Monday, July 13, 2009

Civil War in the WELS ?

Greetings!

I've been following this blog since its inception, most of the time in general amusement, and often in perplexity. However, I have decided to weigh in on a comment I read recently - actually, a couple. The individual surmised that perhaps the WELS is heading toward a "civil war." Others then made reference to the incorrectly-named conflict among the states of the United States. As the Confederacy was in no way interested in taking over the U.S. Federal government - that conflagration was not a "civil war" per se, i.e. Wars of the Roses. However, what we're looking at in the WELS is a "real" civil war, or more correctly - we have already been at war for at least the last 20 years, with a good many small battles before that. The WELS is hopelessly (and I say that admitting that God can do anything) divided into 3 camps. One camp consists of the C&C folks and their hangers-on. Then there's another camp made up of the "Issues in WELS" men and various allies. But by far the largest camp is right in the middle, most of whom want little or nothing to do with the war at all. The battle is for the hearts and minds of this third group. The camp that convinces them that their way is best will win - pure and simple. I should add that there is a very small group who basically feel - "a pox on all your houses!" This then leads to my last observation concerning the comment about whether or not doctrinal issues will be dealt with at the convention. Most WELS Pastors, and a lot of laymen, know that the "real" actual work of the convention is done in the floor committees. In turn, the Presidium has pretty much carte blanche in deciding who chairs these groups and also their make-up. Thus, if the SP has done his work well - and I believe he has - the issues will be dealt with in those meetings, and the memorials which come out of those committees will tell the tale. Also, the recent Ad Hoc Committee obviously dealt with doctrine and practice and called it like it is. I believe the same will be true in the floor committees. Regarding elections: The C&Cers are on the run and hoping to get a man they can depend on into the 1st VP slot. As to finances, it really won't matter too much what is decided since our nation's leaders will continue horrible policies and the economy will not recover any time soon - with the result that more cuts will be needed anyway, regardless of how the convention goes.So, in short, a nasty little quiet war has been raging in WELS behind the scenes for decades. While LCMS and ELCA often do their fighting out in the open, that is seldom, if ever, the case in WELS. I don't see any reason for this pattern to change. I seriously doubt any group will arise at Saginaw and "walk out" of the synod, and I don't think any group will be "thrown out" either. Thus, it may look to many as though very little was done. But I believe our SP will most likely get 75 to 80% of what he needs done, and we will be on our way to fixing many problems that have accumulated over the past 20 years. From my keyboard to God's ear!

Deo Vindice!

Fr. Spence

111 comments:

Howard said...

What's an SP? Major problem in our synod is the use of acronyms. They lead to confusion and also a perception of elitism. I work in the aerospace industry and WELS has more abbreviations and acronyms than NASA and the FAA combined. I’m not joking.

Lemkeel said...

I'd agree with you about WELS' perceived or actual elitism, however, in this instance, I might suggest that you do a little searching on your own to find out that acronym. To mention a pet peeve of mine, I find that many in WELS tend to ask others the answer to a question and don't seek it themselves. Not saying that's what you're doing, but with a little investigation and thought I'm confident you'll find the answer to what "SP" stands for! Hint: it's a top leader in WELS...

Schottey said...

SP-Synod Prez
DP-District Prez (or Doctrinal Pussycat)
COP-Conference of Presidents

The use of acronyms is a worldwide issue--leading to minor confusion. I don't think it can be listed as a "major problem" nor is it WELS being elitist.

People are on the edges of their seats right now waiting to see what direction (financially and doctrinally) this convention will take us.

No one is walking out. People will decide how they respond after the convention and spend the next biennium ("WELS Speak" for two years) working and living as they always do--some with a chip on their shoulder.

The Lund's Lives as Lutherans said...

I would suggest a much better idea about acronyms. When someone writes a piece on a blog, please use clear and concise English. Then the little issues that come up with terminology will not be an issue. Would a pastor giving a sermon using lots of acronyms to confuse his congregation? Not in my experience.

Howard said...

ahh Synod President...? Well, I don't know… I married into the WELS (Praise the Lord). I know I could investigate on my own but do a quick perusal of WELS literature - they are chock full of acronyms! A person not thoroughly familiar with the WELS organizational hierarchy literally needs a reference guide while reading this literature.

Lemkeel said...

Schottey - just cause something like acronyms is a "worldwide issue" doesn't mean the issue shouldn't be addressed. I'm assuming you're in college, MLC is it? I'd be somewhat cautious of how I'm coming across here.... it seems as if you know a whole lot more than everyone else which is ironic since you're younger than most who post their comments. Not saying you can't get involved in discussion, but just be a little careful how you come across cause it appears as if you know all the answers and we don't know anything.

In looking over the recent BORAM and the unprinted memorials, it appears to me the Michigan district is positioning itself against the "Wisconsin district." You can say "no one is walking out," but if you (in general) feel so strongly about something as it appears to be the case, then why all the fuss? Throw a hissy and then sit down quietly after the convention is over? That gesture seems more than weak to me for many reasons, esp. with regard to all the current commotion that people in Michigan appear to be causing.

Michael Schottey said...

Lemkeel,

First--I don't appear to know everything, nor have I claimed that, I simply disagree that there is a civil war. If you want to read arrogance into my disagreement, I can live with that.

I grew up in the Michigan District. We're a loud, opinionated bunch but no one is leaving the WELS. I personally know many of the men who would be leading that charge.

They are frustrated to be sure but no one is looking to leave.

Anonymous said...

WHY is it that no one is leaving? Would that not be more God-pleasing since there is not unity in doctrine and practice?

Anonymous said...

>>WHY is it that no one is leaving? Would that not be more God-pleasing since there is not unity in doctrine and practice?<<

The majority are apathetic, confused, fence sitters, etc. In time many will write off synod but not right away.

Anonymous said...

Lemkeel, having read your past comments on this blog, while it would be safe to say that "you don't know anything" is over-harsh, it's heading in the right direction.

For example, tell us again about how you feel that the Book of Concord needs "another look" with an eye toward revision?

Schottey, Ms. Lemkeel is one of the biggest arguments for offing MLS, I'm afraid. The level of doctrinal ignorance (or perhaps just outright rebellion?) is astounding.

Lemkeel said...

Anon 1:20, Firstly, saying things like "you don't know anything" is not a way to get me to talk to you. Try taking that angle with a co-worker or neighbor or even friend, see if that person is willing to talk to you then. Perhaps you'll change your tactics or "people person" skills. You can always move up and improve, and from what you've displayed here, you've got plenty of room for improvement.

