Monday, October 20, 2008

2009 Church and Change Conference = Exponential conference

You might recall that a group of heavy hitting WELS pastors attended the http://www.exponentialconference.org/ This past spring.

http://bailingwater.blogspot.com/2008/04/wels-pastors-attend-exponential.html

The pastors that attended this exponential conference are involved in Church and Change.

Drawing upon the wonderful ideas they gained sitting at the feet of these theologians, they have tapped the main conference presenter, Ed Stetzer, as their own:

http://blogs.lifeway.com/blog/edstetzer/speaking.html


Follow Ed's WLC link and it takes you right to wels.net. Will wels.net once again provide a registration link to this reformed Church and Change conference? Ed Stetzer thinks so...

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well it certainly looks like the number 1 problem in the WELS is who is in charge???

From the looks of things it certainly seems as if the Church and Change group is driving the bus.

Tim Niedfeldt said...

Really?? Thats just plain silly. C&C is not an official WELS organization and can invite whomever it wants to speak. Same as Kingdom workers or any other independent organization that claims affiliation with the WELS like WLC, WLCFS, CLR, and the like.

Of course WELS synod offices can endorse an organization or not for whatever reasons. Thats up to the powers that be. They can host a registration page as a favor or choose not to. The power is theirs for a synod blessing or not.

However to assume the synod offices would waste their time trying control every outside organization...who wants that...they have enough things to worry about. Well probably those who want a holy mother church to run things and clear out the temple.

C&C is easy to watch. Everything they do is public. So is WLC. I'm amused by how people are shocked that speakers from other denominations are actually invited. As if all we can listen to is true blue born and bred WELSers.

Lastly, it is a joke to think that C&C is in charge of anything. All you have to do is be a part of it and you will feel like you are in the remotest fringe group there ever was. It feels a lot like when I was in the College Republicans while at UW- Madison.

I mean can anybody come up with more than 10 congregations in the synod that do anything in the realm of innovative C&C types of things. (can we agree that having one Contemporary service a month or putting the liturgy up on powerpoint hardly counts as innovative...its barely 21st century) If so lets start the list so that we can find each other and at least know we are not alone in the vastness of NON C&C. Here's my list

St. Mark's Depere
St. Marcus, Milwaukee
Crosswalk, Laveen, AZ
Crossroads, Chicago
Christ the Rock, Katy, TX
Sure Foundation, Brooklyn, NY
Victory of the Lamb, Franklin, WI

Okay I can't even come up with 10. I truly welcome input though.

This is what's taking over the synod? 7 congregations? If you're afraid of Kelm and Mueller and the usual suspects that are quoted for that kind of impact. I think you have a wacky definition of success. Ask anyone in my church if they have any idea who these people are. I actually had no idea until i heard their names bantered about here.

Another fallacy is that you'd think the people in these churches care about what the WELS is doing or about gaining influence in it. You can't be in one of these churches and think you have time to think about synod. What does that have to do with knocking on doors, having bible studies, canvassing, and evangelism in the community. I'm sure it could be a whole different thread on "why do C&C churches not care about synod?" At least that would have some merit for criticism.

I'm not sure you can even understand that it is quite the opposite feeling. The feeling when you are church and change is that you'll never make a change in the synod, you are isolated and remote, your support network is small, and you'll do best to just work your mission in your community. You can go to synod but you'll probably not find any support or help that is helpful there.

thats a C&C reality.

Tim

Anonymous said...

Tim,
Thanks so much for the backbone to say what so many of us feel. Thanks for your list of churches. My first thought is, which one is closest to Watertown, WI, so I can join?

I too wonder if those involved in this blog are pastors, and if so, how do they have time for their pastoral duties? (And we were led to believe they were so very, very busy!!) The back and forth arguments remind me of my children when they were, uh, about six...

More importantly, the crudeness of this blog amazes me. Many postings and comments are out and out sins against the 8th commandment. Are you REALLY pastors? Are you really CHRISTIANS? Yes, you may be sticking to the liturgical service but you certainly are not following God's example or commands.

Get to work with your ministry boys. John, how about a blog that enhances the WELS, not tears it apart.

Tim Niedfeldt said...

