Saturday, August 23, 2008

Thirteenth Annual Octoberfest and Liturgical Seminar

An interesting conference coming up that some of you might be aware of or unaware of or maybe being WELS just wary of:

Thirteenth Annual Octoberfest and Liturgical Seminar --
------------------------------------------------------------



St. Paul’s Evangelical-Lutheran Church
Kewanee, Illinois
October 12-14, 2008

http://liturgyseminar.blogspot.com/

http://gottesblog.blogspot.com/2008/07/plan-ahead-oktoberfest-is-coming.html

http://rev aaron moldenhauer receives sabre of boldness



Schedule of Events
Sunday, October 12

5 pm Autumn Choral vespers, anticipating the Festival of Harvest
6 pm Annual bratwurst banquet
Rev. Dr. Burnell Eckardt: Annual Presentation of Awards, sort of . . .
Monday, October 13 (Oktoberfest Seminar)
9:00-9:30 a.m. Registration
9:30 a.m. Holy Mass: FESTIVAL OF HARVEST
Fr. Eckardt, celebrant and preacher
Mr. Steve Harris, subdeacon
11:00-11:50 a.m. “An Overview of the History of the WELS - Fr. Aaron Moldenhauer
12:00 noon Office of Sext
12:15 p.m. Lunch
1:00 -1:50 p.m. The Office of the Holy Ministry in the WELS - Fr. John Berg
2:00 – 2:50 p.m. The Roles of Men and Women- Mrs. Tabitha Moldenhauer
3:00 – 3:50 p.m. The Doctrine of Fellowship in the WELS- Fr. Peter Berg

Tuesday, October 9 (Liturgical Seminar)

9:00-9:30 a.m. Registration
9:30 a.m. Holy Mass
11:00 a.m.-3:15 p.m. Seminar

Private Confession available Monday morningAnyone desiring the Sacrament of Absolution may come to the church on Monday morning between 8:00 and 9:00. The confessional is the vestry, located just inside the door which enters the church from the hallway to the west. A sign will be posted on the door, indicating that if the door is ajar, the penitent may enter. If it is closed, please (sic) (knock??? listen in?? take notes?? run???make the sign of the cross?? )

153 comments:

Anonymous said...

why would someone be "wary" of this conference?

Anonymous said...

I am a member of WELS and I certainly am not wary of this conference. I'm a bit envious....would love to see a seminar like this.

Anonymous said...

Because the conference is being held at a LCMS congregation and two of the presenters (Pastors Berg and Berg) were forced out of the WELS (defenestrated?) for upholding Confessional, traditional and liturgical worship (see Motley Magpie).

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, it doesn't indicate if current WELS leadership will be attending. I would be surprised if they did, but I'd love to see it.

It seems, and this is probably just rationalism (or hopeful thinking) on my part, that if WELS continued to pursue a more historical and unified liturgy, discarded some of its pietistic roots and anti-Roman views and made some sort of an agreement on the differences of OHM (like an agreement around BOC), there might be a lot more coming from the LCMS (with all the craziness going on there) headed towards Wisconsin.

Just a thought.

Rob

Anonymous said...

Why is the LCMS so obsessed with the WELS? This whole conference (based on the topics and the presenters) looks like if will be nothing more than brutal criticism and mockery of the WELS. This is an LCMS conference--why not discuss all of the problems in the LCMS? (There are more than enough to discuss.) I've never heard of a WELS conference devoted specifically to talking about all of the things about the LCMS that we don't like. They ought to worry about the gigantic planks in their own synodical eye before they bother with the specks in the WELS.

"Unfortunately, it doesn't indicate if current WELS leadership will be attending."

Why would the WELS leadership attend an LCMS conference--one specifically meant to criticize the WELS? I wouldn't expect WELS leaders to attend anymore than I would expect LCMS leaders to attend WELS conferences.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Ms. Tabitha's presentation entitled "The Roles of Men and Women" will be involving biblical doctrine. Isn't the teaching of biblical doctrine always authoritative, and, if so, how do the pastors planning to attend square this with their views of the "OHM?"

Oh, I forgot. These folks are now part of the LCMS, where that doesn't seem to be a problem.

By the way, WELS recently had a fabulous four-day conference on liturgical worship. The only thing it was missing was four presentations analyzing the faults of WELS doctrines of fellowship, church and ministry, and the roles of men and women.

Anonymous said...

"Sounds like Ms. Tabitha's presentation entitled "The Roles of Men and Women" will be involving biblical doctrine. Isn't the teaching of biblical doctrine always authoritative, and, if so, how do the pastors planning to attend square this with their views of the "OHM?""

Ha, that's a great observation. In their criticism of the WELS roles of men and women they are clearly violating their own doctrine on men and women. How ironic is that?

I guess when your vitriol is so fixated on little gnats you end up with a camel down your throat!

Anonymous said...

Hi,

It was pointed out to me by a friend that I was being discussed here, so let me assure all concerned that though I am presenting at Oktoberfest I am certainly not teaching doctrine nor am I in the OHM, nor can I be. If you have any questions about this event, feel free to contact Pr. Eckardt or the presenters directly.

Thank you,
Tabitha Moldenhauer

Anonymous said...

"It was pointed out to me by a friend that I was being discussed here, so let me assure all concerned that though I am presenting at Oktoberfest I am certainly not teaching doctrine nor am I in the OHM, nor can I be."

Huh? Let me get this straight. You will be presenting but not teaching? What's the difference? Will you be discussing what Scripture has to say about the roles of men and women? If so, then, according to your hubby and his compatriots, you are indeed placing yourself into the OHM. And since you claim that women cannot serve in the OHM, you are violating your own doctrine.

Anonymous said...

"If so, then, according to your hubby and his compatriots, you are indeed placing yourself into the OHM."

What did my "hubby" or "his compatriots" ever say or write that makes you write this?

I don't make up my own doctrine and am not violating the church's doctrine. I think you may have confused the two synods' positions on men and women.

The authoritative teaching found in Scripture is preaching. I am not doing that. Nor am I teaching doctrine. Once again, if you have questions, you may contact Pr. Eckardt or the presenters directly. I think the email found for the Bergs at www.motleymagpie.org still works and Pr. Eckardt's information is on his blog.

Thanks,
Tabitha

Anonymous said...

There were no women presenters at the WELS worship conference?

Anonymous said...

"What did my "hubby" or "his compatriots" ever say or write that makes you write this?"

The "hyper-Missourians" teach that no one may preach or teach in the church unless he is a rightly called and ordained pastor. You are teaching publicly in the church. Thus, according to them, you are making yourself a pastor, since you are taking upon yourself the office of ministry.

That's the problem.

If you followed the WELS doctrine (instead of criticizing it) there wouldn't be a problem, since the WELS acknowledges that simply speaking about God's Word in a public way doesn't necessarily require or force one to be in the OHM.

By your actions you are really demonstrating how foolish the hyper-Missourian doctrine is in real life and how obvious and practical the WELS view is.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 2:47,

You have not answered my question, so I'll ask it again. When did my hubby or his compatriots ever say or write that? (Actually, I've never heard anyone in the LCMS say that.)

To be clear, this is not an "LCMS conference". It's a Gottesdienst conference. Gottesdienst is an excellent quarterly journal that is read by people of different synods, though I think all the authors have been LCMS. I know of WELS pastors who subscribe.

You seem to assume that this conference is to criticize the WELS. Why do you think that?

I don't know what a "hyper-Missourian" is, but what you say they believe is pretty close to Article XIV of the Augsburg Confession, which hopefully, is what is believed by all confessional Lutherans. "Our churches teach that no one should publicly teach in the Church, or administer the Sacraments, without a rightly ordered call." Once again, the teaching is preaching, which I am not doing.

I was a Lutheran school teacher in both the WELS and the LCMS. Following your logic, would that "public teaching" put me into the office of pastor? No. Was I in the OHM? No. I was serving in assistance to the parents to instruct their children.

If what you describe is indeed the beliefs held by my husband, Pr. Peter Berg, Pr. John Berg, and Pr. Eckardt, why did they ask me to speak at Oktoberfest?

Tabitha

Anonymous said...

"If you followed the WELS doctrine(instead of criticizing it) there wouldn't be a problem, since the WELS acknowledges that simply speaking about God's Word in a public way doesn't necessarily force one to be in the OHM." As a hyper-Missourian I can say that that's my doctrine too. You don't know your Missouri from Mizzouri, pal. Ah, one of the posters mentioned a wonderful worship conference put on by the WELS! Nothing but Anglican "pretty church." A synod that religates the Lord's Supper and its every Lord's Day celebration to the foggy area of adiaphoron doesn't have a clue about the Evangelical Mass and its Incarnational nature, not to mention the Feast of the Lamb happening simultaneously in heaven (at least on the 1st & 3rd Sundays). As one of the Octoberfest presenters (guess which one) I can assure you that the WELS AND LCMS will be represented fairly and criticized. At least there is a lively confessional movement within Missouri. Can't say the same about the cult.

Mons

Anonymous said...

A,

I think you mean Hyper-Euro Missourian.

Please get your insults right.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there were women presenters at the WELS worship conference.

Anonymous said...

John,

You may want to leave off the sarcasm at the end of this post. I think you copied from liturgyseminar, which seems to have dropped off part of the last sentence. I remember seeing the announcement for Private Absolution at Oktoberfest somewhere else and it had a request to wait outside (or something like that) if the door was closed.

HEM

John said...

HEM,

If you note above I did cite my source: liturgyseminar.blogspot.com

I do confess that it was just was a bit of confessional closed door humor.

I am interested in the dialogue presented here on the role of men and women as espoused by the WELS. I am very much interested in Mrs. Moldenhauer's insights. There has been much discussion on this blog and on the WELS Q and A site about the contradiction between doctrine and practice of WELS pastors in regard to the role of women in the home, church, and society.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure this Tabitha chick won't be hearing anyone's confession, baptizing, preaching at the service or celebrating the Eucharist, but, it seems, discussing something that evidently she knows something about, and if she's cute, well, that'll be a bonus!

Larry

Anonymous said...

I've met the Moldenhauer chick before. Ah... let's say that she has a nice personality. I leave it at that.

Barry

Anonymous said...

Back to the original topic...

Why is it that the LCMS feels such a deep need to bully and criticize the WELS at every turn? Confessional Missourians have much, much more in common with the WELS than they do with most of the people in their own synod. So why ignore or gloss over the abominations in the LCMS in favor of criticizing the WELS? Perhaps this is a cultural thing ingrained in the LCMS from the days of Walther, who was absolutely savage with the Wisconsin men.

Anonymous said...