As far as Book of Concord, as stated above, if you think I'm going to begin to entertain your question, don't wait for too long for a response, cause at this point, other than your comments coming off as being nothing other than rude, it doesn't matter what I have to say. You are of the frame of mind that regardless of what I (or others who have a different POV) say, as long as it goes against your grain, anything I say is wrong, ungodly, or even words of a "false teacher." Again, I'd personally like to see you interact with people on a day-to-day basis. I'm gonna predict that you have difficulties. I also would say that you may be overly polite to people you work with or live next to when disagreements arise. Then, you take out all your frustrations here and probably on other blogs. Sounds like an excellent plan, not.

You can think whatever you want of me, but the second you tell somewhat else what to think of me is where I say good luck. Seriously, just think about it.

Michael Schottey said...

Why will no one leave?

You're talking about a group of men whose fathers maintained doctrinal unity with the LCMS for an extremely patient amount of time.

You're talking about a group of men who may be extremely opinionated of these issues but may have "best men" or childrens' God-parents on the other side of the fence.

So far, we haven't even made a synod wide doctrinal stand on CG/C&C...that would be step one (about thirty steps before "civil war") Rev. Joel Voss and the Ad Hoc Commission--sounds like a techno band--will hopefully complete that step.

Knowing Rev. Voss a little (mostly through family) I have high hopes for the Ad Hoc commission but that is step one. After that, depending on the outcome. There will still be much discussion, patience, and operating though the "proper channels."

Meaning: Even though some of us here have "marked and avoided," to do so at a synod wide level will take much more time.

Anonymous said...

Hmmmmm..... Indeed, there is a civil war going on in the WELS.... You got the Southern Badtists and the Northern Badtists, but they're still all a bunch of Badtists. Non-Eucharistic, non-private Absolution, non-liturgical, "everyone's preacher" Badtists.

Anonymous said...

A Civil War in the wels? Why, yes! The Northern Badtists vs the Southern Badtists. Yet there's no real difference 'tween 'em. Non-sacramental, non-liturgical, "everyone's a preacher" Badtists.

petros said...

A Civil War in the welsynod? Yes, indeedy: The Southern Badtists vs the Northern Badtists. But what's all the fuss, day's both Badtists? Non-sacramental, non-Christological, non-liturgical, "everyone's a preacher" Badtists. Stop your fussin' and kiss and make up!

Petros

Lemkeel said...

Anon 1:20, I've posted something else to you but the moderator John has chosen to not post it for some reason (not surprised, there wasn't a lot of nice things said). I just want you and any other curious readers to know that I do not intend to discuss anything with you. It's not that I'm "caught on my heels" or am "pondering your words." Just for clarification.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Lemkeel, you don't have to say another word. Your past statements that the Book of Concord should be "revised" are plenty enough to expose you as a heretic.

Anonymous said...

If you're interested in reading some good folly, mosey on over to the FaceBook WELS' discussion page and read what the youngies are saying (for example the Politically Correct Movement). Is anyone as concerned as I am? Sheesh!!

Anonymous said...

Nothing needs to be pondered or discussed, Lemkeel. "Revising" the Book of Concord is straight-up heresy, plain and simple.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lemkeel, here's a very simple statement:

The belief that the Book of Concord needs to be "revised" is considered heresy within the Wisconsin Synod.

No need to ponder that very much; I'm certainly not. Just marking and avoiding.

Anonymous said...

If you're concerned, you should be there trying to teach them.

Freddy's approach in addressing issues is excellent in that he provides clear and thorough instruction, as opposed to "hay guise, all u synod lovers and yung kids r goin' down with the ship!!!"

Lemkeel said...

Expose me as a heretic! I am not threatened by any of you! In fact, I'm laughing at you!

Michael Schottey said...

Anon @9:03

Can you be more specific of what you're referring to? There are a lot of "youngies" on facebook.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:03, which side of the discussion concerns you? I think actually it looks like a pretty constructive and respectful conversation.

Wow, did Lemkeel really say the Book of Concord should be revised?! I thought we sort of took the Lutheran Confessions as a given here on BW.

Michael Schottey said...

Lemkeel,

You've exposed yourself. Our pastors and teachers accept the words in the Book of Concord BECAUSE IT IS (quia) the true exposition of God's Word.

If you have a quibble with the Book of Concord (think it should be revised) you have certainly placed yourself outside of the WELS/ELS/LCMS not the other way around.

Lemkeel said...

You can all choose to "mark and avoid" me, but the fact that you're even addressing me on this blog shows that you don't know how to "mark and avoid." I could easily call you hypocrites. But I won't cause I understand that human intellect changes on a regular basis. Sometimes it goes up, and sometimes it goes down. Unfortunately, for some, it disappears. These are all facts of life, sinful life, of which no one is guarded against. We all are, however, assured of the righteousness of Christ which brings us eternal life. Mark and avoid a person who beliefs in the justification and sanctification of the Savior. I'm not the one who looks foolish in this instance.

All you diehard Lutherans still have yet to explain to me how the BOC is on the same playing field as the Bible. That really needs some explanation. Not only are you stating that it's inspired by God, but that anyone who does not confess it is a heretic (esp. in WELS). Wow, I really wonder if God is in heaven saying, "I'm so proud of all these WELS Lutherans (particularly the "confessional Lutherans.") They're making me so proud. Now, if only they'd get some others involved, like people of different races, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds, I'd really be impressed. Common WELS Lutherans, I created all people, not just white German Lutherans!"

Anonymous said...

Sure I can be more specific Shottey. I am referring to the fact that this young generation is speaking of issues that they really do not have a firm grasp on as of yet. Why you might ask? For the simple reason that they have not lived experiences that naturally supplement their classroom learning experiences. For reasons such as these, discussion groups of these kind should be monitored by a senior person who can help to moderate such discussion.

Anonymous said...

Sure I can be more specific Shottey. I am referring to the fact that this young generation is speaking of issues that they really do not have a firm grasp on as of yet. Why you might ask? For the simple reason that they have not lived experiences that naturally supplement their classroom learning experiences. For reasons such as these, discussion groups of these kind should be monitored by a senior person who can help to moderate such discussion.

Gregory L. Jackson said...

The canonical Scriptures = the revelation of God.

Our response to the revealed Word of God is found in the Book of Concord, which is the confession of man about the truths of the Bible.

"The modern radical spirit which would sweep away the Formula of Concord as a Confession of the Church, will not, in the end, be curbed, until it has swept away the Augsburg Confession, and the ancient Confessions of the Church--yea, not until it has crossed the borders of Scripture itself, and swept out of the Word whatsoever is not in accord with its own critical mode of thinking. The far-sighted rationalist theologian and Dresden court preacher, Ammon, grasped the logic of a mere spirit of progress, when he said: 'Experience teaches us that those who reject a Creed, will speedily reject the Scriptures themselves.'"

Theodore E. Schmauk and C. Theodore Benze, The Confessional Principle and the Confessions, as Embodying the Evangelical Confession of the Christian Church, Philadelphia: General Council Publication Board, 1911, p. 685.

John said...

