Thursday, June 5, 2008

In Fellowship with the WELS

A poster noted in a comment that Crosswalk of Phoenix will be officially voted into fellowship with the WELS at next week's AZ/CA convention.
  • This "independent" congregation is currently served by a "WELS" pastor.

Who will take the district presidency of this district?

Let's take a look at who is in line next for full WELS fellowship...

http://www.churchfromscratch.net/links.htm

www.marshillchurch.org

www.xenos.org


http://www.crossroadschicago.org/index.html


29 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am confused. Crosswalk's website says that they are a member congregation of the WELS.

What's up?

Anonymous said...

What's up is that people hear things and run with them. They consider things fact when they don't know the truth. They make grand assumptions and consider them to be indicative of they synod as a whole.

Welcome to the blog that is known as "Bailing Water."

Anonymous said...

It's incredible. One day, blog moderation is disabled, another day it is enabled. What a joke. Make up your mind and decide what it's going to be, because it gives the impression that you weed out comments that hurt your opinions.

John said...

Hey mr. anonymous,

Why don't you start your own blog. You can set your own topics and moderation settings.

There are times when I'm out of town and can't moderate comments. There are also topics that bring out comments that are off topic and not necessary. I guess if you don't like what I'm doing don't come back. (moderation on)

Anonymous said...

Yeah you tell him John. If you can't stand the heat stay out of John's kitchen. Wus

Anonymous said...

I agree Go John!!...it is so funny to see these WELS bots get so irritated and defensive when the truth is pointed out.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

WELS has discovered a new sin - the sin of turning off the comments when out of town. Have you no shame, Bailing Water?

I had to vent a little.

Bespoke.

Anonymous said...

Isn't that what the WELS does best- invent new sins so that Bailing Water can point them out?

WELS bot

Anonymous said...

WELS bot,

How about we focus on the topic at hand.

What do you think of the church growth churches listed and their influence on the WELS?

Anonymous said...

I think it is shameful. And I believe that the only answer is to give a firm and brotherly admonishment founded on scripture to show why these things are destructive. I believe this is what is being done by people who do not use blogs to do so.

WELS bot

Anonymous said...

The WELS cannot err.
These churches are WELS.
These churches cannot err.

Whirr-buzz-click-click,
WELS bot #4738

Anonymous said...

There are two things that bother me. If WELS is a confessional church - then it should confess. To leave out the name Lutheran in a church title is to try to have it both ways. Second, by leaving out the name Lutheran and using the names like:Crosswalk; Willow Creek, Cornerstone ,etc. you are giving a false impression to those twenty-somethings who assume it is a non-denominational church.

Anonymous said...

Please tell me how the WELS allows this WELS pastor to claim support of these heterodox churches?

Anonymous said...

This pastor from scratch goes unchecked because the WELS is steeped in Church growth methods.

I am curious said...

This comment does not belong in this thread, but has anyone heard anything about the "Year of Jubilee" the WELS is planning for this summer?

Someone said this has something to do with paying off the millions of dollars that was double spent a few years ago?

What's up with that?

Anonymous said...

Leave these pastors alone. They are trying to grow the church by any means possible. This is the what the pastors are taught at the seminary, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

I have two serious questions.
1. What exactly is wrong with "Crosswalk of Phoenix?"
2. The marshillchurch.org is a joke right? They aren't really coming to the WELS, correct?

Anonymous said...

There is no biblical prescription for the format of a service or sermon. To claim there is . . . is pure legalism! Is that what people are objecting to at Crosswalk? If Crosswalk is able to reach more people with the Means of Grace with a "contemporary" approach in their ministry context, what's wrong with that? I do know the Evangelicals use "contemporary" worship but the Catholics, the ELCA, and the Episcopalians use a liturgical service very similar to CW, I don't see anybody warning people about looking like the Catholics or the ELCA.

Just shout'in

Anonymous said...

J,

Who are you arguing against? Or is that your line of questioning for every thread?

Anonymous said...

A quick review of my other responses will indicate I am against any form of legalism. That's Lutheran. IF Crosswalk is reaching more people with the Means of
Grace with a different approach than many, God bless them. That is Church growth with a capital "C". That's God's doing.

Just shout'in

Anonymous said...

J,

So it's the method that reaches people?

Anonymous said...