I find it bizarre and insulting that the LCMS is giving former WELS people awards (the Sabre of Awesomeness or whatever it is) just for leaving. That's far more cult like ("Come join us and you get a cool prize.") than anything the WELS does.

Anonymous said...

Good question... that I am wondering too. Why is this Missouri conference picking a part the WELS positions?

Is it because these gentlemen did this same thing whilst they were in the WELS and were booted out? Could be.??

Missouri has plenty of its own problems...just ask Rev. Paul McCain.

Why not do a compare and contrast presentation. Does scripture allow for both the WELS and LCMS view of ministry? I think so.

Has the WELS gone too far with their position on women in society? I think so.

Has Missouri gone too far with its use of women in the church? I think so (women lectors, women administering communion....)

Is this conference one final shot at the WELS? I don't know.

Is this conference trying to recruit WELS clergy? Probably not.

Has this conference been advertised anywhere besides BW & CN? I wonder?

The final question and then I send in my registration fee:

Is there going to be ample supple of barley and hops at this Oktoberfest seminar?

Signed,
wondering, wandering, and wary WELS minister

Anonymous said...

I notice that the theme of the conference is: A Tale of Two Synods.

Why wasn't I invited?

Mark B.

A Tale of Two Synods

Anonymous said...

WWW WELS Minister,

You ask

"The final question and then I send in my registration fee:

Is there going to be ample supple of barley and hops at this Oktoberfest seminar?"

I know one of the presenters very well and I can assure you that there will be more than an ample supply of said beverages (just get there early).

Larry

Anonymous said...

Mark asks,

"Why wasn't I invited?"

It wasn't that good?

Anonymous said...

WWW WELS Minister,

You opined, "Has Missouri gone too far with its use of women in the church? I think so (women lectors, women administering communion....)

Below is from the WELS Q/A:

"I am more than willing to grant that it is not wrong for a woman to read a lesson either from behind the lectern or from the pew. Yet in the midst of a society working hard to erase biblical gender distinctives, I'm still not convinced this is the wisest practice in our regular public worship."

Anonymous said...

"So why ignore or gloss over the abominations in the LCMS in favor of criticizing the WELS?"

Here's how I see it. Being a Confessional pastor in the LCMS has to be completely frustrating. Obviously the LCMS is going down ELCA Road, and going fast. They know it's futile, they know that no one in the synod really cares about what they have to say, they know things in the LCMS are only going to get worse. And this makes them feel frustrated, and it makes them feel guilty for sticking around long after they should have left.

And so instead of venting all of this frustration toward the Purple Palace (which could get them in trouble), they turn their attention toward the WELS and tear it to shreds to make themselves feel a little better about their own situation.

It's much like how a boy who is abused by his father becomes a bully to his little defenseless cousin.

Anonymous said...

Larry,

I resnt the implica tion tht i"ve got a prblem

Barry

Anonymous said...

Barry,

I think they also do interventions at this conference...

Larry

Anonymous said...

"Why is it that the LCMS feels such a deep need to bully and criticize the WELS at every turn?"

Really? How many lcms gatherings are about the wels? This is the first I've heard of.

Anonymous said...

Ok...there will be plenty of barley and hops, :)and I will be welcome to sit in fellowship next to the beer tap, will I be allowed to participate in the Holy Supper?

This is actually a serious question. I know that open and close(d)communion practices do exist in the LCMS.

A fellow “retired” WELS pastor actually pointed this conference out to me and said that he was planning on going.

How will the presiding minister at this LCMS conference gate the Eucharist?

Will WELS members be allowed to partake in the Holy Supper?

Signed,
wondering, wandering, and wary WELS minister

Anonymous said...

"Confessional Missourians have much, much more in common with the WELS than they do with most of the people in their own synod."

Ooo, no. No, they don't.

Anonymous said...

"Why is this Missouri conference picking a part the WELS positions?"

Who said it was? The wels and the lcms have many of the same problems. Perhaps, since they won't officially talk to each other, this would be a helpful way to point out the similar dangers and challenges present in both synods.

Anonymous said...

WWW wels,

For the love, man! CONTACT PR. ECKARDT! IT'S HIS CHURCH! HOW WILL ASKING THE BAILING WATER CROWD ANSWER YOUR QUESTION ABOUT COMMUNION IN KEWANEE?

Anonymous said...

"Obviously the LCMS is going down ELCA Road, and going fast. "

So's the wels. We be in the same boat, so to speak.

Anonymous said...

"Ooo, no. No, they don't."

So you're saying that confessionals in the LCMS have more in common with those who deny the inspiration of Scripture and support praying with Buddhists and Muslims than they do with the WELS? Doesn't sound too confessional to me.

Anonymous said...

"Has this conference been advertised anywhere besides BW & CN? I wonder?"

GOTTESDIENST.

Anonymous said...

Barry,

Is it because of her hump? The missing teeth? Being 6 feet tall AND 6 feet wide? The conjoined twin?

Harry

Anonymous said...

For the love, man!

Ok..point taken on my specific question.

Does the LCMS allow for open communion? Or is it up to the local pastor?

Maybe someone could speak on this at the conference. Or would this cause the presenters to be thrown out of a second syond?

Signed,
wondering, wandering, and wary WELS minister

Anonymous said...

"Why is this Missouri conference picking a part the WELS positions?"

"Who said it was? The wels and the lcms have many of the same problems. Perhaps, since they won't officially talk to each other, this would be a helpful way to point out the similar dangers and challenges present in both synods."

Umm, if you knew anything about any of the presenters, you would know that this is not going to be a fair and balanced conference. The WELS is going to get savaged and beaten to a pulp. There are some personal vendettas to be settled. But, hey, if it will make the bullies feel better about themselves and their synod, so be it.

Anonymous said...

"So you're saying that confessionals in the LCMS have more in common with those who deny the inspiration of Scripture and support praying with Buddhists and Muslims than they do with the WELS? Doesn't sound too confessional to me."

No, the lcms confessionals have maybe as much in common with those you named as they do with the black geneva pietistic wels.

Anonymous said...

"Does the LCMS allow for open communion?"

Technically, no. On paper their doctrine is identical to the WELS'.

Realistically? Oh, yeah. It's as open as open gets.

Anonymous said...

"No, the lcms confessionals have maybe as much in common with those you named as they do with the black geneva pietistic wels."

So you'd rather worship Buddha than wear a black Geneva? Talk about priorities!

See, this is the danger in extreme liturgical piety (as well as CG worship). Agreement in external worship practices becomes the basis for fellowship rather than agreement in doctrine.

Anonymous said...

WWW wels,

Officially no. However, as in the wels, the situation varies from congregation to congregation.

It would seem the time for suggestions for topics for this year's conference has passed. Once again, if you'd like to suggest something, instead of doing it here, CONTACT PR. ECKARDT. WHY WON'T YOU STOP POINTLESS SPECULATING HERE AND CONTACT SOMEONE WHO CAN ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS? OH, OH, I KNOW WHO COULD ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS, PR. ECKARDT!

WHO WOULD KNOW BETTER ABOUT THIS GATHERING THAN A BUNCH OF ANONYMI ON BAILING WATER? HMMMM..., HOW ABOUT THE HOST OF THE THING? PR. ECKARDT.

YES, INDEED, PR. ECKARDT.

IN KEWANEE.

ILLINOIS.

HE'S PROBABLY NOT PURE EVIL.

AND MIGHT EVEN ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS.

BECAUSE HE WOULD KNOW THE ANSWERS.

PR. ECKARDT.

Anonymous said...

"Umm, if you knew anything about any of the presenters,"

Which, I would guess you do not. You are such a coward you won't even give your name and give no specifics, only vague accusations. Until you have some concrete reason for your statements, you should take them back, apologize, and sit on your hands.

ECF

Anonymous said...

"Which, I would guess you do not. You are such a coward you won't even give your name and give no specifics, only vague accusations. Until you have some concrete reason for your statements, you should take them back, apologize, and sit on your hands.

ECF"

Oh the hypocrisy! I can't stand it! An anonymous ECF anonymously chastising someone for making anonymous comments! ECF--look in the mirror. You'll see a coward AND a hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

"So you'd rather worship Buddha than wear a black Geneva? Talk about priorities"

Wow! You are possibly the stupidest person on Bailing Water. And that is saying something.

You see, here's the point: the wels is not confessional and its roots are not of the same soil as the lcms. They were begun in pietism, and while Hoenecke managed a miracle in turning the organization around for a brief time, they have returned to their roots, for those of you riding the short bus tomorrow: pietism.

The confessionals of MO are of a different breed than the conservatives of wels. There are some confessionals in wels too, but precious few.

Anonymous said...

"Oh the hypocrisy! I can't stand it! An anonymous ECF anonymously chastising someone for making anonymous comments! ECF--look in the mirror. You'll see a coward AND a hypocrite."

THAT is not an answer in defense of your earlier accusations. ECF-look it up. If you're wels, you should be able to figure it out.

By the way, your rage is showing. :)

ECF

Anonymous said...

"Officially no. However, as in the wels, the situation varies from congregation to congregation."

Sorry, but there are no congregations in the WELS whose publicly stated position is open communion. Might there be anomalies in practice? Probably. But if there was ever a congregation that publicly practiced open communion, it wouldn't be a WELS congregation for very long. There are many, many LCMS congregations that publicly practice and promote open communion, with no repercussions.

That's one big difference between the WELS and LCMS. The LCMS long ago decided to acquiesce to false doctrine. The WELS still fights it (although imperfectly and inconsistently).

Anonymous said...

Wow! I guess I should contact Pastor Eckhardt. This is my first stop at this Bailing Water bus stop and people seem a bit edgy.

I don't think that this conference is a bad idea. I am all for confessionals getting together to educate and communicate.

There is also an annual confessional conference at BLC every fall.

Now let's stop the flaming .."can't we all just get along."

www wels minister

Anonymous said...

WWW,

YOU SEEM LIKE A NICE GUY. I AGREE, THE CONFERENCE IS A GOOD IDEA.

JUST FYI: IT'S ECKARDT. (NO H)

Anonymous said...

"Wow! You are possibly the stupidest person on Bailing Water. And that is saying something.

You see, here's the point: the wels is not confessional and its roots are not of the same soil as the lcms. They were begun in pietism, and while Hoenecke managed a miracle in turning the organization around for a brief time, they have returned to their roots, for those of you riding the short bus tomorrow: pietism.

The confessionals of MO are of a different breed than the conservatives of wels. There are some confessionals in wels too, but precious few."