Dear Mr. Administrator,

Sorry to interrupt this thread but it seems that it has come to its usual end. I was alerted a while back to a thread on the Oktoberfest conference held in Kewaunee, IL last October at which four former, now LCMS, members spoke. They were asked to give presentations on four topics which usually enter into the "differences between the WELS and LCMS" discussion. The Bailing Water thread was quite entertaining! You might want to reread it. Anyway, two of the papers were just posted on the Motley Magpie web site. Only those presentations which were given by Motley Magpie editors are posted there as they are the only ones to which we have rights.

I thought, since you were looking to post them, that you would give us this plug on your site, especially in light of the calumny which we suffered on this site (which we quite enjoyed, miscreants that we are!) Of all the comments posted on that thread discussing our motives etc. there were several that actually spoke the truth, the following:

"They [the Motley Magpie types] call themselves catholics!"

"Ditto. They talk about the Mass and private confession and call themselves 'father.'"

And I might add, so do the Confessors!

Pax vobiscum,
Rev. Father John W. Berg

Anonymous said...

Lemkeel,

I strongly urge you to cease and desist with your post-modernist, morally relativistic drivel. You've hashed out your heresy on other threads and not a few of us regular readers have cautioned you in the past.

Your straw-man criticism (or should it be straw-person?) of WELS being exclusively white and German is blatant heresy. In your warped perception the Word needs to be altered in order to cater to groups of individuals of different cultural/ethnic persuasions.

I have news for you: the Word cannot be altered in any way without compromising the Means of Grace. In your attempt to mirror the sinful and liberal culture (which you consider merely "being sensitive"), you deceptively compromise the Word and render vain Christ's saving act.

Yes WELS would do well to reach out to all sinners, but your desire to introduce racial quotas and affirmative action into the mix is not the answer.

The only "barrier" to faith is our sinful nature that wants to reject the Word. Period.

-TM

Lemkeel said...

TM,

Strong words. We have had conversations in the past. You continue to impose your values and belief system upon me, which strips me of my right to choose what to believe in and how to believe it which means you say I have no free will, I have no independence, I'm supposed to follow your creed or be damned. This behavior, thinking, perspective, etc., is nothing but unloving and that also shows a level of ignorance that is common in WELS circles. You're piss angry that I'm not doing/saying/behaving according to your will, and it's driving you mad. You're basically showing yourself to be a control freak.

Did I ever say WELS is "exclusive white and German"? Of course not, I know better. I did insinuate however that when a person thinks of WELS, the typical white German is the prototypical member that pops up in one's mind. If you think that's heresy, you're not being honest with yourself. Of those in WELS who are non-white, non-German heritage, the percentage is quite low. So, my "straw-man criticism" is not as you say heresy.

I do not think (in a warped way) that the "word needs to be altered to cater to groups of individuals of different cultural/ethnic persuasions" as you say. Just to be politically correct, so as not to offend (a basic cardinal rule when it comes to interpersonal relationship skills), don't forget different races, and I would advise you not to say "different cultural/ethnic persuasions." It sounds like you're fresh out of the 16th century, and discounting race (e.g., African American, Latino/a, Asian American, Caucasian) is by all means and in all ways a major mistake. If nothing else, go back to the Bible and refer yourself to tower of Babel and re-read how God divided up nations. Then read about how God's son Jesus died for the sins of all people, not just the White ones, because he loves all people and wants all to be saved. Am I insinuating or blatantly declaring that God's word needs to be altered? No, I'm simply referring to the simple yet often forgotten fact (in WELS) that there's something fishy about the lack of racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity in the congregations of WELS churches/schools. If you think this fact is warped, hmmm............ again you're not being honest with yourself.

Thanks for your news brief! Does that mean I can stop watching cable network news channels (the conservative and the liberal ones), stop reading news on the Internet, and stop reading newspaper? I'm not attempting to "mirror sinful and liberal culture" as you say, but that's a great assumption. As far as "being sensitive," if that's how you think I'm being sensitive, again, nice assumption. The best assumption you've made in that paragraph though is that I'm "rendering vain Christ's saving act." Not at all.

Your statement about "introducing racial quotas and affirmative action" indicates that you're again imposing your belief system upon mine cause I never said either of those words. That's coming straight from your own psyche which says a lot about you.

You (and others like you) are currently "barriers" to reaching out in love to others (like what Jesus was doing during his ministry and ultimate culmination of his death on cross). Period.

Lemkeel said...

GJ,

I am not saying the creeds themselves should necessarily be revised. What I am saying, is how come those who confess the confessions are mainly reaching out to one demographic? I understand that there are exceptions, but they are just that, an exception and definitely not the rule. So, if the Confessions are as you say

"Our response to the revealed Word of God is found in the Book of Concord, which is the confession of man about the truths of the Bible".

I then ask, how are you reaching out to others who are different than you? Cause if this is a "correct disposition of the Bible" like others have said (not sure if that's the correct word even) then you're painting God as someone who seems to care about one kind of demographic. Which is ironic of course considering Jesus Christ himself was middle-eastern and had dark skin and dark hair.

Michael Schottey said...

Lemkeel, So explain again which parts of the Book of Concord are wrong, barriers, and need to be edited.

Gregory L. Jackson said...

Lemkeel - I am always reaching out to atheists, adulterers, embezzlers - in other words, Church Growth leaders. Since you ask, I have dealt with Mormons, Roman Catholics, Muslims, and various denominations. Because I teach at public institutions, not church schools, I am in contact with a thousand or more students per year. Besides that, I offer all my writings free and see my sermons used all over the world. The Bethany blog is for sermons only and that map lights up all over the Third World. I am amazed.

I am just saying that I do what I can with the free technology available. The Book of Concord transcends all imaginary cultural barriers. Someone has trained you against the efficacy of the Word, I am sorry to say.
In Christ,
Greg Jackson

Lemkeel said...

GJ,

There are no such thing as "imaginary cultural barriers." Easiest example are the disputes between the Jews & the Gentiles in the NT. It seems Paul spent a lot of time dealing with actual, real cultural barriers.

No one has trained me against the efficacy of the word. To be honest here, I really think that the argument that you and other "confessionals" pose is that people who have exceptional people skills or interpersonal relationship skills annoy you guys. Not saying you yourself are lacking interpersonal relationship skills (IPRS), but it seems you attack people with IPRS and a logical deduction can be that you don't have the best or sharpest IPRS. People with good IPRS or who know how to reach people on an interpersonal level are being criticized for apostasy and false teaching/doctrine. On the same side of the other coin, however, I think it's possible that people who lack strong IPRS may try to utilize church growth tendencies and other methods to try to build their congregation.

There is nothing wrong with "moving the lawn" or putting up a "pretty church sign" or even having a "non-traditional" worship service (as long as basic principles are met). This is not a denial of the efficacy of the word. It's a personality difference more or less, as well as a general conservative/liberal divide. The problem is not these differences, the problem is when people criticize people who are different or have different preferences than them and then call them apostates and/or false teachers.