The Means of Grace need an audience, so yes, from a human stand point you need to use a method that best gives you an opportunity to share the Gospel in your context. Christ has chosen to use us to be his ambassadors (2 Cor. 5) sharing His message; that's how he makes disciples (Matt. 28). Are you suggesting sitting on your seat, waiting for God to send them through your church's front door?

Just shout'in

Anonymous said...

J,

So, it's not the Holy Spirit who "calls, gathers, enlightens", etc. but our methods? Also, it's not God's Word accomplishing the purpose for which he sent it and not returning void but our methods? Interesting that you would choose 2 Cor. 5. Paul is speaking to those who are already Christians and says that he, an Apostle in the OHM, is making the appeal. That leads back to Ephesians where those in the OHM are given to the Church for this express purpose. Interesting also that Christ does not promise that all churches will grow, as even His preaching of the Truth drove away many.

But, if you'd rather set up your circus tents and throw a kegger for Jesus, knock yourself out.

Anonymous said...

One more time:

Are you suggesting sitting on your seat, waiting for God to send them through your church's front door?

Just shout'in

Anonymous said...

Why do you keep asking? As already explained, the OHM was given to the Church to make the appeal. This is done through faithful preaching of the Gospel and administration of the Sacraments. You place a huge burden on US to be bringin' in more people. We don't. God does. Even if the church grows, it is not our doing. "We have only done our duty."

Brandon said...

Scripture has not prescribed a specific way to do ministry. That's part of the freedom of the Gospel. Scripture hasn't prescribed a specific form of worship. That's part of the freedom of the Gospel. Scripture only prescribes that we preach. How we do it is up to us to decide, but God blesses all our efforts. So, if a congregation sees that the most effective way to reach people in its area is through a more contemporary approach, can not God bless that? Is that not an avenue for the Holy Spirit to "call, gather, enlighten"? Or do we believe the Holy Spirit only "calls, gathers, enlightens" through traditional, liturgical worship?

An example: We train our pastors, teachers, staff ministers to teach and to preach effectively for a reason. Otherwise, we would scrap homiletics at the seminary and just let men stand up and read from the Bible and stammer through some Gospel oriented thoughts. But we believe that effective preaching requires both the Word and a clear and relevant presentation of it. Would a pastor be accused of church growth if he strove to make his sermons more interesting? Maybe, but only if it sacrifices the truth of the Gospel.

In the same way, a church should not be accused of church growth if it uses contemporary music, worship, or ministry methods unless those styles and methods sacrifice the truth of the Gospel. If they merely are seeking to make their PRESENTATION of the Gospel more interesting to the people they are reaching, then they are being faithful.

Brandon said...

The end of this blog article, with its "Next in line..." links is I think very misleading, in that it gives all the impression that these links are all churches that have departed from the truth and are somehow being allowed into the WELS without proper recognition of the doctrine of fellowship. But examining these websites gives us a clearer picture:

http://www.churchfromscratch.net/links.htm - This is not a congregation or even an organization at all. It's a research project conducted by a WELS pastor and layperson for the purpose of explaining and promoting different levels of ministry, from small to large group. It's a resource, and they link the WELSnet website. Why is this a concern?

www.marshillchurch.org - This is a Seattle based non-denominational church that makes no claims anywhere on its website to have any contact with the WELS. Neither is there any indication from any reputable source that the WELS has made overtures to Mars Hill. Was this put on as a joke?

www.xenos.org - Same as with Mars Hill, no reason to even put this on here. I begin to suspect that the author of the blog is simply listing radical churches to be glib. Unfortunately, he doesn't realize this does far more harm that any potential good.

http://www.crossroadschicago.org/index.html - This is a congregation that, like Crosswalk in Phoenix, is listed at least as far back as the 2006 Synod Yearbook (most recent I have in my office right now) as a member congregation of the WELS. There is nothing on their website that promotes heterdoxy, the pastor is a trained WELS seminary graduate, and the Synod obviously has no doctrinal issues. To put this church in a list with Mars Hill and Xenos is downright divisive.

That's my evaluation of this blog post. I hope the blog owner will take my comments into consideration.

Anonymous said...

"As already explained, the OHM was given to the Church to make the appeal. This is done through faithful preaching of the Gospel and administration of the Sacraments."

I think you meant to say: "This is done through faithful preaching of the Gospel, administration of the Sacraments, and mandatory use of the term Lutheran, which has been the universal practice of the true church since the time of Christ and his apostles." Right?