Well, this comment confirms my suspicion that the LCMS has inherited its confessional cruelty against the WELS from Walther. WELS people are stupid. WELS people are pietists in disguise. WELS people are just a different breed, from different soil. LCMS people are by nature confessional, even when they do things so very anti-confessional. WELS people are by nature anti-confessional, even when they do things that are confessional.

Hmm, wasn't there another group of people who took pride in being of the right breed and soil and found comfort in that, even when their actions betrayed those roots?

And didn't Christ have something to say about that?

Anonymous said...

"That's one big difference between the WELS and LCMS. The LCMS long ago decided to acquiesce to false doctrine. The WELS still fights it (although imperfectly and inconsistently)."

Way to go to our fearless wels leaders on getting rid of plagarized Baptist sermons, heretical worship, and fellowship violations.

Oh, wait....

Anonymous said...

"ECF-look it up. If you're wels, you should be able to figure it out."

Why should I have to figure out your code? If you are so against anonymous comments, calling them cowardly, why not simply state your full name for the record? Why hide behind a pseudonym?

Anonymous said...

"Way to go to our fearless wels leaders on getting rid of plagarized Baptist sermons, heretical worship, and fellowship violations."

Did you not notice I said "imperfectly and inconsistently"?

Obviously there's tons of room for improvement, but far worse things than those you listed go on every day in the LCMS and one even blinks an eye.

At least in the WELS there is an outcry against these things. In the LCMS, there's a yawn and then a conference against the WELS.

John said...

At least in the WELS there is an outcry against these things. In the LCMS, there's a yawn and then a conference against the WELS.

Where is this outcry? I have been debating whether or not to stop moderating comments, but each day a WELS bot decries my efforts, and begs me to shut down this site.

They only outcry that I have heard of was by a few pastors that have since been kicked out. Oh, once in a great while a brave soul will write an article in the CN.

Maybe you would be wise to hear Pr. Moldenhauer's journey. In the eyes of many in the WELS it would have been better if he'd joined the Mormon's. So where or where is this out cry against heretical practices in the WELS???

Anonymous said...

"Where is this outcry?"

The biggest evidence I would point to are the decisions made at the most recent synod convention. The election of President Schroeder was a direct rejection of Gurgel and the CG crowd. This was the culmination of a whole lot of grassroots outcry. You probably didn't notice much of it because it was done through the proper channels in circuit and conference and district meetings. You don't need to publish a sarcastic little rag and get kicked out in order to speak out against false doctrine.

There has been monumental change in the WELS in the past year or so, change for the better, change that resulted from a wide-spread grassroots outcry.

To hear that the LCMS is now planning on crushing us once again, when such major things are taking place, is just as disheartening now as it must have been for Bading and Hoenecke who made great changes in the synod only to get crushed by Walther and his followers.

Anonymous said...

Dear wondering, wandering, and wary WELS minister,

Why did you ask: "Will WELS members be allowed to partake in the Holy Supper?"

I think you know that no WELS members would present themselves at a LC-MS altar as we are not in fellowship. Certainly observing at this conference is fine but not participation in prayers and Lord's Supper.

A WELS layperson

Anonymous said...

Someone wrote,

"Umm, if you knew anything about any of the presenters, you would know that this is not going to be a fair and balanced conference. The WELS is going to get savaged and beaten to a pulp. There are some personal vendettas to be settled. But, hey, if it will make the bullies feel better about themselves and their synod, so be it."

Apparently this is public or common knowledge. Not being aware of any of what you are referring to, could you enlighten me a bit?

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon at 9:23

You wrote, "To hear that the LCMS is now planning on crushing us once again."

I'm curious, where did you see that in the announcement? I must have missed it.

Anonymous said...

A WELS layperson,

Alo, he shouldn't drink with the lcms people because that could be a "joint expression of the faith".

Anonymous said...

"There has been monumental change in the WELS in the past year or so, change for the better, change that resulted from a wide-spread grassroots outcry."

What changes? Our wels church is exactly the same: contemporary worship, no Lutheran identity, communion every other Sunday.

Another WELS layperson

Anonymous said...

To the person talking about church history,

Please double check your facts before posting here. Walther had good reason to be upset with the WELS due to its unionistic problems at that time. He later changed his stance on the WELS and was much more favorable toward it after they did some reforming.

Your comments here make it sound like all us WELS people are paranoid. We aren't. Not all WELS members think that the LCMS is out to get us. Unless you have proof of that (I have LCMS family members and have never heard that there is much talk at all about the WELS) please stop making us all look like kooks.

Another WELS layperson

Anonymous said...

"What changes? Our wels church is exactly the same: contemporary worship, no Lutheran identity, communion every other Sunday."

Well, if it's your congregation, why don't you speak up and do something about it?

Anonymous said...

"Our wels church is exactly the same: contemporary worship, no Lutheran identity, communion every other Sunday."

I can understand the frustration of the lay person who wrote this. But the responsibility for establishing worship and communion practices lies primarily with the congregation. Your congregation has decided to move in this direction. If you believe change is necessary, you need to start at home, with your pastor(s) and your congregational leaders.

Anonymous said...

"Walther had good reason to be upset with the WELS due to its unionistic problems at that time."

Well, of course he had reason to be upset with WELS' unionism at the time. But the way he went about his criticism was the problem. To put it bluntly, he used the problems in the WELS as an excuse to be a jerk.

"He later changed his stance on the WELS and was much more favorable toward it after they did some reforming."

He softened up a little bit once changes had finally come to pass, but while the changes were being made, he remained brutal. This made it more difficult for Bading et. al. to convince the synod to change.

Anonymous said...

Anonymouses of 7:32,

I'm a wels laywoman and have no vote and no say in what "my" congregation does.

Another WELS layperson

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 7:38,

Are you making a "tone" argument from over a century ago? Is that all that's left to you after I pointed out that your history was incorrect? Sad. As I wrote above, you are making all of us look like crazy people.

Another WELS layperson

Anonymous said...

To the person who wrote,

"Umm, if you knew anything about any of the presenters, you would know that this is not going to be a fair and balanced conference. The WELS is going to get savaged and beaten to a pulp. There are some personal vendettas to be settled. But, hey, if it will make the bullies feel better about themselves and their synod, so be it."

I repeat, apparently this is public or common knowledge. Not being aware of any of what you are referring to, could you enlighten me a bit?

Anonymous said...

Sorry to interrupt, but to the person who wrote,

"Umm, if you knew anything about any of the presenters, you would know that this is not going to be a fair and balanced conference. The WELS is going to get savaged and beaten to a pulp. There are some personal vendettas to be settled. But, hey, if it will make the bullies feel better about themselves and their synod, so be it"

you sound like Tom Cruise as he attacks the critics of Scientology.

Anonymous said...

Many of you may be fortunate enough to live in an area with a plethora of Lutheran options - conservative or liberal, WELS or LCMS, confessional or contemporary. Some of us are in areas that don't have any strongly confessional churches (as I understand them) within 100 miles, so we have to take what's available. It is what it is and God provides what we need but I'd relish the opportunity to be disappointed with a truly historical, confessional Lutheran church.

I'm praying for change, and the WELS church we attend has made some small ones. What can we do? Things are addressed with the pastor. We wait and pray. We have access to blogs, online sermons, literature, etc. We are not without hope. But we are hungry and often frustrated.

Rob

Anonymous said...

Hey, Angry WELS Guy, vendetta? You're taking yourself too seriously up their WELSland. No one outside of your sect really cares that much about the WELS. The esteemed editor of Gottesdienst thought that there might be some curiosity about Wisconsin/Missouri relations and the current situation in the WELS. I kind of doubt it. But since he asked me and some others to take on the subject, who am I to say no? Were you the one who said that people like me are out to destroy the WELS? You're too funny! Lutheranism in the U.S. was wrecked from the git go. No need to destroy it. No vendettas...just havin' fun listening to the WELS crazies. One last word: If you're going to warn people on this blog about my theology you better know what you're talking about. That means reading what I've written. Check it out: Logia, Gottesdienst, Bride of Christ and, of course, the on-line version of the Motley Magpie. It's free! (operative WELS word)

Pr. Peter Berg

Anonymous said...

Hey Rev Father,
Can you help out those who are a little confused. Were you "booted out of" "given the left foot of fellowship from", (insert the illustration of the day) a Synod that you wished to remain in, or did you leave a "hopeless, wrecked, heterodox" (btw those are my summaries of what has been written) sect for more pleasant pastures?

I would appreciate it if you would help me to reconcile two views that do not seem reasonable together.

If the WELS is as corrupt as it is made out to be, why should one be honored for being so "bold" as to leave her, or comforted for being removed from her.

Always curious,
Pax

Anonymous said...

Always curious,

Since I knew that a 2004 MM article which I intended to write about the WELS' view of the OHM would result in the boot, I started the colloquy process with the LCMS. When my DP found out, and when I refused to stop the process, I was given the boot. That's exactly what he had to do and what I expected. I resigned as senior pastor of my congregation on the next day. My congregation (due to a strong board of elders) was very good to me, continuing my salary for six months. I was glad to be out and would never consider returning. BTW, no one ever said I was bold to leave the WELS, nor did I require any comfort.

Missouri, for all its problems, at least has a sizeable confessional movement. While Wisconsin has plenty of conservative pastors I could probably count the confessional pastors on two hands. Most of these men have been marginalized or are lying low.

Pr. Peter Berg

Anonymous said...

This is my last post on this thread, which is getting pretty bizarre. Looky here, we Hypo-Missourians are not out to destroy the WELS. I could have done that years ago but didn't. You see I hold the deed to the whole cotton-pickin' outfit. My great, great, great, great grandaddy, Ehrenfried Seebach was the consecrated layman who wrote the letter which brought the first WELS missonaries from der Vaterland to Visconsin. We can only wish that he had dispatched the letter to Neuendettelsau instead of to Basel. Oh well, can't win 'em.

Now stop bothering me!

Pr. Peter Berg

Anonymous said...

Pr. Berg,
I realize that you would not ask for pity or complement. And as one who I think has followed conscience, you should expect neither. My "bold" comment was more directed to the Sabre award "winner".

Maybe I am confusing your exit from the WELS with that of your brother, but my impression from what "people" have written is that the "left foot of fellowship" that you received was nearly criminal in nature, and if not so, then at least the act of wicked men.

I wish for the WELS to be driven back to examining Scripture and the Confessions by positive criticism of doctrine and practice. When people make ignorant accusations instead of informed criticisms, nothing is gained. And honest questions are ignored.

Less of a question than an observation I guess.

Pax

Anonymous said...

Pr Berg,
Don't be bothered. No need to respond.

Pax

Anonymous said...

