Thursday, May 21, 2009

Please, let us change the topic.

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Please, let us change the topic.

A relative was getting his vicar assignment from Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary. I watched the service on the web. The preacher, whom the bulletin said was a Prof. Hartwig did not preach the Gospel other than a passing reference or two to the word. He obviously then did not preach Christ crucified, in fact he went on at great length about the training of young ants by older ants, yes, ants. I learned more about ants than I did about Christ.

Is this typical of seminary prof's preaching (since this was a grand affair, I assume so.) If you don't believe me, check it out.

Oh, and as I heard from my relative, 11 seniors will not get calls.

Fabio

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't worry about Hartwig's sermon. He's probably the worst preacher at the Seminary. Definitely not representative of the quality of the faculty as a whole. Listen to Wendland or Gurgel or Tiefel preach and your fears will be alleviated.

But the 11 seniors not getting calls is terrible. To put all of your effort and study and money and heart into something for at least 8 years and then to be told, "Nope sorry, no call for you" is a real shame. Hopefully they'll all get calls in the near future, but that still won't completely erase the trauma of not getting a call on call day. The scary thing is that it's going to be a whole lot worse next year when the missionaries and profs whose positions are being terminated will take up all of the open calls.

Anonymous said...

Everything happens according to His purpose. We seem to forget that in WELS sometimes especially those who think that WELS is the only way to Heaven. I think many of us will be surprised when we get there.

Can we please be more positive? This blog has really become a rag. OK, maybe it always was one.

Anonymous said...

"Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel." Hartwig should be censured and dismissed.

Anonymous said...

>>>We seem to forget that in WELS sometimes especially those who think that WELS is the only way to Heaven.<<<

You have got to be kidding me. Seriously, you're joking right? This is the stupidest, lamest, most hackneyed, most untrue stereotype of the WELS in the world. I've been a member of the WELS my entire life and I have never heard a single pastor who ever taught that and I've never met a single member who believed that.

Seriously, if you're going to try to insult the WELS try to come up with something that has at least a shred of truth or at the very least a shred of creativity.

Yawn.

Anonymous said...

11 seniors out of how many?
How many were graduating this year?

Is any attempt made to help them find other employment while they wait for a call?

I imagine their degree and college training is not in any demand outside of the WELS.

Anonymous said...

>>>11 seniors out of how many?<<<

39. That's about a quarter of the class without calls.

>>>Is any attempt made to help them find other employment while they wait for a call?<<<

I would hope so.

>>>I imagine their degree and college training is not in any demand outside of the WELS.<<<

That's what makes Sem grads not getting calls so bad. Unlike MLC grads without a call, they can't just go and get a job in the secular world. They literally spend 8 years training for nothing other than to get a call into the ministry. They don't have any other options if they don't get a call.

Hopefully they will all get calls very soon, although looking at call lists it doesn't look like there are even many vacancies out there. Plus, they will be "competing" against all of the recalled missionaries for those few calls. In short, it's a really ugly situation.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering if any of these young men might cross over to confessional LCMS churches that need pastors.

I'm an interested LCMS layman (don't crucify me).

But I wonder if the Lord isn't asking us to rethink our brotherhood?

Anonymous said...

Anon 546...kudos. You have been in a good place all of these years. I share your sentiment. There are many who don't like this blog's author.

anon432

Anonymous said...

Well, if they preach like Hartwig, who would want them?

Fabio

Anonymous said...

Dear LCMS layman,

They do not share our doctrine of the ministry.

LCMS pastor

Anonymous said...

WELS is extremely strict on the issue of church fellowship.

I always wonder if I will get in trouble when I go to funerals of people of other Christian denominations and pray the Lord's prayer...am I going to get reported and rebuked by the WELS?

Of course, if it's an issue of money coming INTO the WELS from groups like Thrivent (which support all the Lutheran synods including ELCA) or the Schwann foundation (which I believe also sends some money to the Missouri synod), then that is perfectly ok...nothing wrong there...stop being crazily crtical....wink...

Anonymous said...

6.54 AM Anonymous - You may earn a degree at Fuller Seminary, study at Trinity Deerfield, absorb the wisdom of Willow Creek, and kneel before Andy Stanley, but do not pray at the funeral of a heretic. As my DP warned me about going to an LCMS funeral, "You can go, but don't let me catching you praying." I closed my eyes during the LP, but I thought only of Holy Mother WELS frowning on me for being there. I know I was forgiven before I even went there, but was I forgiven forgiven after being there?

Kool-Aid

Anonymous said...

The WELS practices levels of fellowship.

Anonymous said...

>>>The WELS practices levels of fellowship.<<<

You know, it's sad. Every discussion about legitimate issues in the WELS (like 11 men not getting calls) always degenerates into laughably false insults about the WELS.

John, you really ought not to tolerate trolling and flaming here. I think you'd get much better discussion if you moderated the comments, and only posted those that related to the discussion at hand. Otherwise every single thread just devolves into an orgy of ignorance and insults.