Sorry best I can do for you is Hope Lutheran in Oconomowoc. They meet in the Town of Summit Town Hall. http://www.hopeinjesus.org/

Anonymous said...

Christ the Rock - Round Rock, Texas
http://www.ctrtx.net/

also, a newly forming Solid Rock Ministries - south of St Mark De Pere - Pastor Jim Skorzewski

Anonymous said...

Tim said: "The feeling when you are church and change is that you'll never make a change in the synod, you are isolated and remote, your support network is small..."

And, speaking of feelings, the feeling from this "confessional crusader" is that your C&C ways have already made progress and have growing support from various leaders within the synod, so it is probably inevitable that it will continue down the road to eventually being barely distinguishable from any other American Evangelical community congregation- speaking as one on the opposite side of the pendulum, as it were.

Anon at 3:06 writes: "Are you really CHRISTIANS? Yes, you may be sticking to the liturgical service but you certainly are not following God's example or commands."

How so?

Rob

Anonymous said...

John:

This is just another example of your breaking the eighth commandment. I'm sure you read about this first on Ichabod, where Jackson is shameless in what he posts. Ed Stetzer has the Church and Change conference on his schedule, but I didn't see anything on the C and C website about it. I'm assuming you verified his presence in 2009 with the leaders of C and C? Maybe he was invited a long time ago, and after the change in the conference last year (WELS and ELS presenters)maybe he was "disinvited" but he failed to change his calendar? If you posted this and made your accusations before you even verified it with our people, then you're just as shameless as Jackson.

Tim Niedfeldt said...

I said Christ the rock but I put Katy TX...I think I was thinking of the other Victory of the Lamb which is in Katy. I will add Hope Lutheran to the list but they have a vacancy for pastor right now. They are chartered much like Victory of the Lamb in Franklin is.

Yes I should have mentioned Solid rock as well. Since My youngest goes to St. Marcus Lutheran School we only lost Pastor Ski as the school pastor about two weeks ago.

so here is the list now.

St. Mark's Depere
St. Marcus, Milwaukee
Crosswalk, Laveen, AZ
Crossroads, Chicago
Christ the Rock, Round Rock, TX
Sure Foundation, Brooklyn, NY
Victory of the Lamb, Franklin, WI
Hope Lutheran, Oconomowoc, WI
Solid Rock Ministries, Appleton, WI

John said...

I want to ask how an anonymous commenter can scream 8th commandment at me.

How did I break the 8th commandment? All I did was post that Ed Stetzer was speaking at the next C & C conference. I also mentioned that several WELS pastors sat at his feet back in April. How is this breaking the 8th commandment? You drew the conclusions.

Now you tell me. Is it a sin for Stetzer to present at the C&C conference (as long as he doesn't lead a prayer?) Does one principle over-ride another?

Anonymous said...

My question is: Why would WELS members (clergy & laity) WANT to have Ed Stetzer as a keynote speaker?

Another question I have is: Why do the congregations that choose to not use Lutheran in their names WANT to be part of WELS?

Tim Niedfeldt said...

No it is not a sin for Stetzer to present(not even if he says a prayer..just if the attendees participate in it).

No it is not a sin to point it out if you don't like it.

No there is no 8th commandment thing being broken in this instance.

and finally although I appreciate knowing someone is out there who might support something i say, I will not go so far as to say that there is 8th commandment breaking going on (and its fair to say I've taken a word or two of criticism). Sometimes there are strong words, fervent words, sarcastic words..all said out of zeal and maybe frustration at times. I think this is all in the realm of acceptability in a public forum. Now I can name a few places on the internet where the 8th commandment hardly exists.

I think that whole 8th commandment thing is thrown around too much...as if disagreement or presentaion of a topic is putting someone else down. Its the same as those who throw out the "I'm offended" trump card in church meetings..honestly have we truly forgotten how to be men?

maybe if we as a society had not created a few generations of sissys (my generation being one of the worst) we could talk, debate, argue, criticize, and chastise freely without crying 8th commandment foul

If you can't stand the CPU heat get out of the blogosphere.


Tim

John said...

"If you can't stand the CPU heat get out of the blogosphere."

or as another poster once said.."hike up your skirt and get off the playing field"

Anonymous said...