Lemkeel said...

Schottey,

I don't like to point things out to people that can find the answers themselves. I don't like to give the impression of hand-holding or escorting, but rather the opposite, to empower and help people see that they can do things themselves, on their own.

As far as which parts of the BOC are "wrong, barriers, and need to be edited," it would be best if you could figure this out on your own. But since you ask, I will tell you a little bit about where I'm coming from.

I understand completely that some things don't need to be changed (e.g., Bible), as there are truths in it that are timeless. There are very few other things (if any) in this world, however, that are subject to this same high standard. The BOC was constructed in the 16th century as a direct result of the reformation by Luther and his colleagues. It is an exposition of the follower's of Luther's faith, based on what they construed to be the true words of scripture based on their interpretation (with much of Luther's help). What I would see as something that could be done, is for the members of the CELC to convene and sort of write another statement of their beliefs, one that is in light of current times and current people. This can be done, without changing scripture. It would probably take great effort, but is laziness an acceptable reason to God? As it currently stands, synods such as WELS/ELS appear to be piggybacking off the work of Luther and his colleagues. Extreme viewpoints might even claim that confessional Lutherans are breaking the first commandment of idolatry.

___
cont.

Lemkeel said...

Now, imagine doing mission work and explaining to people how the WELS adheres to the BOC, an exposition of what you think the Bible says. In your explanation to them, they get caught up on why your exposition of the Bible is taken from the work of people done back in the 1500s. Let's say they don't question the integrity of those men, but they question the integrity, knowledge, and understanding of the current state of the WELS and other confessional church bodies. I'm not saying this is what's happening, but it is a definite possibility.

In addition, a criticism that I've been bringing to WELS and other confessional church bodies is the basic lack of racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity in their congregations. From a socio-political standpoint, it's evident that these confessional church bodies are putting forth (either subconsciously or consciously) that white German heritage men (and women and children) are the "good ones." This is shown in the basic lack of diversity in these church bodies. An effort made at working to reach out to different people could be an addition to a new statement of beliefs. Not to say that these things weren't considered back in the 16th century, but it's a known fact that racism has only really begun to be dealt with in this country in the past 40 years or so. Other countries are trying to follow suit, but many countries are still discriminating against people because of the color of their skin, the type of gender they are, and any other overt differences that can be picked on. The irony is none of this behavior is God pleasing, he doesn't discriminate based on physical appearance. Even more ironic is how church bodies that think they're "doing God's will" use the Bible as excuses for discrimination. Because people were discriminated against in the Bible (i.e., made to be slaves) people still to this day will say that that type of behavior is acceptable because it's in the Bible. That's when it's critical for people to really take off the rose-colored lenses in their glasses and really think things through and apply multiple viewpoints and perspectives into such understanding. Church bodies that think they're "doing God's will," however, have a tendency to get lazy because of course they're doing God's will and nothing needs to be changed or looked at differently. Case in point, Lutheran schools, particularly in WELS. Parents send their kids off to school (Lutheran schools) and think they're absolved of the responsibility to teach God's word to them and to work on other Biblical principles because it's all done at school. It's almost as if Lutheran schools are being used as a substitute for parents to teach God's word to their children. Something that clearly has negative consequences. Yes there are some good Lutheran schools out there and it's even better that children in these Lutheran schools are exposed to God's word daily. But then, they go home and it's nothing or very little exposure to God's word, which means that parents themselves are actually disobeying God in an indirect but very serious way (as all disobedience is a serious sin to God).

Bottom line is, if WELS Lutherans claim their beliefs are the "correct exposition of God's word," they've got a lot of explaining to do, cause from the look of things, God only cares about white, German heritage men (and women and children). I'm strongly insinuating that there are clear socio-political, psychological, and sociological problems in all church bodies, including WELS. Ignoring or denial of course does not make problems disappear, perhaps for a time, but they always come back and usually are compounded each time they come back.

It is time for WELS to really consider these things (and others that are not addressed here). Failure to do so will inevitably result in continued decline in WELS membership, even with church growth efforts.

Patrick Freese said...

"I don't like to point things out to people that can find the answers themselves. I don't like to give the impression of hand-holding or escorting, but rather the opposite, to empower and help people see that they can do things themselves, on their own."

... what? If the BoC needs to be revised and contains doctrinal errors, you think it would be in the wrong to point out these errors. How is letting people continue in their error empowering?

"As far as which parts of the BOC are "wrong, barriers, and need to be edited," it would be best if you could figure this out on your own. But since you ask, I will tell you a little bit about where I'm coming from."

How would continuing in ignorance be better than knowing truth, especially since where you are coming from is fairly ridiculous.

"I understand completely that some things don't need to be changed (e.g., Bible), as there are truths in it that are timeless."

There aren't just truths, the whole document is truth. It is timeless, cross-cultural, and counter-cultural.

"There are very few other things (if any) in this world, however, that are subject to this same high standard."

Nothing is on the same standard, not even the BoC, the BoC's authority only exists as it is a true exposition of God's Word.


"The BOC was constructed in the 16th century as a direct result of the reformation by Luther and his colleagues. It is an exposition of the follower's of Luther's faith, based on what they construed to be the true words of scripture based on their interpretation (with much of Luther's help)."

If it is just an interpretation of sinful humans and not an honest interpretation of the Bible, the burden of proof is on you to show where the BoC disagrees with Scripture.

"What I would see as something that could be done, is for the members of the CELC to convene and sort of write another statement of their beliefs, one that is in light of current times and current people. This can be done, without changing scripture. It would probably take great effort, but is laziness an acceptable reason to God? As it currently stands, synods such as WELS/ELS appear to be piggybacking off the work of Luther and his colleagues."

Synods have made doctrinal statements many times, the most recent is the ELS's on the public ministry. No one is being lazy, when issues arise synods make doctrinal statements. The 1932 Breif Statement of the LCMS is still highly regarded because it addressed the issues of its day in the light of Scripture.

"Extreme viewpoints might even claim that confessional Lutherans are breaking the first commandment of idolatry."

...extreme viewpoints... might charge... I don't care if hypothetically people m i g h t charge me with breaking the 1st commandment, because they would be wrong, and no one has accused my beliefs as breaking the first commandment.

cont

Patrick Freese said...

"Now, imagine doing mission work and explaining to people how the WELS adheres to the BOC, an exposition of what you think the Bible says. In your explanation to them, they get caught up on why your exposition of the Bible is taken from the work of people done back in the 1500s. Let's say they don't question the integrity of those men, but they question the integrity, knowledge, and understanding of the current state of the WELS and other confessional church bodies. I'm not saying this is what's happening, but it is a definite possibility."

When that has happened I then spent the 5 minutes it took to explain that Baptists, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and many others claim to teach what the Bible says. For that reason the BoC shows what we believe the Bible says systematically and why we believe that what we teach is biblical.