Good point about conservative not equating to confessional. And, there certainly is a strong confessional bunch in LCMS and not too many (in the Hypoi sense) within WELS. But is the recommended course of action a poor LCMS over at least a conservative WELS church? Slim pickings around here. It would seem there is as much hope in the WELS of moving towards a more historic Lutheranism as there is in the Ablazen LCMS.

Rob

Anonymous said...

"ignorant accusations instead of informed criticisms"

Like yours?

Hey, I don't get the whole "sword" thing either, but wouldn't you be more likely to get an answer by contacting the person with whom you seem to be annoyed instead of taking your little jabs (get it?) here?

"I wish for the WELS to be driven back to examining Scripture and the Confessions by positive criticism of doctrine and practice."

I agree, and that won't happen by repeating the mantra, "The WELS MUST be right", which I've heard from too many pastors.

Rob-we laypeople are in a tight spot. I think the best course for us is to choose the best congregation available to us regardless of synodical affiliation.

Another WELS layperson

Anonymous said...

I just have to comment on how I see the tide turning in the WELS. Janke has stepped aside in west, Mueller has left 2929, and Parlow has a call to the north.

Maybe, just maybe CG'ers are being reigned in by the new leadership. Now about those 5 confessional pastors in the WELS. It would be my hope that they might raise their head a bit and start to reclaim the WELS.

If you read FIC you will still notice that most of the contributing editors are NOT confessionally grounded pastors. The next step maybe to infiltrate FIC with confessional writers.

A "former" synodical council lay rep...

Anonymous said...

Hey Angry WELS layperson,
Ease up a bit. Don't remember speaking that mantra but you hear what you want to. I'll try to restate the question so you can understand me better.

If the WELS is as hopelessly heterodox (again this is my assessment from a combination of many angry posters) as people believe- why should one be called bold for leaving. That is simple, not accusatory. I think Moldenhauer has followed his conscience. If you are right in your judgment he really is simply an unworthy servant "who has only done his duty".

I think there is plenty to correct and change. I am not convinced that to work for that is to work in vain. I think that your misplaced anger helps nothing.

But what do I know. I don't even know your cool mantras

Pax and out

Anonymous said...

Mr. "former" synodical rep...

The tide has not turned. Look at how the CG'ers have not been discplined. Read the WS Q and FIC to see the false doctrine and practice in the WELS that has gone and is still unchecked.

Yet, when the likes of the Berg brothers speak and write about Confessional Lutheranism they are given the left foot.

What is even more sad is how the "brothers" sat on the sideline and watched. I wonder how many calls of support were given to these ministers? More than likely most were like the pharisse as they chose to walk on the other side of the road rather than lending a helping hand. Yet those two 'ole boyz were the topics of many a conversation by those in the "brotherhood."

The WELS is still dead..

Anonymous said...

Pax,

I'm not angry but baffled at your behavior here. I haven't ventured any theory on the sabre award (because I don't really care and don't have enough information to make any judgment) but suggested that you would get a far straighter answer asking those you seem to have a problem with instead of speculating here.

With the anonymity here, I didn't even know before that you are a WELS pastor, which I now assume because you don't remember speaking words I reported hearing WELS pastors speak (didn't say every WELS pastor, but you read what you want to). :)

As shown by you (apparently) mistaking one pastor named Berg for another, maybe you don't know as much as you think you do. So, again, why not contact those directly involved?

I like the FIC idea!

Another WELS layperson

John said...

Ok brothers ~ as the gloves start to come off let's try to leave the personal insults aside.

But as far as false doctrine and practice in the WELS it's there. So drop the gloves or else ..

As someone once said hike your skirt up or get off the field..

Anonymous said...

"Yet, when the likes of the Berg brothers speak and write about Confessional Lutheranism they are given the left foot."

Did you not even read just a few posts earlier when one of the Berg brothers explained how he had already resolved to leave the WELS and that the DP only did his duty in making it official? There was no foul play, there was no "left foot".

"More than likely most were like the pharisse as they chose to walk on the other side of the road rather than lending a helping hand"

First of all, it's Pharisee, not pharisse. Second, there were no Pharisees in the story of the Good Samaritan. There was a priest and a Levite.

How can you expect anyone to take what you say seriously when you don't even know one of the most well-known parts of Scripture?

"The WELS is still dead.."

The WELS still has the Word and Sacraments in its midst. Therefore, it cannot be dead.

Anonymous said...

I thank you, Lord, that my synod is not like those hard-headed German SIN-ods. Thank you that we have peace and have no churches that use CG ...

Wait, did I say that out loud?? ;-)

ELSer

Anonymous said...

Angry WELS lay guys,
I guess I should be honored that you think I am a shepherd of souls. Never made that claim for myself. I have to admit I can't figure out what you are trying to say with the whole mantra thing.

Do pastors just say it or do us regular guys say it? Is it just the two choices that we have- your mantra or "WELS is dead"?

Thanks for the compliment though.

Pax hopefully out for good

Anonymous said...

Pax,

That's why I wrote that I assumed you were a pastor. Whether you are or not, I have no idea, nor is it important.

The mantra becomes a big issue here because it is used to defend all kinds of heretical practices. The saying goes that as long as whatever is being borrowed from the CGers of other denominations is being used in a WELS church, it MUST have been cleaned up and ok. Too often, pastors have simply borrowed whole hog from nonLutheran sources and are teaching false doctrine.

No compliment intended. Why would it be a compliment to be a pastor as opposed to one of us regular people?

I assume you're off to contact those you have issues with. Perhaps you'll report back after doing so to set the record straight.

Another Happy WELS layperson :)

Anonymous said...

Former SC rep,

You said, "If you read FIC you will still notice that most of the contributing editors are NOT confessionally grounded pastors. The next step maybe to infiltrate FIC with confessional writers."

I looked back over the past seven or eight issues of Forward and Christ and found these contributing authors:

Aaron Christie
Paul Lehninger
Jon Buchholz
Mark Schroeder
John Braun
Bruce McKenney
Joel Otto
Michael Woldt
David Sellnow
Paul Prange
Victor Prange
Jon Schroeder
Earle Treptow
Wayne Laitinen

I don't know if you know these pastors. I do, and not one of them could be even remotely characterized as "CG" in their views or in their ministries, and they are all confessionally strong and orthodox. There are others whom I do not list, but it's only because I don't know them personally.

There have certainly been some questionable articles in the past, but do not lay those articles at the feet of these guys, who are all currently contributing writers.

Anonymous said...

Greg Jackson over on Ichabod had a good take on the websites John quoted from above.

He said, "The Lutheran Church has become a two-headed calf, one aimed at Fuller Seminary and Willow Creek, the other at Rome and Constantinople. Both are symptoms of abandoning the efficacy of the Word in the Means of Grace.

"I am copying and pasting most of this LCMS blog, which is beyond belief in its expressions of prissy Romanism. The Blog of Rome is quoted verbatim below. They probably never read Chemnitz' Examination of the Council of Trent. He makes fun of this drama as either "a tragedy or a farce." Both terms describe what is happening to Lutheran worship today."

I think that's a pretty good description of the Gottesdienst/Magpie crowd: "prissy Romanism".

Seriously people, read http://liturgyseminar.blogspot.com/ It's absolutely shocking.

Here are some excerpts:

"upon reaching the front before returning down the side aisles, each pair makes a genuflection before the reserved elements."

"As the celebrant chants the Words of Institution, he bows his head at Our Lord Jesus Christ, takes the celebrant's host between thumb and forefinger of both hands at took bread, lifts his eyes to heaven at had given thanks, and, while still holding the celebrant’s host between his left thumb and forefinger, he makes the sign of the cross with his right hand over this host, and over the paten containing the other hosts to be consecrated, touching the paten at four points of the cross he makes. Then, at the words of Christ, Take eat, etc., he bends over the hosts to be consecrated, holding the celebrant's host between thumb and forefinger of both hands, with both elbows on the altar. Though all these words are uttered slowly and distinctly, the words of Christ are uttered even more slowly than the rest. For the words This do in remembrance of me, the celebrant stands erect, still holding the host. Then he genuflects once, and elevates the host slowly, still facing the altar. Gazing at the host, he whispers “My Lord and my God,” lowers it, and genuflects a second time. From this point until the ablutions, the celebrant takes care never to separate his thumbs and index fingers except as needed to distribute Hosts. For the consecration of the wine, the same rubrics apply, except that the head is bowed rather than raised at had given thanks. While the celebrant makes the sign of the cross with his right hand at “given thanks” over the chalice, flagon, and tray, he places his left hand on the base of the chalice as a precaution. At “took the cup,” the chalice is held by the knop between the index and remaining fingers, while the index finger and thumb are held together (to keep any crumbs from the sacred host from falling). After “in remembrance of me,” he sets the chalice on the corporal without removing his hands from it, genuflects, and then elevates the chalice while gazing at it as he had done with the host, this time whispering, “We therefore pray Thee, help Thy servants whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy precious blood,” lowers it, and genuflects a second time."

"As the congregation chants the Agnus Dei, the celebrant speaks it once in a low voice striking his breast three times. Then he kneels and whispers the Prayer of Humble Access while the congregation is still chanting the Agnus Dei. He then rises and whispers “the Body and Blood of Christ strengthen and preserve me body and soul unto life everlasting.” To commune himself, he carefully and gingerly breaks the celebrant's host over the paten, and places one half atop the other. He then breaks it again, into quarters, placing two quarter parts atop the other two. He genuflects before partaking in each kind, and then waits reverently until he has consumed them."

"Following the distribution, the Celebrant turns to the subdeacon for the ablutions. For the ablutions, the celebrant picks up the chalice with the middle, ring, and fifth fingers of each hand, so as to leave his index fingers and thumbs free to extend over the bowl of the chalice, and holds the chalice out toward the subdeacon, who is holding the water cruet."

Anonymous said...

"I don't know if you know these pastors. I do, and not one of them could be even remotely characterized as "CG" in their views or in their ministries, and they are all confessionally strong and orthodox."

Agreed. I know many of those men personally, and they are the antithesis of CG. I think the choice of authors for FIC is another huge change for the better in the WELS.

Anonymous said...

8:30 PM anonymous...

I just glanced through the most recent issue. Here are few that I know, and that have promoted innovative CG methods:

Stephen H. Geiger
Forest Bivens
Donald Patterson
Marcus Nitz


"former" synodical rep...

Anonymous said...

What CG methods have these pastors used?

Just Curious.

Freddy said...