Wow.. I'm a life-time WELS member. I was doing a google search and your blog continued to pop up. I have been reading the posts and comments for an hour now. I belong to a small church in southern Minnesota and have not been exposed to what has been happening synod-wide.

John - I would like you to head-up a lay group that could meet with WELS leadership to begin formal dialogue on the issues presented on this blog.

I will personally ask my pastor to read this blog and answer many questions that have been brought up on this site.

Thank you,
Mr. Scherer

Tim Niedfeldt said...

I don't know anything about setzer so I don't know why I might want to hear him. But I also watch Joel Osteen, Benny Hinn, and every other wacky TV preacher including the Catholic Priest who sounds like Sean Connery and rambles on in pointless homiles. I watch Sister Angelica go on too...she's a hoot. This is just plain research. Good research in all the things NOT to do. Its come in handy too when our unchurched "TV churched" folk come to visit a service and you know who they are talking about and what particular angle they come from. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer....good advice.

As to the Lutheran name in churches. I will venture my opinion. To sum up there are those who believe that everything we believe, say and do can be summed up in the word Lutheran. Its this Lutheran entity/concept embodied that makes us a church, that is what defines us.

I'm indifferent to its use personally. However, right here in God's promised land of Milwaukee as we talk to the unchurched and say we are Lutheran they shrug their shoulders and say..."Soo?" what does that mean. So we talk about how we're a local christian church that preaches the true inerrant word of God. Honestly lutherans can scream about the name lutheran all they want but it won't make it mean more to the unchurched.

Yes, you can educate people about it...eventually.. but what is more important, Preaching the Word or making sure you have what it means to be lutheran down first.

So I'm just saying that it doesn't have to be a stumbling block. It doesn't change what a church should be doing. mission work. but if you are involved in mission work you will learn that the Lutheran name means nothing. Would that offend your sensibilities? would that make it hard for you to share the word when an unchurched person throws Lutheran back in your face? When I lived in NH it meant less than nothing.

I think you will just find that in these mission churches we appreciate that we belong to a church body that preaches the true, pure, Word of God but don't care if you call it Lutheran. It doesn't buy you anything anymore on the frontlines. Its just a name. its the true Word of God our synod preaches thats important. Get that Word out and let the Holy Spirit do his job. He doesn't require that our prospects have a good appreciation of Lutheran before working faith in their heart.

I have a thing with my pastor that we send church signs "sayings" back and forth to each other. I am often critical of one of the 3 WELS churches I pass on the way to church. They are on one of the busiest thoroughfares on the south side yet they blow me away on how they waste their premium signage time and time again.

For reformation last year they put out on their sign "Sola gracia, Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura" (please don't lambast me if I got that wrong...you get the point) The WELS church down the street approximately 14 blocks before this church said "Jesus heals a broken Heart". Now if you had 10 seconds or less to say one thing on your sign that might reach the unchurched, which just might hit someone at the right time to draw them in...which one is better?

Tim

Anonymous said...

BUT remember: Early in 2008 the Conference of Presidents passed this resolution - - -

Whereas;
a The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod is an historically confessional Lutheran church, and
b The expression "Evangelical Lutheran church" is a confessional nomenclature, and
c It is important for the WELS to continue to be identified as a confessional Lutheran church,
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED;
a That the COP encourage the use of the name "Evangelical Lutheran" in the names of new WELS congregations and be it further resolved
b That district mission boards urge new mission congregations to include "Evangelical Lutheran" in their names, and be it finally resolved
c That each district constitution committee be notified of this resolution.

Tim Niedfeldt said...

And this means what in the trenches?

Be it resolved: that evangelical Lutheran church has little identification outside of the evangelical Lutheran church.

Be it resolved: The ELCA uses those terms and its done wonders for their confessional integrity.

Be it resolved: that "encourage" and "urge" are not order and command.

Be it resolved that: Resolutions are are pointless.

Tim

Anonymous said...

In those days Israel had no king and everyone did as he saw fit.

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous. How many times has the COP slapped the wrist of C&C? What do the Changers do back – try a swift kick to the groin. They invite Ed Stetzer. They call Kelm back to HQ. One would think these guys might have learned their lesson. Maybe they could just have Kelm be the C&C keynote speaker because he seems to plagiarize whatever Reggie McNeal, Leonard Sweet, and Ed Stetzer say anyway.