"In addition, a criticism that I've been bringing to WELS and other confessional church bodies is the basic lack of racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity in their congregations. From a socio-political standpoint, it's evident that these confessional church bodies are putting forth (either subconsciously or consciously) that white German heritage men (and women and children) are the "good ones."

Or from a purely logical standpoint it's evidence that very many members come small a German background and have family roots to Lutheranism dating back to the reformation.

I preached at St. Philips Lutheran Church in Milwaukee. A large majority of the congregation is African- American. St. Johns in Wauwatosa has many Hmong members and a Hmong pastor. St. Peter's in Milwaukee has a very large Hispanic congregation and two Spanish speaking pastors.

"An effort made at working to reach out to different people could be an addition to a new statement of beliefs."

What would the statement say? Statements are created because there is disagreement or confusion over an issue. Name one WELS person who believes Jesus died for only white people's sins. Besides, our mission in India, the Lutheran Church- Central Africa, and Christ the King Lutheran Church in Africa are quickly growing even though they subscribe (quia) to the Lutheran Confessions.

"Even more ironic is how church bodies that think they're "doing God's will" use the Bible as excuses for discrimination. Because people were discriminated against in the Bible (i.e., made to be slaves) people still to this day will say that that type of behavior is acceptable because it's in the Bible."

Name one WELS pastor who uses the Bible to discriminate.

"Church bodies that think they're "doing God's will,"

God's will is that his Word is preached and his sacraments administered. We are trying to carry out the Great Commission.

cont

Patrick Freese said...

"[church bodies] have a tendency to get lazy because of course they're doing God's will and nothing needs to be changed or looked at differently. Case in point, Lutheran schools, particularly in WELS. Parents send their kids off to school (Lutheran schools) and think they're absolved of the responsibility to teach God's word to them and to work on other Biblical principles because it's all done at school. It's almost as if Lutheran schools are being used as a substitute for parents to teach God's word to their children. But then, they go home and it's nothing or very little exposure to God's word, which means that parents themselves are actually disobeying God in an indirect but very serious way (as all disobedience is a serious sin to God)."

Our schools themselves don't encourage this. Sadly it happens that some people to neglect their parental responsibilities. Still our schools provide a great service to families. I believe most of our parents do also have homes that are Christian environments.

"Bottom line is, if WELS Lutherans claim their beliefs are the "correct exposition of God's word," they've got a lot of explaining to do, cause from the look of things, God only cares about white, German heritage men (and women and children)."

Again what about the 50,000 and growing people in Africa and India who were in fellowship with, who also subscribe to the Lutheran Confessions? What about churches with Hmong, Hispanic, or African American majorities in our fellowship who are also Confessional Lutherans? What about students at WLS with Hispanic, Chinese, or Hmong roots?

"I'm strongly insinuating that there are clear socio-political, psychological, and sociological problems in all church bodies, including WELS. Ignoring or denial of course does not make problems disappear, perhaps for a time, but they always come back and usually are compounded each time they come back."

I don't know what you expected. There is sin in everyone of every church body. The problems which you listed are not really quantifiable or in and of themselves doctrinal.

"It is time for WELS to really consider these things (and others that are not addressed here). Failure to do so will inevitably result in continued decline in WELS membership, even with church growth efforts."

Membership is no indicator on whether or not we are being faithful to God's Word. The means of grace are the marks of the church, not numbers.

After reading thought your post am I correct that you feel the BoC is fatally flawed because it doesn't contain a statement on race relations? Name one WELS pastor who doesn't think it is the mission of the WELS to preach the gospel to all, regardless of their race, social, or economic classes.

Michael Schottey said...

Lemkeel,

That's a coward's way out. If you wish to take a quatenus subscription, qualify it. Otherwise you're just making statements without backing it up.

What part in your graduate education was that ok?

Lemkeel said...

Patrick,

Thanks for your responses. I'll try to respond as I can (while watching synod convention live). To begin with, empowerment means that the person sees him- or herself as being able to do something all on their own, regardless of the subject at hand. Even with regard to doctrinal issues. Not allowing someone to see for him- or herself what is truly wrong and instead being told that something is wrong takes away that person's right to make a decision for him- or herself. That's just the way it is. Thank God we live in a democratic society that allows people to be empowered and that does not take away people's right to choose. There's good reason for empowerment, just think about it.

"How would continuing in ignorance be better than knowing truth, especially since where you are coming from is fairly ridiculous."

--> You're making a judgment on me, by stating that "where I'm coming from is fairly ridiculous." I'd advise you to not make such a judgment. You may be continuing in ignorance, I may as well, anyone probably is at any given time. To think that you know the "truth" and are "continuing in it" please do share with me how you know this?!

"It is timeless, cross-cultural, and counter-cultural."

--> Yes the Bible is timeless, but it isn't necessarily cross-cultural, nor counter cultural. Not even sure what counter-cultural means, can you explain that? The Bible has historically been used and is presently being used to discriminate. I'm not going to tell you where and how. I'd ask you to please consider these things yourself.

"the BoC's authority only exists as it is a true exposition of God's Word. "

--> How do you know this? Where is your proof? I mean, how do you know it's a "true exposition of God's word?" The hang-up here is the word "true." Not saying it is an exposition of your faith and beliefs, but how do you know it is "true?"

"If it is just an interpretation of sinful humans and not an honest interpretation of the Bible, the burden of proof is on you to show where the BoC disagrees with Scripture."

--> I'm not saying it isn't an honest interpretation of the Bible, but that's just it, it's an interpretation of the Bible written by men in the 16th century in a different country in a different time with different people. That's my point, why not make another honest interpretation with today's day and age? Seriously, why not? As far as "burden of proof," whatever man, I'm not making a specific charge. I'm talking about generally, this BOC was written a long time ago by different people in a different time in a different country even. Times have changed thank God!

With regard to your doctrinal statements blurb, that's not my point. The CELC is the larger governing body of all the other synods that confess the BOC. That's why I suggested the CELC sit down with the different synods to construct a revision of BOC. Mind you, I stated "revision," not "whole new book."

"...extreme viewpoints... might charge... I don't care if hypothetically people m i g h t charge me with breaking the 1st commandment, because they would be wrong, and no one has accused my beliefs as breaking the first commandment."

--> I said "might" cause it's dangerous to say "certainly" when you don't necessarily know for sure. It's being careful of my words. You're right though, only you and God know what's in your heart and if you're breaking the 1st commandment (or any others).

_________
cont.

Lemkeel said...

"When that has happened I then spent the 5 minutes it took to explain that Baptists, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, and many others claim to teach what the Bible says. For that reason the BoC shows what we believe the Bible says systematically and why we believe that what we teach is biblical."