John said...

11:22 am ..

I do take your point about moderating comments to heart. In the past some have asked for all comments to be posted.

I will ask that personal insults be dropped from the comments. (or I will drop them)

A poster asked a question about the grads finding a position in another Lutheran church body? Is this an option?

Is the option of tent ministry still being pursued?

Anonymous said...

>>>A poster asked a question about the grads finding a position in another Lutheran church body? Is this an option? <<<

If there was a church body in fellowship with the WELS that needed pastors, I'm sure it would be an option. But no such church bodies exist. These grads aren't going to jump ship, compromise their beliefs, and serve a church that they aren't in fellowship with just for a paycheck.

>>>Is the option of tent ministry still being pursued?<<<

No, the tent ministry experiment ended in failure and hasn't even been discussed in years. It turned out not to be fair to the graduates or to the congregations they served. Both ended up getting short-changed by the arrangement.

Anonymous said...

Insults? When a church's doctrine is mentioned? Sheesh. Someone asked about wels grads going to lcms churches. One poster noted how their doctrine of the ministry was different. I posted about the WELS levels of fellowship, which they teach. You go all balastic on that. Well...

One one level the WELS says they cannot pray with those with whom they are not in fellowship. On another level they say it is ok.

To wit, from the Forward in Christ mag. The editor writes,

"Some perhaps are confused about exactly what the church is teaching. Sometimes honest differences will arise in how to apply the teachings. For example, does WELS teach that I simply cannot pray with my dear Methodist Aunt Tillie? (The answer is “no.”)"

So on one level you can, on another you can't. Levels of fellowship.

Anonymous said...

We were at call day yesterday and yes, 11 men didn't get calls. They and their families were asked to meet afterward. Pres. Wendland and Schroeder gave excellent words of explanation and encouragement. Both encouraged each of the 11 - everyone, in fact - to contact them anytime with questions or concerns. They stressed this wouldn't be a bother.

These are difficult times. What's happening with the WELS is reflective of what's happening everywhere. Lots of graduates can't find jobs and many have just as much time and money invested into schooling as Seminary grads.

It's important not to put the WELS' financial problems blame solely on lay people and their lack of support (we heard this several times as we socialized yesterday).

Take a look around and note how many people in every occupation are out of jobs. I personally know several who have been out of work for 4-6 months. Each job they apply for, they have to compete with hundreds of other applicants. I also have friends who are forced to take volunteer unpaid vacation days every two weeks.

Additionally, I live in an area that is rural and blue collar. The average wage per job is $28,000, according to the county's informational page. This is an area that has suffered plant closings and job losses years ago already. And mine isn't the only area going through such hard times, that's the way it is right now.

Unfortunately, if Seminary grads are forced to look for employment in the secular work force, competition's going to pretty tough. There's going to be a lot of people perusing the same job fairs and online sites.

Anonymous said...

A few years ago they started one or two congregations in Ohio as tent ministry: Michigan District, WELS. St. Paul tried it and did rather well, but that was a long time ago. The call shortage is going to be just as severe in the other Lutheran groups. Large WELS congregations are cutting back on their staffs, too. It is a quick way to save money.

Anonymous said...

Remember folks, that this is the land of opportunity. Nobody swims 90 miles through shark-infested water to reach the people's paradise of Cuba, but they do swim from Cuba to live here. Any graduate has an advantage over those people without a college degree. Sales positions allow people to make money according to their desire and hard work. It will be tough and uncertain for everyone, but this is still the greatest country of all for opportunity and freedom.

Anonymous said...

"Any graduate has an advantage over those people without a college degree."

Those MLC and WLS degrees will get you a job at Otto's Liquor store.

Anonymous said...

>>>I posted about the WELS levels of fellowship, which they teach.<<<

But that's a lie. The WELS teaches the unit concept of fellowship. Perhaps you're confused and thinking of the LCMS which does teach a levels concept of fellowship. Or perhaps you're confusing doctrine with application. The unit concept of fellowship does not prescribe a list of applications to deal with each and every situation. Thus, there may be some differences in the way the concept is carried out depending on circumstance, but that doesn't negate the doctrine or mean that the WELS teaches levels of fellowship. Hey, if that were true, and the WELS really did teach levels of fellowship, that could have saved everyone a whole lot of trouble about 50 years ago, when the WELS and LCMS split. In any case, this is completely off the topic.

Anonymous said...

Call it what you will, WELS practices, as I showed from the offical magazine of the WELS, levels of fellowship. Calling a pear an apple doesn't make it so. The WELS is simply hypocritical about this.

Anonymous said...

>>>Call it what you will, WELS practices, as I showed from the offical magazine of the WELS, levels of fellowship. Calling a pear an apple doesn't make it so. The WELS is simply hypocritical about this.<<<

Like I said, you're confusing principle with application. Just because there are varying applications based on varying situations, that doesn't mean that there are different principles.