John said...

Tim your writing seems very post-modernist. This perspective basically comes down to one word: "whatever." It bothers me when my kids respond back to me "whatever." The church and change crowd says "whatever." We can do "whatever" we want. There is no law that says you need to use "Lutheran" in your church's name, "whatever." There are no absolutes. There is no one right way to worship, "whatever."

What does the Bible say about "whatever?"

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things" Phil. 4:8.

Is it pure and lovely to deny the sacraments? Ask Ed Stetzer he will say "whatever."

Tim Niedfeldt said...

Well yes and no. Haha I kill myself. I am by no means post-modern but yes on BW I definately am exactly as you say. I have many absolutes. The gospel is an absolute. We do not debate the Gospel though here on BW. I don't doubt the integrity of any individual here on whether they hold the absolute nature of the Gospel message.

However we have distinctly different "Boxes" around the particulars of what is an absolute and what falls under Christian Freedom. If I were to use a broad brush I'd say the folks here want a very very very well-defined rule book of absolutes. There will be no listening to speakers from other church bodies. There will be no straying from the historic Liturgy. There should be...There should be...There should not be... yet no matter how much you try these things don't fall into the absolutes of the Bible. Just the personal set of absolutes you've created for yourself.

Using the passage you quoted I would agree whole-heartedly with it but your definition of "Whatever" is very different from mine. I'm certainly willing to be shown from scripture that I exceeded my Christian freedom and I will back up and make amends.

You are correct that Ed Setzer has no regard for the sacraments. However I don't see the absolute that says I can't listen to him. Perhaps the weak in faith shouldn't listen to him. Perhaps those who lack discernment shouldn't listen to him. Those who are offended shouldn't listen to him.

I'd say most anything is going to sound post-modern in this group however, you can't take a step around here without stepping in some man-made absolute.

The thing is I used to be as legalistic as any of you here. It comes with WELS in-breeding. However, back in 2001 when my life was in shambles, I learned that all those rules don't protect you from real sin in the world messing in your life. That you can wrap yourself in tradition and rules and they don't mean squat if you lose the absolute truth of the Gospel. Now in working with the unchurched and seeing how sin affects their lives the same as it does mine and how not different we are, I stick with the Absolute of the Gospel and keep that as the focus. The absolutes that are drawn up here at BW have no place in mission work. My personal experience is that many of these man-made absolutes actually can choke the believer into despair. There is time enough to make someone Lutheran...but first we should share the Gospel so the Holy Spirit can make them a Believer.


Tim

Anonymous said...

>>>The absolutes that are drawn up here at BW have no place in mission work. My personal experience is that many of these man-made absolutes actually can choke the believer into despair. There is time enough to make someone Lutheran...but first we should share the Gospel so the Holy Spirit can make them a Believer.<<<

Wow, Tim, you've really said a lot right here. You are a very wise person.

Anonymous said...

"There is time enough to make someone Lutheran...but first we should share the Gospel so the Holy Spirit can make them a Believer."

This is what is called a quatenus subscription to Lutheranism. I.e. this proves this fellow Tim is not a Lutheran, and does not understanding the true Christian faith, fides qua, which is the Lutheran faith.

Anonymous said...

All theology is Christology. If someone is "not quite right" on the Sacraments, he will be wrong the whole way through.

The Gospel is not formless and void.

Anonymous said...

A little Baptist baptifies the whole lump.

Quiz. What wears a black v-neck gown (or polo shirt and slacks), considers the Sacrament of the Altar "optional" and says the infant cannot understand the Word?

A baptistified Wisconsin Synod preacher.

Tim Niedfeldt said...

Perhaps you do not understand the difference between the Lutheran faith (what is stated in the confessions and such) and Lutheranism. I believe whole heartedly in the Lutheran faith as stated in the confessions. However I do not hold that every tradition, rule, synod pronouncement, "church word", worship style, etc.. defines the Lutheran faith. I call this Lutheranism. The ELCA uses the word Lutheran and what does that mean? What does that definition of Lutheran have to do with saving faith?

So I could I suppose confess on Sunday mornings that I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Lutheran church,... but we don't. Why is that?