--> How do you know it only took 5 minutes? Maybe for your explanation, but how do you know the receiver understood you and/or took what you said to heart? You're telling me you can read minds and hearts. Awesome! My point is not that other religions teach their version of the scriptures. My point is, that the BOC was constructed in 1500s, a long time ago by different people in a different land even.

"Or from a purely logical standpoint it's evidence that very many members come small a German background and have family roots to Lutheranism dating back to the reformation."

--> I'm not denying that at all. Why I bring this up, is because people in WELS keep saying "we're the only good church around... " and then I look at who's saying that and it's mainly white, German heritage people. If that's the stand you take, why is everyone the same looking and believing and thinking? Also, if you want more money and to grow as a denomination, here is plainly a reason why that's not happening.

"I preached at St. Philips Lutheran Church in Milwaukee. A large majority of the congregation is African- American. St. Johns in Wauwatosa has many Hmong members and a Hmong pastor. St. Peter's in Milwaukee has a very large Hispanic congregation and two Spanish speaking pastors."

--> That's nice, you're also speaking of Milwaukee, the epicenter of the WELS. Thus, there'll be congregations like the ones you spoke of. I will point out, however, that there are approximately 193 countries in the world. That means, of those you've mentioned, you're reaching out to 1.5% of all the different countries in the world. Not that impressive from a numbers perspective. I'm not even going to mention at this point the number of missionaries of the Mormon/LDS church. They've covered much more territory.

"What would the statement say? Statements are created because there is disagreement or confusion over an issue. Name one WELS person who believes Jesus died for only white people's sins. Besides, our mission in India, the Lutheran Church- Central Africa, and Christ the King Lutheran Church in Africa are quickly growing even though they subscribe (quia) to the Lutheran Confessions."

--> I don't know what it would say. I'm not planning on sitting down and doing such a thing. I'm not talking about a "statement" per say, but rather a new BOC. I don't have to "name one WELS person who believes Jesus died for only white people's sins." I need only to look out into the pews on Sunday.

"Name one WELS pastor who uses the Bible to discriminate."

--> Again, I don't need to "name one WELS pastor..." I need only to look out into the pews on Sunday.

"God's will is that his Word is preached and his sacraments administered. We are trying to carry out the Great Commission."

--> If that is God's will, why all the fuss about ministerial education right now? Why not close MLS and let LPS be the prep school? If the focus is, as you say, on the Great Commission, I expect then wholeheartedly for the option B to be passed.

_________
cont.

Lemkeel said...

"Our schools themselves don't encourage this. Sadly it happens that some people to neglect their parental responsibilities. Still our schools provide a great service to families. I believe most of our parents do also have homes that are Christian environments."

--> Not saying LES' do do this. I am saying, it's an after affect that is happening. I grew up in LES' and can tell you that by the time school was done and the time from school to bed, not much was discussed as far as biblical stuff. Not only in my house, but also in my friends' houses who went to the same school and were even WELS themselves. What is that "service" you speak of that WELS schools provide families? Clearly not every family environment is Christian, as a large enough number of unchurched students are attend LES's every year. I am simply pointing out the fact that, if the school does it, why spend time doing it at home? If you think this is NOT happening more often than not, take off rose-colored glasses.

"Again what about the 50,000 and growing people in Africa and India who were in fellowship with, who also subscribe to the Lutheran Confessions? What about churches with Hmong, Hispanic, or African American majorities in our fellowship who are also Confessional Lutherans? What about students at WLS with Hispanic, Chinese, or Hmong roots?"

--> Great numbers in Africa & India, sure hope option A doesn't get passed. Again, good effort in these other countries, would be more impressed with effort in more countries than these listed.

"I don't know what you expected. There is sin in everyone of every church body. The problems which you listed are not really quantifiable or in and of themselves doctrinal."

--> Don't know what you're talking about with regard to "really quantifiable or in and of themselves doctrinal." If you don't see these real problems (ones that I have no problem seeing and/or expecting) are important, or quantifiable, or doctrinal, I guess I'm saying it's time to make these issues part of the discussion. Btw, just cause a problem isn't "quantifiable," does not mean that it's not "qualifiable." Same thing as quantifiable except there's no numbers to crunch. This kind of thinking and research necessitates more of a qualitative research style, however, statistics can also be useful. Google qualitative research if you're unsure of what I mean.

"Membership is no indicator on whether or not we are being faithful to God's Word. The means of grace are the marks of the church, not numbers."

--> I know what you're getting at, but again, I would caution you. Numbers can be very important with regard to "faithfulness to God's word." Would you still be in WELS if it was you and 1 other person? Would WELS even be able to survive without the 400K members it has? Doubtful. Clearly, some people in WELS, at least those with $$, think that WELS is being faithful to God's word. The means of grace are the marks of the church, in this case you're referring to preaching of John 3:16? A little too general there when perhaps some specificity would be useful. I would assume so, since John 3:16 is considered to be the gospel in a nutshell.

"After reading thought your post am I correct that you feel the BoC is fatally flawed because it doesn't contain a statement on race relations? Name one WELS pastor who doesn't think it is the mission of the WELS to preach the gospel to all, regardless of their race, social, or economic classes."

--> I don't think BOC is fatally flawed cause it doesn't contain a statement on race relations. Too general and too extreme. I think it would be helpful to open up the confessional church bodies to people other than white Germans heritage Americans. Again, no need to play the name a WELS preacher game. I simply need to look into the pews on Sunday.

Lemkeel said...

Anon 8:37, I'll pardon your churlish words.

Lemkeel said...

Shottey,

After just looking up "quatenus subscription", I'd advise you to not speak in terms that you're aware of, but to rather try with effort to speak in terms of the person you're speaking to. Pretty basic interpersonal communication skills there.

As far as taking a "cowards way out," I'm not talking of a specific charge, other than the basic general aspects of the BOC that are dated being that it was written in the 1500s. That's the charge I've been making since I mentioned a possible "revision of the BOC." Only people like you have tried to make me look like I don't know what I'm talking about because I'm not referring to a specific point. The whole time I've been referring to the general fact that it was written by men in the 1500s in Germany.

Anonymous said...

Lemkeel, try as you might to sidestep culpability in what you write, your words do open eyes to what is in your mind and heart. Your words betray that you do not belong within a confessional church body, bur would instead be more honest dwelling within a post-modern, "enlightened" gathering of those who choose to craft a religion for themselves that is as the wind blows and the world turns.

Pilate, like you, once asked what is truth?, but didn't look to the One standing near who could have answered that question. Turn and look to the Lord Jesus and listen to his Word. Drop the drivel! "All Scripture is God-breathed." That alone is the truth. The Lutheran Confessions solidly rest upon that truth and faithfully declare it to those who read with Spirit-created faith. Such truth is timeless and doesn't depend on who cast it or who is listening. God's truth will continue to stand when this present existence is consumed in fire and gone.