Rob (and Another WELS layperson @4:31pm),

Sorry to hear about your situation (in the West?). My prayers are with you and your congregation, as they are with our Synod. I am one of those who is blessed with a conservative and (by my understanding of the term) Confessional pastor. We have often and lovingly referred to him as “Luther's Hammer.” Anyway, he was moved to my District early in the Gurgel administration, to help stave off liberalism here (probably before strident CG leadership had entrenched itself). Late-middle-aged, battle-weary and depressed, he is now one of those who is “laying low.” In years past, he has intimated a need to be very cautious, for fear of being suddenly left without a career. I suspect that he is not the only one of our Pastors who has felt this way...

This raises the question of lay participation in the process of returning, or moving, WELS to a more overtly Confessional position. Is our only, or best, recourse to leave, or threaten leaving? To entertain the prospect of joining with those of heterodox confession because a congregation nearby is perceived as more Confessional? I'm not convinced of this. Fellowship is far too valuable a jewel that we should cast it aside in this way. Despite dangerous flirtation with CG in many of our congregations (apparently at the instigation of centralized leadership, I might add), I'm not convinced that WELS can be characterized as heterodox (although, IMHO, doctrine regarding OHM vs. Public Ministry does need to be comprehensively, rigorously and publicly addressed by our theologians). Further, if what Rev. Berg states is true, that there are only a handful of truly Confessional pastors in WELS (which I suspect is hyperbole), then I am certain that there are several hundred more that want to be Confessional.

The burden of guarding and defending pure and Confessional teaching in our Synod cannot belong to the clergy alone – they are far too frail, and have failed too many times in the past for the laity to abdicate their own Christian conscience and leave it to the care of the clergy alone. We are all to emulate the Bereans. We all share in this hard work. Frankly, I am of the opinion that now is not the time to consider leaving, but is the time to show leadership in our own spheres of influence (namely, our congregations). I am encouraged, along with other Anon. contributers here, that very positive changes have occurred in the past year, and I fully anticipate that more will be forthcoming.

One point that Rev. Berg brought up, and that Rob highlighted, is the distinction between “conservative” and “Confessional” Lutheranism (or the distinction between “Confessional” and “merely conservative” Lutheranism). It is a point that may be worth further discussion. That is to say, if we “confess” that we are Confessional Lutherans, then the charge of non-Confessionalism must be based on something other than our confession. Is the criteria for this charge directed only at Practice? Is it the way we do theology (and I am referring to “Wauwatosa Theology”)? Assuming that we all want to be Confessional Lutherans, at what point does Confessionalism amount to “Grundvingianism” -- a pejorative accusation often thrown about in the mid 19th century regarding those who elevated confessions, like the Apostles Creed, for instance, to a status equal to Holy Scripture (suggesting that they were treating the Scriptures as less than inspired or authoritative)? At the other extreme, at what point does Lutheran “conservatism” cease to be “Confessional?”

Freddy Finkelstein

Anonymous said...

RE: the extended quote from that paragon of virtue, Greg Jackson, when you believe in the real presence of the blessed and holy Body and Blood of Christ, you actually behave as you believe. You take special care.

Anonymous said...

Contrast the manner of handling the precious body and blood of Christ which is mocked above with this from the WELS Q/A

"It is customary that unused hosts are removed from the paten(s) and returned to the ciborium or pyx (host box) and stored in a cool, dry place. Wine from the flagon or glass decanters my be returned to the commercial containers in which it was purchased and stored in a cool, dry place."

This is the behavior of a preacher whom Luther said should be defrocked and "sent to his Zwinglians" when this preacher mixed the consecrated with the unconsecrated.

To your Zwinglians WELS Q/A Answer Man!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Former SC Rep!

I saw your list. Only one of the guys you listed is remotely confessional. The rest are Mequon, pretty church, conservatives.

One of the posters cited a horror show of what was termed "Roman prissiness". A mind is a terrible thing to waste! The long quote actually described the Lutheran practice at the time of the Reformation. Luther allowed the Roman rubrical books to stand, except those things which were contrary to the Gospel (e.g. the Canon). The Synodical Conference Presbyterians, who dominate this blog, would've been scandalized had they attended an Evangelical Mass in the mid 1600s Germany.

Rolling over in my grave.

Anonymous said...

"Just Curious.

What CG methods have these pastors used?"

Which ones haven't they? These are among the fellas that believe we must become all things to all men. Thereby, meeting the people where there at. That's just a taste of the jargon. The methods of practice of course include blended worship, water-downed sermons, attending church growth seminars like the one down in Florida last spring....

Former synodical rep

Anonymous said...

"The long quote actually described the Lutheran practice at the time of the Reformation. Luther allowed the Roman rubrical books to stand, except those things which were contrary to the Gospel"

Yes, he allowed them to stand, but he didn't dedicate his ministry and time to discussing them as if they were the truly important things. That's a big difference.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for the liturgy, I'm all for showing propriety and respect during it. But when we start focusing on exactly where my palms should be during the Epistle or the exact placement of my left ring finger during communion, etc., then we've crossed the line and begun to place external things above the Word (which is the same problem with CG on the other side of the spectrum).

Anonymous said...

Anon at 7:23,

The concern of the Reformation (and before) practice was not over the "exact placement of my left ring finger..." etc. It was concerned with dignity and uniformity. I would assme that even at the lowest of the low, the WELS' seminary, uniformity of action in the liturgy is taught (tho' anecdotal evidence shows that sloppiness is also taught). The charge you make then of "placing external things above the Word" can equally be leveled at those chaps. And what in these rubrics says that these things are "above" the word? That is your uncharitable inference. No, these people and those who practice such today take special care with everything.

This "word," "word" mantra I hear from you low church types rings hallow with me. How about this excerpt from a WELS sermon and a its low church pastor, is not this "wisdom" being placed "above the word" for it suppplants the word? (I have countless other examples):

"Have you ever been shopping, looking for this or that? You find it there hanging off the hook on Aisle 13 at your local Target. Looks like what you want…BUT YOU’RE NOT SURE, SO YOU OPEN THE PACKAGE TO TAKE A CLOSER LOOK. Only it’s not quite what you wanted, so you put it back in the box.

Here’s where the fun begins. Sometimes no matter how many ways you try to push or pull it, you can’t quite squeeze it back – the same way you took it out. SO WHEN YOU’RE THROUGH, YOU PULL OFF THE OTHER PACKAGES…and stick the mess you made way in the back. You’ve done nothing necessarily wrong; but somehow it doesn’t seem quite right.

Forrest Gump said, Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna’ get. But when you buy a box of crayons – YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU GOT. Whether it’s a carton of 8 or 16, 24 or 48, or the great big one with every color of a dozen rainbows. From ROY G BIV to the most extreme; the ones you use most to the ones you treat like Charlie Brown.

Whatever size you buy, once you start using ‘em, those crayons’ll never be the same. Not just because they start wearing down whether you’re coloring inside the lines or not. BUT MOST FOLKS SELDOM PUT ‘EM BACK…the same way they pulled ‘em out. You’ve done nothing necessarily wrong; in fact, it just goes to show how unique you happen to be.

According to Pastor Martin Babb, We color outside the lines whenever we find a way to take God’s message of love to where it’s never been, because people who need the Gospel – DON’T ALWAYS LIVE BETWEEN THE LINES. God has given each of us a unique box of crayons. If we use ‘em howsoever we will, there’s no telling what kinda’ coloring we can do." (Pr. George Swanson, Shepherd Lutheran, Albuqueque, NM)

So to your complaint with rubrics you neither know nor understand, if you do not take care with the small things, how can we trust you with the greater?

Anonymous said...

"Yes, he allowed them to stand, but he didn't dedicate his ministry and time to discussing them as if they were the truly important things. That's a big difference."

He didn't have to, they were already in place and there was no controversy over them.

And as if he didn't care... when Luther spilled the Blood of Christ in one of the last communions he administered he dropped to his knees to lap up the sacred Blood to the tears of the congregants. Compare that with what is taught at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary ("it ain't nothing.")

Anonymous said...

"The concern of the Reformation (and before) practice was not over the "exact placement of my left ring finger...""

Then why does that blog spend so much time discussing the exact placement of fingers and palms?

"It was concerned with dignity and uniformity."

Who is arguing against dignity? I believe dignity is absolutely necessary when presiding at the liturgy. But I can show just as much dignity holding a chalice with four or five fingers as you can with three.

As for uniformity, again, I agree that uniformity is a necessary part of the liturgy. But even the Confessions point out that there may be local or regional customs and traditions which are not necessarily uniform.

"I would assme that even at the lowest of the low, the WELS' seminary, uniformity of action in the liturgy is taught"

Again, no one is arguing against general uniformity of action. What I'm arguing against is a fascination with uniformity in the minutest of details which has the effect of making "doing it right" more important than "what I'm doing".

"This "word," "word" mantra I hear from you low church types rings hallow [sic] with me. How about this excerpt from a WELS sermon and a its low church pastor, is not this "wisdom" being placed "above the word" for it suppplants the word?"

First, I am decidedly not "low church", trust me. Second I abhor and detest with a passion such sermon introductions as the one you quoted. They distract from the Word just as much, if not more, than obsessing over proper finger placement.

"So to your complaint with rubrics you neither know nor understand, if you do not take care with the small things, how can we trust you with the greater?"

Once again, my complaint is not with rubrics. My complaint is with those who obsess so much over the little things that they obscure the big things, or who use the little things as a basis for fellowship so as to avoid talking about the big things.

"He didn't have to, they were already in place and there was no controversy over them."

That's not true. Liturgical practice was horrendous in Luther's day, particularly in the country parishes. But when Luther made his visitations, his primary concern was for the preaching of the Word, not the finger placements of the priests.

"when Luther spilled the Blood of Christ in one of the last communions he administered he dropped to his knees to lap up the sacred Blood to the tears of the congregants."

Too bad he didn't read that blog. He would have known the exact spots on which to place each finger, thus avoiding the spill in the first place.

"Compare that with what is taught at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary ("it ain't nothing.")"

Really? You think that's what's taught at the Seminary? Sorry, you ain't right.

Anonymous said...

(To self: Why discuss this with Philistines....)

It is your evaluation that this is am "obsession" or that such carefulness is a substitute for concern with the word. (Why do I continue...?) Of course, they say what to do, but as I wrote it is not a concern over that, but... well, I already said it.

You don't read, I did not say the practice in the parishes was good, but that these rubrics (even if they were ignored) were in place and there was no controversy over them. (Can this lad read...?)

You set up straw man after straw man, a favorite tactic of the ignornant, you say some use this as a basis of fellowship. What a buffon you make of yourself. No one does that.