I know that I could interchange the Christian faith with the Lutheran Faith. Does that mean we should? Do we have to? When should we? When should we not? What does it matter if they are the same.

I could change my statement to be. The unchurched can learn about lutheranism in their own due time but it is more important to preach the Gospel so the Holy Spirit can work the true Lutheran faith in their heart.

Why don't we say it that way in our circles?

I will tell you who is not a true Christian/Lutheran if you want me to subscribe to a belief that all of Lutheranism is an essential add on to the Gospel message.

Out of this approach then anything we do differently from 1537 on is outside the Holy Lutheran Church.

It is interesting the parallels between your position and Rome. You take a pure thing such as the confessions, add on a lot of church tradition, non-biblical rules, history,and personal opinions...most of which are not delineated in scripture or the confessions and then declare those who do not agree with your whole package are outside the true Lutheran/Christian faith.

I often wonder if we could just keep everything we know and has been established about Lutheranism but could just substitute a new word for it. I could call it "Bob" or "Finkelstein" :-)or "worpblats" and it doesn't even in the remotest change the message or all the things that make up lutheranism.

Tim

Anonymous said...

Tim,

Thank you. You are not Lutheran, for you neither understand what the Lutheran faith is nor deep theological matters as you illustrated by not understanding my post when I referred to the fides qua. You should remain silent on these matters for you may lead some ignorant person astray. In the church you are a women and you are not permitted to speak.

Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting article that will surely rile you up (as if you're not already...). I support and appreciate the fact that we can add this to Tim's list of churches.
http://www.madison.com/wsj/home/local/309984

I especially appreciate this quote ""We really went back to the Bible, to books from Genesis to Revelation that talk about wood and stone altars"

Tim Niedfeldt said...

Interesting. Since we're using latin today All I can think of is non sequitur.

In two sentences you claim that I only believe in the confessions only insofar as they pertain to scripture and then, that I don't understand the true Christian faith where you describe that subjective justification is the Lutheran Faith.

Quite honestly that does not make a lot of sense. Perhaps some details might be helpful to take me from point A to point B in your claims.

However last I knew, only the Holy spirit works faith in a man's heart when the Word is preached. I also believe we are the ones who are supposed to be preaching it. We preach. Holy Spirit Converts. I think that sums it up well but perhaps some latin would clear things up

Tim

Anonymous said...

Tim, you have a zeal for home mission work. Good for you. What you say, though, indicates there are a few things about Lutheranism that you like, but the rest is inconsequential. What you propose seems not much different from what is readily available within American Evangelicalism in many, if not most, communities.

If you reject the things that make the Lutheran church the unique church that it is, i.e. subscription to its Confessions and symbols, why should you expect the Lutheran church to support your efforts? And why does it bother you that there are those who are seeking and striving for the historic Lutheran identity to be preserved - or found and then preserved? Does that not fit within your modern paradigm that there are those of us who desire the historic liturgy and that it should be available to us without contamination of other methodologies? If, after all, the modern view is to be "all things to all people" can there not be a historic Lutheran church for the confessional crusaders who seek it?

We see little difference from what you desire and propose from what is readily available at many community churches. But that doesn't mean you aren't Christian, just not Lutheran in the pure sense of the definition. In the modern sense, you are right, there is very little to differentiate your beliefs (and those of many Lutheran churches, ELCA included) from other denominations, nor a need to do so in your mind.

Rob

Rick said...

People go to McDonald's because they know what they're getting. Every McDonald's has the same menu and the same style of service. That's one of the main reasons for their success. How does anyone know what they are getting when they go to "Crossroads" or "Solid Rock Ministries"? Every so-called "non-denominational" church claims to preach the pure unadulterated Word of God. So what? When I travel the nation, I don't look for a church that claims to preach the truth, I look for a WELS sign.

Does Disney say, "Well, it doesn't matter if we call it 'Disney,' because the Disney brand means nothing to people in China"? No, of course not. Disney wants to grow its name brand. The Disney brand is valuable, and they want it to become more valuable.

My congregation recently founded a daughter congregation that won't call itself "WELS" and might not call itself "Lutheran." How does that grow our name brand? What would you think if you had a new daughter, and she refused to use your family name?