Besides, your charge of hypocrisy is completely unfounded. People are hypocrites to make things easier for themselves, not harder. But maintaining the unit concept made things much, much harder for the WELS. If the WELS actually believed in the levels concept, why would they make things harder for themselves by pretending to believe in the unit concept?

Your entire argument doesn't hold water. Plus, it's completely off the topic.

Anonymous said...

The year I graduated from Seminary (WLS '91) we had a class of 43, and we also had 8-10 (I can't remember the exact figure) who did not receive calls on Call Day. Pres. Panning handled the situation well. By mid-summer, all of my classmates had received calls, and began serving in the full-time ministry.

From a human standpoint, such situations are difficult. But the Lord, as always, uses difficult things for good. It gives those who have received calls the opportunity to comfort and encourage; it gives those who have not received calls the opportunity to wait for the Lord in faith; and it gives all called workers the good and wholesome reminder that none of us - past, present, future workers -- has a right to serve in the public ministry just by virtue of graduation. The divine call is and always will remain an undeserved privilege that the ascended Lord Jesus, in his grace, gives to us.

And why would he give that privilege to me? THAT I still haven't figured out. And because I can't, all that's really left for me to do is humbly serve.

Anonymous said...

"Like I said, you're confusing principle with application. Just because there are varying applications based on varying situations, that doesn't mean that there are different principles."

That is funny. Thank you. Wondeeful logic. I'm pro-life, now one of my "applications" is that life must be of a certain value to be protected. A child with deformaties doesn't make the grade But you see, I'm pro-life.

Son, your application is your principle. As in the start of this thread. Prof. Hartwig, I am sure, said he preached the Gospel. He didn't. What one calls what one does doesn't matter, what one does does.

The point I (and I have you to thank for illustrating so beautifully) is the the WELS is so hypocritical in this matter.

Anonymous said...

To the person who wrote,

"you're confusing principle with application. Just because there are varying applications based on varying situations, that doesn't mean that there are different principles."

How delightfully ironic that the WELS used this very argument in criticizing the Missouri position.

Anonymous said...

A WELS editor saying it is ok to pray with a Methodist?! (What was all that huffing and puffing about in the '60's?)

Anonymous said...

"A WELS editor saying it is ok to pray with a Methodist?!"

You see, within this "unit concept" of fellowship there are many levels....

Anonymous said...

Not too long ago I discovered that there is another synod, called the Confessional Lutheran Church (CLC).

It is mainly composed of churches that broke away from the WELS back in the late 50's early 60's because it thought WELS was to lax in its fellowship doctrine.

Wow, WELS TOO LAX in its fellowship doctrine????

This is the first time I ever heard of a group of Lutherans that thought WELS was too liberal.

Anonymous said...

"Not too long ago I discovered that there is another synod, called the Confessional Lutheran Church (CLC)."

The CLC practices what the WELS preaches.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know whether Professor Hartwig has been reprimanded yet? Since it was a public matter I assume the reprimand would be public as well.

Anonymous said...

The CLC is very Church Growthy and Reformed, but also unwilling to tell the truth about its wandering doctrine.

Anonymous said...

"The CLC is very Church Growthy and Reformed,"

An example or two would be more useful that a simple (and tiresome) charge.

Anonymous said...

CLC=Church of the Lutheran Confession, not Confessional Lutheran Church.

The CLC has placed the doctrine of church fellowship at the center of its proclamation, not Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Anonymous said...

"The CLC has placed the doctrine of church fellowship at the center of its proclamation, not Jesus Christ and him crucified."

The WELS has placed the doctrine of money fellowship at the center of its proclamation, not Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Anonymous said...

"The WELS has placed the doctrine of money fellowship at the center of its proclamation, not Jesus Christ and him crucified."

The WELS has placed the doctrine of the behavior of ants at the center of its proclamation, not Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Gregory L. Jackson said...

Church of the Lutheran Confession - its leaders love Reformed and Roman Catholic material. They are also obsessed with the most ridiculous legalistic arguments, such as whether someone can belong to a veterans group and also be a CLC member. Meanwhile, their leaders are soaking up and passing out Reformed doctrine. Funny? No typical of rancid Pietism. You want names? Paul Tiefel, David Koenig, and the rest.

Anonymous said...

Splaaaatttt!!!. Greg Jackson struck again.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Greg Jackson,

Is your blog site (Ichabod) disabled?
I can no longer seem to view anything...

Anonymous said...

"Dr. Greg Jackson,

Is your blog site (Ichabod) disabled?
I can no longer seem to view anything..."

Perhaps Divine intervention.

The Lund's Lives as Lutherans said...

I find it appalling that some Anonymous poster is hiding his identity while railing on WELS seminary pastors and their preaching style. I watch the call service via the web and was impressed. I too was sad to see the 11 uncalled workers, but they have put their trust in God and not in their monetary investment and time expecting God to immediately responsive.