I am absolutely correct and you are absolutely wrong, that IS what is taught at the WELS Bible College in Mequon. They teach that Luther was foolish to believe that was the Blood of Christ. Those Zwinglians teach that that is nothing other than wine (or what they also allow, grape juice, but of course Luther would not be so blasphemous as to allow the use of grape juice, as do the WELS Zwinglians.)

Freddy said...

Anon's @10:08AM & 10:18AM (and any other experts in the historic liturgy)...

Gentlemen, forgive me for inserting myself into this discussion, but I have a few honest questions to ask regarding rubrics of the Eucharist and other "High Church" liturgical practices.

(1)To what degree were these historic practices culturally informed/supported? Worship rubrics at the time were not unique to the Church, but common for governing behaviour in the presence of all Nobility. I don't think that it is fair to say that these detailed rubrics were developed strictly in the isolation of the Church, but if it is, what evidence do we have that these rubrics were not influenced by or borrowed from cultural practices of the first millenia A.D.? Understanding, of course, that the high standing of Nobility, and the worship they demanded, was in many ways remnants of pre-Christian paganism that sought to deify man, how healthy is such influence in Church practice?

(2)Who is it, exactly, that directly benefits from strict observance of these rubrics? As the fingers are being placed, who immediately benefits from their final placement? Certainly, it can be argued that the “celebrant” may benefit from the rubric described above, as such practice trains his thoughts and attitudes regarding the Sacramental presence of the true Body of Christ, but who else benefits? Does the congregation benefit from it? If they do see finger placement, do they even recognize or understand the symbolism employed? Did they ever directly benefit from these strict procedures? How do we know? If finger placement directly serves only the "celebrant," and he knows that he is the only one who is served by this practice, doesn't this also feed arrogance and a spirit of separation from the laity he serves? I certainly disagree with flippant treatment of the Elements – since such treatment does impact our attitudes regarding the Real Presence – but I am not certain that it is helpful to expend so much energy on public practices that can directly benefit only one person and not everyone equally.

Just Curious
Freddy Finkelstein

Anonymous said...

"Understanding, of course, that the high standing of Nobility, and the worship they demanded, was in many ways remnants of pre-Christian paganism that sought to deify man, how healthy is such influence in Church practice?"

Freddy, this is a very insightful point. Reading about contemporary worship at St. Mark, De Pere and "hyper-liturgical" worship at St. Paul's in Kewanee includes, of course, many drastic differences. But there is one thing that both have in common. Both focus on what WE do in worship, both have a list of things that we must do in order for worship to be "successful". St. Mark says we have to get the emotion flowing, we have to prove how much we love God. St. Paul's says we have to genuflect at just this time, we have to put our fingers in the right places.

To use an historical illustration, Communism and Fascism are on completely opposite sides of the spectrum, but they actually end up looking pretty similar in practice.

Lutherans must always walk the middle road, avoiding both extremes. We can walk the middle road by constantly asking, "What is the best way to direct focus to the Means, without distraction?" When we lose our focus on and trust in the Means, that's when we will fall either into Evangelical shallowness or Roman prissiness.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, these "high church" people have completely changed the setting and context of the Supper.

How was the first Supper celebrated? As a special meal among friends. How do you act at such a meal? With respect and dignity? Of course. But also with warmth and joy.

They have changed the setting to seem more like a pristine, antiseptic hospital, where every minute particle and movement must be controlled and accounted for.

In this way, the Supper is transformed from a warm celebration to be enjoyed to a sterile procedure to be feared, lest someone do something "wrong".

Just as I can't imagine the Apostle Paul leading a praise band in worship, I can't see him muttering things under his breath and worrying about which fingers to use to hold a cup.

Anonymous said...

I think the anon 1:07 PM post fairly sums up the WELS position given its historic origin. Freddy has made some excellent comments regarding the dangers of CG. He seems to have the capacity to handle more than someone such as myself about these types of things. Freddy, have you researched into the LCMS confessional, high church side as thoroughly as you have the CG side and found it to be dangerous? I don't profess to know the answer, so I'm just inquiring, what makes the search for the "middle road" the correct one?

Rob

Anonymous said...

"I don't profess to know the answer, so I'm just inquiring, what makes the search for the "middle road" the correct one?"

Well, Martin Luther certainly felt that the middle road was the correct one. I don't have the exact wording in front of me, but he famously said that humans are like a drunk man on a donkey. They start heading into one ditch, suddenly realize it, and then over-correct and lurch into the opposite ditch.

I certainly see that playing out with the CGers in one ditch and the hyper-high-churchers in the other.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 1:07,

I've heard this many times but have yet to have someone define what they mean by the middle road. What does it mean? Just saying that we need to avoid CG on one extreme and Romanism on the other is pretty abstract and leaves a lot of ground in between.

Working toward more liturgical uniformity would be very beneficial for both synods, so that people visiting another church of their synod would have some idea what to expect. To work toward some semblance of uniformity though, we have to say more than warn against extremes. There do have to be some rubrics to follow. So, my question again is: how do we define the middle road?

Anonymous said...

After looking at both church websites, DePere and Kewanee, I think some here may be reading more than is there. Neither says you "must" worship as they do. Even those arguing to take a middle road are arguing about what WE do.

Anonymous said...

I think some in the past have contacted St. Marks to find out why they do what they do. Has anyone here done the same with St. Paul's Kewanee?

If so, what answers were given?

Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Lex orandi, lex credendi.

It's often used to criticize contemporary worship--and rightly so.

But it also applies to the high church movement too (which is different than the liturgical movement).

Several things about the worship described on the liturgyseminar blog teach false doctrine. I'll give you a couple of examples:

First, genuflecting before the reserved elements in the tabernacle. You could simply explain this away, as Lutheran high church people do, by saying that we want to show respect to Christ. But this act subtly teaches false doctrine. The Lord gave us his body and blood for us to eat and drink, not for us to adore or worship. Bowing to them teaches worshipers to do something foreign to the purpose of the Supper (just as the Roman Corpus Christi processions do) and opens the door for the other closely associated errors of the Roman mass.

Second, the silent and whispered prayers of the pastor. These stem from the false doctrine that the mass is somehow a private transaction going on between God and the priest and that the people benefit simply by their attendance, not by the working of the Holy Spirit through the Word. Thus, it subtly teaches the false doctrine that the people benefit through the opus of the pastor, not through the preached (and heard) Word. It also denies the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous @ 2:58,

Those are some pretty serious charges. Have you contacted Pr. Eckhardt? If not, wouldn't Christian love compel you to do so? You are saying more than that blog says about what is believed.

Concerned WELSer

Anonymous said...

"But it also applies to the high church movement too (which is different than the liturgical movement)."

Can you explain this please?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, anon 2:58 PM, I don't know if I can agree with that. Christ is to be worshiped and adored, which is what is being done while we eat and drink. To deny this seems to deny his presence. But I'd be interested to hear what others might say about that. Also, your second point - not answering about the private prayers because I don't know - but about denying the priesthood of all believers is at the crux of the difference with LCMS regarding OHM. After all, we don't commune ourselves. It is distributed by someone who is called. Just my thoughts.

Rob

Anonymous said...

"Even those arguing to take a middle road are arguing about what WE do"

No. The middle road says, "How can make sure the focus ISN'T on what we do?".

"I've heard this many times but have yet to have someone define what they mean by the middle road. What does it mean?"

Good question. I'll admit it's not an easy one to answer. In fact, the difficulty in walking the narrow road is exactly why some people run to Rome (who themselves ran to the OT) and others to Rick Warren. It's much easier to do exactly what someone else tells you to do.

I would suggest that the apostles and early church fathers (before the rise of the Roman church) had a pretty good grasp on how to walk that middle road. If you want to know what that looked like, research worship in the early church (1st through 3rd century). They used the liturgy, but in a warm, not antiseptic way. They were generally uniform in practice, but had regional differences in practice. They focused on proclaiming Christ, not on emotion or on high ceremony.

Freddy said...

Rob (and others),

Thanks for asking. The answer is No, I haven't researched the details of the High Church movement in LCMS to the degree that I have CG. Therefore, I tread very delicately on this end of the discussion. On the other hand, while I am no Professor of Western Civ. or Church History, I have done a bit of research on these topics, especially Reformation History and subsequent developments in Lutheranism.

The principles are the same on either end of the discussion, however. We must take adiaphora in worship seriously, and in all sober mindedness, embrace that which is beneficial, and avoid that which is detrimental. And to this end, lex orandi, lex credendi is invaluable wisdom that transcends culture and time. I think that Anon @1:07PM is correct when he elevates the Means of Grace, and points to practice that focuses the worshiper on the Means as the beneficial practice we should seek. The opposing detriment we avoid is practice that focuses the worshiper on himself, what he does, and how well he does it – as it unavoidably introduces an element of our own merit before God.

The question for me regarding the High Church movement is: precisely what is the benefit (if any) and has there been an honest attempt to root out what is detrimental? My line of questioning @12:25 was issued in the hope of drawing that out in this forum. Particularly question 2: Who has really benefited from precisely timed genuflexion and proper finger placement? How does this focus worshipers in the Nave on the Means of Grace? On the other hand, is there demonstrable detriment related to these practices? What role did these High Church rubrics play in the health of the Church leading to the publication of Pia Desideria in 1675? Yes, I know, there were many factors here, but I think you get my drift. Just as we have hard evidence pointing to the detriment of CG today, history would seem to supply evidence suggesting that these extreme High Church rubrics are, in the end, more detrimental than beneficial.

No, I don't claim to have the expertise on this end of the discussion as I do on the other end. But I know that there are well-balanced individuals who do – my hope is to coax them into contribution here.

Freddy Finkelstein

Anonymous said...

"No. The middle road says, "How can make sure the focus ISN'T on what we do?"."

With respect, you didn't answer my question. In the quote above, it's still WE who are DOING SOMETHING to make sure the focus isn't on us. You are still being pretty abstract.

Your discussion of warm vs. antiseptic worship is about feelings. Who decides what is warm and what isn't? This could get to be a situation where there is no king and everyone does as he sees fit. There are those (I know some) who feel that worship as described in Kewanee is very warm and meaningful because of the care taken in handling sacred things. I also know others who think that St. Mark's DePere type worship is warm and inviting.

Anonymous said...

Freddy,
It is my opinion that "well balanced individuals" like yourself are few and far between on blogs in general and this blog in particular. People are passionate, as they should be when the believe they are contending for the truth. Yet, the passion too easily bleeds into anger and arrogance.

I am grateful for your contributions, as well as those from Pr. Berg, and a couple people who have called for sane discussion and criticism.

Please continue to post.

Anonymous said...