Is the "WELS" and "Lutheran" just a name? Is "Christian" just a name? Ask anyone who owns a valuable trademark if what they own is just a name. No, you don't have to call yourself WELS or Lutheran or Christian, but a "good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." (Proverbs 22:1).

Tim Niedfeldt said...

I'll try to do 3 in one going upwards in order.

Anon 12:13

Thats all good for WELS'rs who treasure what we have and know about the brand name. But once you leave the promised land of WI that brand begins to be not so prevalent. It is not a McDonalds at all but more like a Culvers in California or a Hardees. For some it may be exactly like a McDonalds. They know its name but it brings back bad memories, sick stomachs and always leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

One of the misconceptions about these churches are that they were created to appeal to WELS'rs at all. They are for the most part experiments in trying to reach out to the unchurched. Not to try and collect a new sub group of WELS as an amoeba split of a congregation or some typical thing we do. Its not a model for a new version of the WELS or how the WELS should be. They are experiments in outreach. One day I think Victory will grow to a point around 5 or 600 where we will have inreach pastors and an established base and it will be time to add in a traditional service to the church. When we do It will also be time to take our outreach pastor and start the whole process over again and start another mission outreach. Maybe Franksville will be the next mission field if we are to fill in the matrix.

The debate all along is simple. Is the Lutheran name valuable or inconsequential? However by that I do not mean Lutheran Faith and everything Lutherans believe...just the name.

To Rob:

I don't fault anyone who likes the historic Lutheranism and liturgy and such. I tend to go both ways. I like the traditional and I like contemporary. My mother congregation that I came from runs 4 traditional services a week and 1 contemporary. They have worship on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays. That was great. Everyone had what they wanted. If contemporary worship does not suit a worshipper we have a menu selection of churchs around us that will accomodate them. This is a great situation. As I've mentioned before I've been a church organist and still appreciate the traditional quite a lot.

However this blog is all about telling me that contemporary is wrong. That naming your church in a non lutheran way is wrong. That what we are doing is a contaminant and non-lutheran. That Lutheranism is defined by its traditions and historic worship style just as much as the rekindling of the true Word of God from centuries of decay and corruption in the Catholic church. I do NOT reject the confessions at all.

Here is the deal though. To me the Lutheran Church IS the confessions. Its the reclaiming of the Word. Thats it. This is what Lutherans say about the bible. This is what we believe. The Lutherans have confessions about what the true Christian Faith is.

Say what you want about the Christian faith and how the word Christian has been misconstrued, maligned and can mean whatever you want it to just like the evangelicals misuse it....but you can say the same about Lutheran in this day and age. In a post a long time ago a person asked "So what name should we use?...they've all been ruined." Thats still a good question. My preference is that Lutherans restore what the true Christian Faith means. Lutherans are the truest Christians. We should be saying "This is what it means folks...stop listening to evangelicals and catholics, and methodists etc.....Lutherans have what being Christian is..correct. Our confessions state it correctly.

We don't confess what hymnal to use, what robe the pastor should wear, whether our services should all be traditional or not or whether Lutheran should be in our name. Prescribing these things as the only way to be Lutheran goes beyond what Luther did. To be Lutheran you treasure the confessions...after that the details are as you said..at least for me...inconsequential.


To anon 11:48

You are correct St. Andrews should be on the list. The list is revised and listed below.

Thanks for the story. It is interesting. Speaking of playing church organ..The irony in that story though is briefly mentioned in the church's history. I joined Lord and Savior Lutheran from 1990 - 1993 when we lived in Lodi. The building was brand new. As a matter of fact I drywalled the basement weeks before leaving WI for 9 years as well as left my living room furniture in that Mother's room they mentioned.

The story mentioned how the church "just never made it.." and St. Andrew took it over as a second church plant. I was on the board of that church and was an organist as well. I can tell you why that church died in the first place. It could be THE stereotype of the traditional church where the members were older, just wanted to have a building and sit there and wait for the community to stroll in. It was definitely the opposite of outreach. The board bickered, The president resigned. There was a big fight over the new hymnal. The pastor who started the church although a good preacher was not an evangelist and was close to retirement. He was urged to take a call to a snowbird church in TX. When we left we were the last couple under 30 years old left. The other two couples went to the new Deforest Mission startup.