If you are WELS, the words you share here would be a good conversation to have with your pastor, or even with your former professor from LPS (Snowden Sims). Let me know if they pat you on the head for your "enlightened" views. I think not.

I'm praying that the Word and not the world becomes the focus of your heart. Harsh words? Yes they are, for the Law of God calling for repentance always is. Rest assured, Christ forgives us when we repent of our little, lame attempts to make the Almighty fit into our human reasoning.

Lemkeel said...

Anonymous, the least you could do here is sign your name, or leave some semblance of who you are. Honestly, your little effort at trying to "call me to repentance" or whatever you're attempting to do means nothing with no name.

You can try to place me all you like within a "post-modern, enlightened" world. I can place you in a dark, dreary, sad, and uninformed world. You fail to try to even begin to see where I'm coming from but rather try to lump me in a "post-modern world."

You, like so many other WELS-ers and other "confessionals" take words waaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyy too seriously or literally. For one thing, I was attempting to get at the simple yet clearly forgotten fact that it is by FAITH that you belief scripture to be true. You have NO PROOF that your interpretation of scripture through the BOC is true nor that scripture itself is true. You believe, according to my understanding of WELS religion, that by faith you believe, faith given to you by the grace of God through the Holy Spirit. Sound correct or am I drifting off into a religion for myself right now?

Again, you're saying the BOC is "truth" but you're forgetting that it is by faith you believe these words to be true. You've (and many others) have failed to make this point to me.

I've stated before, many people, even pastors in WELS don't know much. Cause they went through the synod's school system. Just cause they're "pastor" does not mean they know what they're talking about.

You can pray for me all you like, but you really have no base for your words or prayers, since you have not identified yourself and seriously, you could be a murderer sitting in a prison cell who had a free minute on the Internet.

It seems you liked what Pres. Schroeder had to say in his opening speech. You've clearly heard what you wanted to hear. That's unfortunate, cause from what I heard, he clearly spoke to your kind as well. He clearly stated that legalism/traditionalism/formalism are a danger, and that Christian freedom needs to be able to be expressed. Hmmm, convenient for you, and convenient for me. The difference is I'm not on Bailing Water trying to condemn you for your beliefs.

Stephen Fiedler said...

Lemkeel, you went to a Prep and yet had to look up what "quatenus" means? Wow. Not to mention the fact that Schroeder very helpfully defined it for you in his speech, which you did apparently watch.

Did you miss the part about Schroeder's explicit stance on the Confessions? That's why he got so specific--WELS does have a quia subscription. We will certainly not be "revising" the Book of Concord. I find it hard to believe that you and he are part of the same church body.

Please talk to your pastor about what you've been writing here. Show him these threads. Repent.

Lemkeel said...

Stephen,

Apparently you did not go to prep cause if you did, you'd know that we never spent one minute talking about, nor discussing the BOC. Nope, honestly there wasn't time in the curriculum I guess. Then, at MLC, those in the teacher track did not officially study the BOC until the final year, for one semester. So, apparently in WELS schools the BOC is not the emphasis, unlike it is for lay people.

I did watch Pres. Schroeder's speech, but unlike others who have time to watch everything in real time, I have two jobs that I'm trying to balance, as well as trying to find time helping people like you understand basic knowledge. In other words, I did not officially watch his speech until, oh, I think it was around 11:00 pm last night. Much later than after my posted response to Patrick. Of course, since I try with great effort to be a fair and balanced listener, I would have caught what Pres. Schroeder said. But, alas, I did not listen to his speech till later on. Make sense to you? I hope so!

Did you miss the part that was point blank clear that he is striving to help the synod find a BALANCE between new and unconventional and traditional worship. He also, somewhat superficially but with great breadth covered all areas of ministry, not just the pulpit and classroom. Which is what I'm mostly if not always referring to. My perspective is clearly a lay person's, speaking from the POV of someone who works with real people with real problems on a regular basis, not only in the community but also on a major research university campus. And of course, I realize opportunities for evangelism and other personal witnessing are even among my own family and friends. Not sure where you're coming from, other than the typical ignorant, rude, close-minded population (ultra conservative) that are busy trying to ensure that no change occurs cause you guys are seemingly incapable of change. Please do let me know, are you the same one person who's been so vehemently opposed to me? Please do let me know. Thanks.

I will not talk to my pastor, nor will I show him these threads. He of course is welcome to read them if he so chooses. Not sure if he'll be doing that anytime soon though cause his wife recently passed away. This last statement sounds like a lame attempt to try to threaten and scare me. Oh, and a failed one at that. Must give you a D- for effort though.

Michael Schottey said...

Lemkeel,

Or, it was an invitation to repent.

After watching Schroeder last night, I cannot believe you would think he wanted anything more than to become more confessional, he said as much.

Lemkeel said...

Schottey,

Please do enlighten me with your infinite wisdom and tell me of which sins I should repent of?

Thanks.

p.s. if you're gonna be a pastor in WELS someday, i hope you take these lessons and really learn from them, as i am simply a lay person and you are definitely not meeting my needs/concerns and my impressions of you thus far are lacking in many ways

Michael Schottey said...

Lemkeel,

You do not wish to be taught or instructed, you've made that clear. You have yet to point to any specific way the BoC could be improved or how, in any way...it is a barrier.

Have you read it? Much of it? Any of it?

You come in with a host arrogance and expect what?

Michael Schottey said...

Lemkeel,

PS: In the other thread on this page "Oktoberfest Papers" Quia/Quatenus was clearly described by both myself and others.

I apologize for my "lack of communication skills," but where I come from, reading comes before speaking about what someone has written.

Stephen Fiedler said...

Lemkeel: "you are definitely not meeting my needs/concerns and my impressions of you thus far are lacking in many ways"

Schroeder: "The message of the cross was not the message that itching ears wanted to hear in Paul’s day, and it is not a message that finds favor in the ears of today’s postmodern, self‐gratifying, self‐centered [people]... we will never adjust or hide or downplay a single word of God’s truth in order to make it somehow more attractive. To do that is to empty the gospel of its power and to lose the gospel itself."

Brenner: "At least one person seeing the declining numbers in our Wisconsin Synod has lamented that we are a dying church. That statement cannot be further from the truth. We draw our life from the means of grace. So long as the gospel is rightly proclaimed in our midst and the sacraments are rightly administered the Holy Spirit is sustaining our life and extending it. A church dies when it no longer proclaims the gospel and administers the sacraments. A synod is in trouble only when it no longer treasures the means of grace or doubts the efficacy of Word and sacraments. American ideas of progress and success center on visible results. God‘s definition of success is faithfulness to his Word and the work he has given us to do (Revelation 2:8-11; 1 Corinthians 4:1-4)."

See any differences?

I don't know about any same one person who has been opposing you, Lemkeel. This is my first post in this thread. I was not, to be quite specific about it, the person who posted before me (Anonymous at 11:11) calling you to repentance, whose words, apt though they were, you called "no good" due to his anonymity.