"This could get to be a situation where there is no king and everyone does as he sees fit."

The only king we have is Christ, who has set us free. And so what you said is basically true, Christians are free to do as they see fit. With that being said, though, Christians are not free to do something to obscure the Means of Grace. Nor will they ignore the history of the Church. But if you are looking for a Divine Rubric, it doesn't exist (though some High Churchers have come awfully close to saying that).

"Your discussion of warm vs. antiseptic worship is about feelings. Who decides what is warm and what isn't?"

I should have been clearer. Warmth isn't about emotion at all. The warmth I'm talking about is the warmth of Christ himself, the Light of the World. When the focus of worship is on the Means, and thus on Christ himself, there is warmth. When the focus is on external things, whether a praise band or a finger placement, then that warmth is cooled.

Anonymous said...

"Those are some pretty serious charges. Have you contacted Pr. Eckhardt? If not, wouldn't Christian love compel you to do so? You are saying more than that blog says about what is believed."

No, you don't understand. I'm not saying that Pastor Eckhardt believes those things. I'm saying that his practices in worship are teaching those things, whether he believes them or not. Just like worship at De Pere teaches false doctrine whether the pastors there actually believe it or not.

That what lex orandi, lex credendi means.

Anonymous said...

I have a concern with the undefined "middle ground" too. When we are only against things (CG, high church), we aren't FOR anything.

To approximate the early church, we would need to get rid of DPs and go back to bishops, presbyters, and deacons. We don't have a detailed account of worship during the time of the apostles, so to attempt to copy it is in some degree a guessing game.

Maybe this is why there are such divergent worship and belief in the WELS. We can't clearly articulate a position.

Tim Niedfeldt said...

The individual decides whats "warm and inviting". If they feel that worship is more meaningful for them in a high church setting, a liturgical setting or a contemporary one then they have found the worship that most meets their needs. The middle ground is always "doing something" I believe that something is excercizing discernment. You use discernment to not let your worship get caught up in emotions on one side or in ritualistic works on the other. This is something those who dare to excercise Christian freedom might have experience in.

If people here focused any more on not "doing anything" pretty soon no one could even show up at church. Because making a conscious decision to go to church is doing something. Paying attention is doing something. Being a discerning worshipper is doing something, singing the liturgy is doing something.

Our worship has us "do things" We of course need/want to do them for the right reasons. The problem here is that so many want that middle road defined so narrowly. That way they can turn off their discernment, take whatever is told them, and elminate Christian freedom from worship entirely.

Tim

Anonymous said...

"No, you don't understand. I'm not saying that Pastor Eckhardt believes those things. I'm saying that his practices in worship are teaching those things, whether he believes them or not. Just like worship at De Pere teaches false doctrine whether the pastors there actually believe it or not."

And have you contacted him to warn him of his error?

Anonymous said...

"Yeah, anon 2:58 PM, I don't know if I can agree with that. Christ is to be worshiped and adored, which is what is being done while we eat and drink. To deny this seems to deny his presence. But I'd be interested to hear what others might say about that."

Rob, yes, Christ is to be worshiped and adored. But he gave us his body and blood specifically to be eaten and drunk. Luther called the adoration of the host exactly what it is: idolatry. He condemned things like the Corpus Christi procession, in which the host is paraded and worshiped.

Saying this doesn't deny the real presence at all. Christ's body and blood are truly present in the Supper to be eaten and drunk for the forgiveness of sins. They are not present for the purpose of adoration. We worship Christ by doing what he says, in this case by eating and drinking, not by genuflecting and worshiping. The Confessions have much to say in this regard.

"Also, your second point - not answering about the private prayers because I don't know - but about denying the priesthood of all believers is at the crux of the difference with LCMS regarding OHM."

No, Rob, you misunderstood my point. The saying of private prayers by the pastor/priest during public worship denies the priesthood of all believers by teaching the Roman doctrine of the priesthood, that is, that priests have special access to God, thus their private prayers benefit the laity simply by the fact that they are said, even though the laity don't hear or understand.

Conversely, Luther taught the priesthood of all believers--that all Christians have equal standing in God's eyes and equal access to his throne in prayer, making secret prayers by the priest unnecessary. Again, the Confessions have much to say about this.

Disclaimer: I'm not saying that Pastor Eckhardt believes or is actively teaching there false doctrines. I'm saying that his worship is implying or allowing these things.

Anonymous said...

"The individual decides whats "warm and inviting. If they feel that worship is more meaningful for them in a high church setting, a liturgical setting or a contemporary one then they have found the worship that most meets their needs."

No, Tim, you are absolutely wrong. That's not what I was saying at all. We don't all have different needs to be met in different ways. We all have the same need--Christ. The question is, how can we worship in the way that best places our attention on him.

Anonymous said...

"The problem here is that so many want that middle road defined so narrowly. That way they can turn off their discernment, take whatever is told them, and elminate Christian freedom from worship entirely."

That's a bit unfair, Tim. Arguments are being made for defining the degrees of acceptability in the extremes of CG and high church. Why not define this alleged "middle road"? A statement like yours attacks those seeking to worship in spirit and in truth. Many of us don't feel all worship is all adiaphora and that everyone can do what's right in their own eyes. That's a modern relative view. If true worship exists in a historic liturgy (I said if), why would we have to reinvent it in the current era under the guise of Christian freedom? If I've misinterpreted the intent of your statement, I apologize.

Rob

Anonymous said...

"To approximate the early church, we would need to get rid of DPs and go back to bishops, presbyters, and deacons. We don't have a detailed account of worship during the time of the apostles, so to attempt to copy it is in some degree a guessing game."

No, you don't understand. No one is saying that we have to recreate the early church to the last detail. I simply used the early church as an example of those who walked that narrow middle road.

"Maybe this is why there are such divergent worship and belief in the WELS. We can't clearly articulate a position."

What sort of "position" exactly would you like the WELS to articulate? You want them to put out a document saying, "Here's exactly how every congregation must worship from now on"? Would that be easy? Yup. Would it be uniform? Yup. Would we be instituting man-made laws where God has given freedom? Yup.

That's exactly what happened in the Roman church. There were some differences in worship (and doctrine) and instead of doing the hard work of using God's Word to effect unity and orthodoxy, people thought, "Wouldn't it be a whole lot easier if we just had one guy to tell us what to do and what to believe and how to worship?" Thus, the pope.

Anonymous said...

"That's exactly what happened in the Roman church. There were some differences in worship (and doctrine) and instead of doing the hard work of using God's Word to effect unity and orthodoxy, people thought, "Wouldn't it be a whole lot easier if we just had one guy to tell us what to do and what to believe and how to worship?" Thus, the pope."

That's you story? Really? Check your facts and reality. The RC church is not uniform. They're about like we American Lutherans.

Anonymous said...

"That's you story? Really? Check your facts and reality. The RC church is not uniform. They're about like we American Lutherans."

Umm, I never claimed that the papacy worked out perfectly, only that a desire for unity was one of the contributing factors in the formation of the papacy.

Although, you have to admit that for centuries, the papacy did exactly what it was designed to do--enforce unity. Obviously this has changed as of late, as American Catholics have rebelled against the pope.

I'm not even sure what the point of your argument is anyway. I only used the papacy as an example of a bigger point.

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:28, I understand the error of parading the Host about during Mass. But your contention is that genuflecting at the altar rail while receiving the body and blood is idolatry? I have a hard time with that one.

"They are not present for the purpose of adoration. We worship Christ by doing what he says, in this case by eating and drinking, not by genuflecting and worshiping."

I'm having a bit of difficulty following this (as I evidently have with your previous post. My apologies.) We worship by doing what he says but not by worshiping? I guess we're having a few different ideas of what adoring and what worshiping are and mean. I could see where those would be problems. And, if we think we are saved by any of these practices or belonging to any church - high, low, CG, etc., we're in error (not that you're saying that). But idolatry to make the sign of the cross or bow at the altar? Really?

Also, I understand the point of us all having an equal footing at the cross and access through Christ. The point, I was poorly trying to make, is that there is a difference in views between WELS and LCMS with regards to OHM and this really affects much of the dialogue. We can all agree that AC says to receive the Lord's Supper from one who has a call. I was writing at work so it was a jump and a poorly construed one. But I do believe these OHM differences affect much of the dialogue, just like religious conversations with non-Lutherans. You can be saying the same words but meaning different things.

Sorry about the confusion. Thanks for the help.

Rob

Anonymous said...

"Anon 4:28, I understand the error of parading the Host about during Mass. But your contention is that genuflecting at the altar rail while receiving the body and blood is idolatry? I have a hard time with that one."

No, Rob, we're not talking about kneeling at the rail while receiving communion. We're talking about those processing into the chancel bowing in front of the tabernacle where the reliquae (the bread and wine left over from previous Suppers) is stored.

"We worship by doing what he says but not by worshiping?"

When Christ gave his body and blood to his disciples, he told them to eat and drink. He didn't tell them to bow and adore. Thus, we honor (worship) Christ by doing what he says--eating and drinking--not by doing something he never asked us to do. When we worship someone or something that God doesn't ask us to worship, that's called idolatry.

"But idolatry to make the sign of the cross or bow at the altar? Really?"

I never said it was idolatry to make the sign of the cross. (I think it's a great custom.) And as I explained above, we're not talking about bowing at the altar when receiving communion. We're talking about something else entirely. If you need more information, research the function of the tabernacle in Catholic churches.

"The point, I was poorly trying to make, is that there is a difference in views between WELS and LCMS with regards to OHM and this really affects much of the dialogue."

Yes, obviously there is a difference in views, but that has nothing to do with the issue of whispered prayers at the altar.

Anonymous said...

OK, fair enough. But how did you arrive at your conclusions of what is acceptable and what isn't with regards to worship? You say Pr. Eckhardt is teaching false doctrine with the way he conducts his church service whether he believes false doctrine or not. I haven't been to his church, nor would I be informed enough to know what is wrong with the way he does it. How high is too high for church?

Rob

Anonymous said...

Why not go onto the Pr. Eckhardt's blog to let him answer for himself? He may be more capable to answer than the people here.

Rob makes some excellent points. The OHM differences between the synods are involved here. So is the anti-Roman bent of the WELS, which goes along with its anti-clericalism.

Anonymous said...

Oh, John-since you aren't screening comments: Please shut down this blog! It makes welsers look like idiots.

Conversely,

Please keep this blog going! It makes welsers look like idiots.

John said...