With all that in mind I think of what those crusty buggers back in the day would say now about the current use of this building.

so here is the list now.

St. Mark's Depere
St. Marcus, Milwaukee
Crosswalk, Laveen, AZ
Crossroads, Chicago
Christ the Rock, Round Rock, TX
Sure Foundation, Brooklyn, NY
Victory of the Lamb, Franklin, WI
Hope Lutheran, Oconomowoc, WI
Solid Rock Ministries, Appleton, WI
St. Andrews, Middleton, WI

John said...

Tim -

You say "We do not debate the Gospel though here on BW" I say we do. As the motto on this blog is: "To be Lutheran is to always be pointing to Christ."

Much of what is presented at the churches you list above is not centered on the Gospel. Yes I have visited 3 of those "churches". One of those listed doesn't even hold services but calls them gatherings. Several of those listed hide the sacrament of Holy communion so as to not offend the visitor rather than lifting it up as a wonderful opportunity. To me that is not noble or praiseworthy. Do you agree? Don't say yes and no (you kill me too).

Why have these churches shed the Lutheran liturgy? Why are church mission and vision statements recited rather than the ecumenical creeds?

Again this leads us to worship. Doctrine and practice are clearly linked. Watch carefully what happens at these churches over the next five years. We have already noted anecdotal evidence of plagiarized sermons, hidden communion, women leading children's sermons and serving communion.

This leads me to vocation. But if I discuss this you will toss me over to the LCMS.

Tim it is much easier to live with your "whatever" than mine. But I feel it is a lie to do so. The ultimate measure of all things is Christ. This doesn't meet the needs of the pluralistic society. But we are not of this world. In the those same verses Paul asks us to mediate on these things.

It is interesting to note how some ministers stress that the members need to share their faith. Oh really! How do you share your faith.? The Bible says we can teach, preach, and confess and the Spirit will create faith.

The churches you list are post-modern, pluralistic gatherings. But are they Lutheran?

Anonymous said...

I am a person that was instructed and confirmed WELS as an adult. I have done quite a bit of "church shopping."

At one time I was attending and checking out a Community Church. I was shocked and appalled when I eventually learned that it was really a Baptist church. More than anything, I felt I was deceived.

John said...

"I too wonder if those involved in this blog are pastors, and if so, how do they have time for their pastoral duties?" No I am not a pastor.

"If you posted this and made your accusations before you even verified it with our people, then you're just as shameless as Jackson."

You sir just broke the 8th commandment.

"John, how about a blog that enhances the WELS, not tears it apart."

I'm not here to tear the WELS apart but return it to its Lutheran identity. Did Luther sit by when he felt errors needed to be posted on the church's door?
Did he provide a list that will enhance the church or tear it apart?

And like Rob I will ask: "Are you really CHRISTIANS? Yes, you may be sticking to the liturgical service but you certainly are not following God's example or commands."

How so?

Rob"

Sir have some backbone that you praise Tim for.

Anonymous said...

I could make shoes and sell them as Nikes. I'd even put a swoosh on them (legal ramifications aside). My goal is just to get everyone into shoes. But my shoes will never be Nikes. And they won't be very good because I am not a shoemaker. But some people will buy them and I'll be happy just because they're in shoes.

A weak analogy, OK. Not my strength. But Tim, your posts reflect a Reformed view - not a Lutheran view. You say you regard the Confessions highly. Just casually flipping through the BOC, I land on Article XXIV of The Apology of the Augsburg Confession. "At the outset, we must again make this preliminary statement: we do not abolish the Mass, but religiously keep and defend it. Masses are celebrated among us every Lord's Day and on the other festivals. The Sacrament is offered to those who wish to use it it, after they have been examined and absolved. And the usual public ceremonies are observed, the series of lessons, of prayers, vestments, and other such things."

This is one of many within the BOC that define Lutheranism. Have you read and studied the Confessions thoroughly? I have barely tapped into them and labor to try and get them taught in our WELS church.

Your posts seem to reduce Lutheranism to reclaiming the Bible from the Roman Catholics and preaching the Gospel to the unchurched.

