of a single WELS congregation that, in practice, called council members to do such a thing on a permanent or regular basis. The only exception would be asking or calling elders to assist with communion distribution--but the LCMS does exactly the same thing.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

You write "There's a point you don't understand. Those papers you quoted said that church council members could theoretically be in the public ministry."

Here is what you don't understand, there is nothing "theoretical" about this. That is your spin on the matter. The WS says they ARE in the public ministry. Whether you viewed it that way or not is immaterial to the doctrinal point. By virture of their duties as church council member, organist, janitor, food distributor etc, on behalf of the congregation, according to the WS, they are in the public ministry of the church, as these documents clearly show (and believe me, there are many more. Here is what you also don't understand about the WS. Brenner's essay goes back to 1984, was recently ressurected for Issues in WELS and would not be on the WLS essay file if it didn't represent the WS view, that goes double for Schuetze's book.)

What I have learned is that most WS people who learn of this are as surprised (and indignant and defensive) as you. Schuetze's book is not confused as some (you) would like to characterize it, but very clear on what the WS doctrine is. Actually I am a bit surprised that WS people today are still surprised about all this. This is old stuff.

Now about that apology....

The Mole

Anonymous said...

Mole,

I hope you are not holding your breath for that apology.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous,

Holding my breath? I was thinking about it.

The Mole

Anonymous said...

Some of us in the WELS are concerned about the cnfessional integrity of the WELS. I wish that had been discussed at last summer's WELS convention. Please bring it up at the ELS and let's see where they stand.

Anonymous said...

And at the next WELS convention let's bring up the confessional integrity of the ELS. If the ELS stands on doctrinal issues like Norm Teigen does, we've got lots to worry about!

Anonymous said...

And at the next WELS convention let's bring up the confessional integrity of the ELS. If the ELS stands on doctrinal issues like Norm Teigen does, we've got lots to worry about!

Gregory L. Jackson said...

Norm Teigen is a gentleman, a man who signs his name to his opinions. He is far too patient with those who do not.

In Christ,
Greg Jackson

Anonymous said...

Greg, too bad you can't learn from Norm.

Anonymous said...

"I like Norm."

***Then you must not like the Apostle Paul***

--------------------------------

Actually I do. My youngest son is named for him. :)

Thanks for the judgment though, always a nice part of any Lutheran conversation. :)

Anonymous said...

"Actually I do. My youngest son is named for him."

Then why do you reject what the Apostle Paul clearly tells us about the principle of headship?

"Thanks for the judgment though"

The Lord commands us to judge and reject false doctrine. Or have you thrown that part out of the Bible too? I guess it would make sense--neither headship nor judging are politically correct, which to you (and Norm) seems to be the basis of doctrine.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous,

How would you describe this or what do you mean by this so called "principle of headship"?

Curious in Vegas

The "I like Norm" person.. said...

"Then why do you reject what the Apostle Paul clearly tells us about the principle of headship?"

I don't. I just don't believe it pertains to women voting or using her gifts on a council.

"The Lord commands us to judge and reject false doctrine. Or have you thrown that part out of the Bible too? I guess it would make sense--neither headship nor judging are politically correct, which to you (and Norm) seems to be the basis of doctrine."

I agree. I just don't agree that the application of voting is against male headship.

You judge me an errorist because it goes against how you define the "principle" of headship. Nowhere in Scripture does it say "women may not vote."

So, we have the principle and you apply it one way towards voting and I apply it a different way.

Because I disagree with you--you state I am sinning and in essence a heretic. That is what I meant regarding the judging.

You didn't merely state discuss my belief, you attacked my person by saying I must not like the Apostle Paul.

That statement was not made in love or care for me in the least--it was to mock me and put me in my place.

I understand why you did it and I labeled that judging. If you merely stated you disagreed with my pov and used Scripture to back yourself up--I would have responded differently and I would not have accused you of unfairly judging my faith.

Anonymous said...

All,

I am still wondering what this "headship principle" is, according to the WELS synod. Thanks for the help.

Still curious in Vegas

Anonymous said...

Hi Vegas:

Instead of putting a statement on here, you should check out the official doctrinal statement from the WELS Conference of Presidents. Unlike books from NPH, this is an official doctrinal statement of the synod. It can be found at this link:

http://www.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?2617&collectionID=781&contentID=4446&shortcutID=7838

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I'll check it out.

Curious in Vegas

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

I just breezed through the statements and these two at the end jumped out at me.

"We reject the opinion that male headship and female submission apply only to marriage or only to marriage and the church (1 Co 11:3; 1 Ti 2:12).

We reject the opinion that every woman is always subject to every man. Other scriptural role relationship principles and the injunction, “We must obey God rather than men” (Ac 5:29), also govern our actions."

The first one and the ones that follow it all make it very clear that this headship and submission "principle" applies everywhere not just in a marriage or church. The second one above qualifies the first one by saying sometimes the principle doesn't apply, such as when, I assume, a man would command a woman to sin, then, of course, she is not subject to him.

But what these are saying though is that every woman is indeed subject to every man (with that exception). So no woman can ever be in a headship position over a man which includes as I see above voting.

So a WELS synod woman can never be in authority over a man?! Wow! And if a woman is, she is sinning. Since this principle applies in the world WELS synod women don't vote in national, state or local elections? They aren't mangers, leaders, teachers or can hold a higher rank than a man in the military? Wow. Is it your experience in the WELS synod that woman do not take positions of authority over men at work and that they don't vote? Sorry, but that seems kind of cultish to me.

Curious in Vegas

Anonymous said...

Curious in Vegas,

Before someone else tells you as I was told above in regards to the Wisconsin Synod calling church council members, organists and janitors into the Office of the Holy Ministry (what they call the "public ministry), the above statements in regards to women are only true "theoretically" and not in reality.

The Mole

Anonymous said...

Having just read through the ~75 comments of this thread from top->bottom, I really only have one outstanding thought on all the topics discussed...

I'd suggest that several of those who have bothered to post on this blog make/take the time and effort to:

Apologize and ask forgiveness for some of inflammatory/insulting/rude/uneccesary things said; whether they were intentional or not, and whether it was requested or not.

I'm no doctrinal expert, but I'm pretty sure that falls under some branch of Christianity/Lutheranism.

However, to end on a 'fun' note, I'll leave it open to speculation whether I'm ELS/WELS/LCMS/Other! :)

Anonymous said...

Ok, I will bite.

1) You are WELS and a card carrying member of the Church and Change group which is divisive by its very name. :)

2) You are Rodney King. "Can't we all just get along."

3) You are a confessional Lutheran pastor who follows the historic liturgy and celebrates the Holy Supper every Sunday.

4)It doesn't matter who you are because it is aidophora.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, well I didn't make any nasty comments. However, if you use the term "love" anywhere, someone will call you a Gnostic.

Just a heads up in case you were tempted to use the "L" word.