Mr. Anonymous -

I have been away from the computer for a bit today and thought that the discussion was productive so therefore I did leave the comments unmoderated. I seldom delete any posts - except those that try shut this site down. (I also thought the big window would work better for such a large thread)

Meanwhile, I would like to have this post explained a bit further:

"No, you don't understand. I'm not saying that Pastor Eckhardt believes those things. I'm saying that his practices in worship are teaching those things, whether he believes them or not. Just like worship at De Pere teaches false doctrine whether the pastors there actually believe it or not.

That what lex orandi, lex credendi means."


So both of these churches are teaching false doctrine and the presiding ministers don't know it??

and this..The OHM differences between the synods are involved here. So is the anti-Roman bent of the WELS, which goes along with its anti-clericalism.

My contention continues to be that Missouri has never claimed that the WELS functional view of the ministry was false doctrine. Yet the WELS now claims that the Missouri view of ministry is false doctrine. Because of the WELS focus on the "everyone a minister" no one is the minister.

Anonymous said...

Mr. 2:58,

In the Supper we're not to adore Christ?!? We most certainly are to adore him! Our entire life is adoration. We never stop. By faith we adore Christ. We adore Christ by receiving his gifts in the Supper, for we credit him for who he is, our Savior. Our entire frame is engaged in this adoration (e.g. kneeling, making the sign of the cross, bowing). Are you proposing: "O come let us adore him (except on the 1st and 3rd Sundays)." The problem with the Corpus Christi celebration was not adoration, but no sumptio. You've got that one wrong. Silent prayers? Most everyone in a real Lutheran Mass engages in silent prayers, why not the pastor? Will you eliminate silent prayers for those who return to the pew after the Supper? None of my people believe that my prayers take them out of the picture. Proper catechesis takes care of this. I am surprised that you didn't take the usual wels tact and attack the reservation of the unused elements. Luther, unlike the wels, believed in the enduring presence of the Lord in the sacramental elements. That's well documented. We must stay with the word of the Lord. He said, "This is..." He never said, "This ain't..." We have no contrary word from the Lord that somehow negates, "This is..." And don't pull out the "Usus Rule" because that does not speak to the duration of the consecration. We reserve consecrated elements because they still are the very body and blood of the Lord. They are used for shut-ins and for the next celebration. The consecration endures for the celebration, which doesn't just last for 20 minutes, but endures for the the communion of all the saints. Time here is not a factor. What's the difference: The consecration endures for the 20 minutes it takes to commune those in the nave and it endures for 24 hours until I take it to Grandma Schmidt. By the way, I don't pin point a moment of presence, but unlike the wels I believe that once the Verba have been spoken I know that what is in my hand is the body and blood of Christ.

On the other subject on this thread: Every church is liturgical. Every church has an "order of service." The question is: Do you want a crappy trifle or the catholic way, which serves to bind together the church throughout the world and down through the ages with beauty and dignity. No seminary I know of gives good instruction in the Liturgy. You come by that knowledge through reading and celebrating the Mass. To speak with any credibility on this blog would require reading that would take you at least a year to complete and several years to assimilate, in addition to standing at the altar Sunday after Sunday. I've done that reading and I've done the celebrating and still don't feel that I've grasped it all. On many Sundays the nuances and genius of the Mass dawn on me in surprising ways. The Mass evolved over centuries. For some smart aleck pastor to create a "liturgy" out of whole cloth in one sitting at his computer is absurd. Maybe a little less pontificating on this blog on this subject would be in order.

Fr. Pietrus Mons

Anonymous said...

"Since such innumerable and unspeakable abuses have arisen in the whole world from the buying and selling of masses, the Mass should by right be relinquished, if for no other purpose than to prevent abuses, even though in itself it had something advantageous and good. How much more ought we to relinquish it, so as to prevent [escape] forever these horrible abuses, since it is altogether unnecessary, useless, and dangerous, and we can obtain everything by a more necessary, profitable, and certain way without the Mass."

Anonymous said...

We reject and condemn...when it is taught that the elements or the visible species or forms of the consecrated bread and wine must be adored.

Anonymous said...

Not even a good try 9:55. Pull out your Tappert and reread the Augustana on the Mass. The Lutherans out-poped the pope for they maintained the MASS with dignity. Even today the word Mass is retained, as it always has been, in Sweden. Geez, superficial wels reactionaries! Oh, by the way, the Swedes retain the title priest for the pastor. Not a bad idea, for the pastor mediates the once-and-for-all benefits of the sacrifice of Christ to Christ's people in the Eucharist (on the 1st and 3rd Sundays, of course). Now don't get your undies in a bunch and whine about the UP of all believers. The UP is not an invention of the NT. It existed in the OT era when.....now get this... the ministers were called "priests".

Fr. Pietrus Mons

Anonymous said...

"Pull out your Tappert and reread the Augustana on the Mass. The Lutherans out-poped the pope for they maintained the MASS with dignity."

No kidding! I've never read that before. I only quoted that first quote to illustrate that there are real and serious dangers present in the Roman mass, ones we can't accept without serious discernment.

"Not a bad idea, for the pastor mediates the once-and-for-all benefits of the sacrifice of Christ to Christ's people in the Eucharist"

A sophistical way of denying the fact that there is but one Mediator?

"Now don't get your undies in a bunch and whine about the UP of all believers. The UP is not an invention of the NT. It existed in the OT era when.....now get this... the ministers were called "priests"."

Wow! What?!? To Peter, at least, the OT priesthood and the NT priesthood of believers were different. He explains how the priesthood, which was limited to a few in the OT, now includes all of God's people in the NT. The OT priesthood was only a shadow, the NT priesthood of all believers is fulfillment.

Anonymous said...

Go to bed 10:00 p.m.! You need to get some rest. You're your own worst enemy. Read the quote again: "...must be adored." A legalistic requirement not done out of faith but in search of merit. The faithful willingly adore. That's what they naturally do. People throughout the Book of Revelation, and everywhere else in Scripture, are dropping to the ground in the presence of the Almighty. But what should I expect from an American Presbyterian? In your arrogance won't even lower your flag in the Olympics opening ceremony. Please be consistent. The next time your pastor tells you to rise for the reading of the Gospel just remain seated, because you don't want to be doing any of that adoration stuff.

You people are killing me! I'm an old man.

Fr. Pietrus Mons

Anonymous said...

"A legalistic requirement not done out of faith but in search of merit. The faithful willingly adore. That's what they naturally do."

Then why would you need a rubric telling everyone EXACTLY when the host must be adored?

Anonymous said...

10:17,

Pull out your Tappert again. All are priests, as Luther asserts, but not all are minister, again as Luther asserts. Sorry, I don't have a Tappert so I can't give you a reference. You can trust Tappert about as far as you can throw it, and I threw mine quite far one day. Maybe that's why I can't find it.

The pastor stands in the stead of Christ (Gee, that was in the old wels hymnal's absolution, not anymore!). He mediates. It goes through him. The Aboslution, the preached Word, the Eucharist goes through him. Yes, people can say their prayers directly to God. But they also bring their prayers to church for the pastor to say. Mediation again.

To follow your line of reasoning, why every wels person could celebrate Holy Communion in his own house, without thought of ordination (an adiaphoron). The only thing stopping this according to the wels is good order. Ah, 1 Corinthians 14:40, the sedes doctrinae of tidiness.

Why do I torture myself like this!?! Cuz I like shooting fish in a barrel.

Fr. Pietrus Mons

Anonymous said...

WELS anti-adorationists,

You might want to read Luther on the Adoration (AE 36, as well as his comments in "Against the Heavenly Prophets") so that you might know that you and your fellow anti-adorationists condemn Luther as an idolater and blasphemer. Indeed in his "Brief Confession Concerning the Holy Sacrament" he said he would "assist in introducing three, seven, or ten elevations" against the Schwaermer who denied the real presence in the Sacrament. This is why the WELS opposes the adoration prior to the Sacrament because, it denies the presence despite the words of our Lord "This is.." until the reception, thus becoming the receptionists they condemn (there sure is some irony here).

We, like Luther taught, are free to adore the Body and Blood of Christ prior to and during our reception of it. Your condemnation of this practice makes you fine companions with the Zwinglians.

Anonymous said...

People are arguing against strawmen here. The issue here is adoration NOT connected to the Supper (i.e. adoration of the reserved elements during a procession).

The whole problem with Corpus Christi is that it separates the elements from their purpose--being consumed. The same is true with adoring the elements as part of a procession. The adoration is being done separated from the purpose for which Christ instituted the Sacraments.

Anonymous said...

"To Peter, at least, the OT priesthood and the NT priesthood of believers were different. He explains how the priesthood, which was limited to a few in the OT, now includes all of God's people in the NT. The OT priesthood was only a shadow, the NT priesthood of all believers is fulfillment."

Please read Exodus 19. This is what Peter was quoting. The OT also had a priesthood of all believers though not all were in the Levitical priesthood, much like today when we have a priesthood of all believers but not all are in the OHM.

Anonymous said...

" Falsely are our churches accused of abolishing the Mass; for the Mass is retained among 2] us, and celebrated with the highest reverence. Nearly all the usual ceremonies are also preserved, save that the parts sung in Latin are interspersed here and there with German hymns, which have been added 3] to teach the people. For ceremonies are needed to this end alone that the unlearned 4] be taught [what they need to know of Christ]. And not only has Paul commanded to use in the church a language understood by the people 1 Cor. 14, 2. 9, but it has also been so ordained by man's law. 5] The people are accustomed to partake of the Sacrament together, if any be fit for it, and this also increases the reverence and devotion of public 6] worship. For none are admitted 7] except they be first examined. The people are also advised concerning the dignity and use of the Sacrament, how great consolation it brings anxious consciences, that they may learn to believe God, and to expect and ask of Him all that is good. 8] [In this connection they are also instructed regarding other and false teachings on the Sacrament.] This worship pleases God; such use of the Sacrament nourishes true devotion 9] toward God. It does not, therefore, appear that the Mass is more devoutly celebrated among our adversaries than among us."

Anonymous said...

Fr. Mons,

Maybe it's a little early in the morning for you. :) I was agreeing with you and telling the other anonymous to read Exodus 19.

Anonymous said...

Some anon writes,

"Then why would you need a rubric telling everyone EXACTLY when the host must be adored?"

There you go again, where is the rubric "MUST" be adored?

And secondly, who here is arguing for a Corpus Christi procession that that has to be condemned?

Juanita

PS. John, go back to the old format for comments it is easier to read.

Anonymous said...

Please assure me we're not finished here. I count it a privilege to read the words of Fr. Pietrus Mons.
I do miss the Motley Magpie.

Anonymous said...

Well, anyway, it sounds like a super conference. I'll be there! With bells on!

Born and bred WELS
but not bragging about it)