What about the sheep within the fold? Will they be fed by innovative, creative, watered-down theology geared only to attract the unchurched? The unchurched aren't in church. You say they can learn about Lutheranism later or study it on their own, just get them in. Get them into what?

The goal is just to preach the Gospel. What gospel? The Divine Service IS the Gospel preached. Many adore the Divine Service and you would say we are only holding to relics. There is more support within WELS for what you are doing than for what we are seeking. You may have some opposition on this blog, but you are obviously getting to do what you want to do.

Rob

Anonymous said...

I give up.. We now have WELS pastors jetting across country soaking up reformed methods. We have C&C inviting speakers from these conferences. We are dropping the name Lutheran. And you, Tim, and others say keep on rolling.

Maybe it is time to leave this synod!

Anonymous said...

Thank-you, Anonymous of 8:12 AM.
I am watching for awhile yet and hope that President Schroeder will lead and take a stand against all this that is happening. I cannot figure out why the C&C group even wants to be part of WELS.
My conscience is bothering me too much to continue being a part of the WELS while C&C is operating within WELS. I am unable to commune at the altars of some WELS' congregations due to my conscience.
If WELS wants to continue the direction C&C is taking then I need to leave. If Ed Stetzer does give the keynote address at the C&C Conference in November, 2009 then I will definitely leave. For me it would be a sure sign of the WELS' praesidium giving approval to this direction. I cannot be a part of that. This is really getting very painful to watch.

Anonymous said...

"I am watching for awhile yet and hope that President Schroeder will lead and take a stand against all this that is happening."

All what you fear comes out of the Seminary. This is where this stuff is taught and tolerated. There is no Christological or sacramental focus given the students and so when they get out they have to try to come up with something to grow the church.

Been there, know that.

Anonymous said...

When did that change at the Seminary? What would be the appropriate way to approach this before I leave WELS? Why is there no Christological or sacramental focus anymore? Aren't there enough members and pastors to get us back on the right track even if it means that we separate?
Synod is supposed to mean "Walking Together" but WELS has pastors and congregations and members walking in all different directions. I was taught in adult instructions that WELS was uniform in doctrine and practice. It definitely is NOT. It seems that more and more congregations are looking at the things of man instead of the things of God. I have started my letter of resignation but hope it does not get to the point that I need to submit it. I'm not sure I can commune anymore because it would be publicly showing that I am in agreement with all of WELS.

Norman Teigen said...

Greg Jackson went after Pres. Moldstad today and said that Moldstad has not disowned Church and Change. Can anyone help me here? Does the ELS have any kind of investment in Church and Change that we ELSers should know about? I know that one or two might have attended a C&C meeting or two but I am not aware of any links to C&C and the ELS. Please inform me of anything on this subject of which I am ignorant. [As I told GJ, my ignorance is vast and my understanding is thin.]

Anonymous said...

Norm,
By the fact that ELS is in fellowship with WELS puts ELS in connection with Church and Change. It would be good if some objection was made in ELS like they did about women communing women in WELS.
It would be like WELS being connected to Thoughts of Faith by the fact that WELS is in fellowship with ELS.

Norman Teigen said...

I will direct a message to President Moldstad on this subject and ask him for a clarification.

Remember that the ELS is a little synod and that every one knows every one else.

I don't think that the fact that the two synods, ELS and WELS, are in Fellowship means that each synod is responsible for what the other does (or doesn't do).

Can we not live with the idea that we are in agreement on most things but then recognize that the cultural differences that are part of our individual synods allow for some differences of emphasis and expression?

We have separate educational institutions and separate hymnaries. We have different histories. We like to sing different hymns. Some of us go to church on Christmas Eve and some of us do not. Some of us sing 'Jeg er saa glad' and others sing 'O Tannenbaum' on Christmas Day.

Doesn't that mean something?

Norman Teigen
ELS layman
{I am a member of the ELS but I do not presume to speak for the ELS. I am thinking of identifying myself as an ELS spokesman in the new year upcoming.]]

Anonymous said...

Norman-

You didn't know that the pastor of our own C&C congregation, Nathan Krause at Abiding Shepard in Cottage Grove, WI., was a PRESENTER at the last C&C conference?? The cancer is in us, too. Krause even had a vicar in the past year or so.

ELSer