Lemkeel said...

Schottey,

Not true. I do "wish to be taught or instructed." In fact, I love learning. Why else would I be listening to synod convention on Internet? Pres. Schroeder is serving well as President of WELS, and Prof. Brenner's presentation/paper was scintillating. Why do you think I'm still in school? What you may be noticing is I am quite discriminative in what I hear, though I listen with a fair and balanced head. I am not going to do as you say cause you say I should, esp. since you are much younger and simply do not have the experience and hands-on knowledge to speak as if you do. That's basic common sense.

You, on the other hand, are not listening to me. I've clearly presented why I think people should reconsider a newer statement of beliefs, with regard to racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. The church is looked upon by many as the leader, and thus it should responsibly begin to deal with these matters head on.

I took Lutheran Confessions with Prof. Hartwig at MLC in fall 2001. It was a 3 credit course, and I was gone for half the classes playing soccer games. I did do some reading in class, some in the dorm, but not much. There simply was not time. It was never stressed to us that we should cling to the BOC. It is an expression for the WELS beliefs, but not that which we cling to. I've since breezed through it enough to comment on what I'm speaking of so I'm not uninformed. I remain with my standing that a "revision" in light of racial, ethnic, and cultural differences could be done.

Sorry if I appear to be arrogant. That is not my intention.

Lemkeel said...

Schottey,

I have briskly read through the Oktoberfest papers post but have not thoroughly read through them. It's okay to want to think that people have read something, but it's not always safe to assume so. Blogs probably have different rules, but in interpersonal communication, assuming is not the best thing usually, which you probably already know.

Stephen,

I could easily turn around Pres. Schroeder's "itching ears" comment around to you. You are seemingly hearing what you want to hear, and are blatantly ignoring the fact that he also spoke against legalism/traditionalism/formalism, and to allow Christian freedom to have the room to move. It is foolish to think that Pres. Schroeder was only talking to the church growth people out there. He was evidently speaking to everyone, though seemingly stressing against the dangers of church growth. He also clearly spoke to the dangers of thinking that only tradition should stand and to claim false doctrine when there isn't false doctrine (according to words of scripture).

As far as your seeming claim that I'm changing the gospel message so if fits mine and others needs, you're dead wrong. I never change the gospel message, which is, John 3:16. Your assumption is common among others like you however. You should ask me how I introduce the gospel message to those I interact with on a regular basis. It's tricky, and I'm careful not to offend nor to impose my values and belief system upon them. I simply look for ways to acknowledge my beliefs, and try to make a connection to my beliefs, how they've impacted my life, and how I hope to help others as a result of my beliefs. I cannot and will not tell them what to believe. They need to see it on their own, and through my example and through answering any questions they may have, I am doing my part to help build up the body of Christ. How do you witness in your life?

I have never said the WELS is a "dying church." I have, however, criticized them for reasons why their membership is on the decline. Not for the sake of criticism, but more so because of my own personal experiences of being entrenched in the WELS to my efforts to survive out there in the "real world." I have seen and experienced many things and have spent a lot of time in school (WELS & public education) that has allowed me an opportunity to be able to distinguish and discuss. If you would know me and how I interact with others, I am far from afraid to discuss my faith and beliefs with others. This faith is of course founded upon and solely rests on the words of John 3:16 (i.e., Gospel in a nutshell). I have expressed this undying truth to many, many people in my lifetime and hope to continue to do so. I have never been one to hide behind a bushel, but rather have always been ready and willing to share my faith. Again, that of John 3:16. What you are probably seeing in my posts are references to my experiences of working with real people with real problems in a community saturated with real people with real problems (i.e., people flock to the city I live in because of the access to resources, such as mental health as well as physical health care). I also attend a graduate program on a research 1 university campus that provides countless opportunities as well. I am working on trying to find that balance between life here on earth and eternal life in heaven. It is an honest attempt to make a difference. Just because I am questioning aspects of WELS method of doing things does not in any way make me less of a Christian as you are insinuating/assuming. It would be to your best interest to ask and not assume. In fact, it would be in everyone's best interest to ask first before you make your judgments. Basic interpersonal communication skills. But, it's easier to assume than to ask.........

Anonymous said...

Wait, you want to revise it and you haven't even really read it?

Anonymous said...

revise=abridge?

Anonymous said...

While John 3:16 is the base of faith, Jesus said something about every jot and tittle of the Scripture being important and not alterable. The Gospel (even John 3:16) will always be perceived as "foolishness" by a sin-dead person - no matter time, place or culture. We can't make it sound better. If we attempt to do that, we've lost it!

The wonder is that the Gospel has the transforming power, the dynamite, to open up what was dead and implant life. "All Scripture is God-breathed," inspired and important. We are charged not to add, subtract or try to make it more palatable to people by using our cleverness or our sinful desire to soften it.

It comes back to a belief in the power, the efficacy, of the Word of God. Without that you, me, a church body is left drifting aimlessly. Stop trying to feel you have to play God by adding to his Word, you don't! Share Scripture and be amazed at what the Holy Spirit does.

Lemkeel said...

Anon 3:04 am, have you read it? Are you being a hypocrite right now?

Anon 7:14 am, revision does not necessarily mean abridgment. With an inclusion of concern for racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity, perhaps it might be longer.

Anon 9:11 am, I'm pretty sure when Jesus spoke of his every little "jot and tittle of scripture being important" he was speaking of his words during his ministry, which in turn are God's words. I don't recall much of his quoting "all of scripture being important," can you provide a direct quote/passage?

With regard to John 3:16 "always being perceived as foolishness by a sin-dead person," please do provide examples from your own experiences of what you are speaking of (that is, if you've had any). It sounds to me as if you do not actually have any hands-on experience.

Your insinuation that I am adding or subtracting to scripture is a great assumption. You can continue to assume all you like of you me. It sounds as if you are indeed jealous. I do not feel I have to "play God," but good for you for making a puerile attempt at trying to think you know what I'm talking about.

You are clearly one of those legalist people in the synod that is attempting to try to avoid change cause you are seemingly incapable of change. I do not envy you.

Lemkeel said...

Well, I am officially going to create a term for what has just occurred today at synod convention in Saginaw. It's called the "band-aid effect." Clearly, from my understanding, the gushing has only been temporarily stopped and this issue will once again be revisited at the 2011 synod convention. I have not done any official research on this new effect, termed the "band-aid effect," but perhaps this is something I can pursue in my graduate studies. I will make a presupposition that the "band-aid effect" is when a group of people, needing to make a significant decision, fail to make the decision based on pertinent, factual information, but instead make the decision based on emotions and other psychological factors. The result is that the issue is curtailed for the moment, with hopes that something will happen that will suddenly, miraculously heal the wound, but inevitably the band-aid disappears and the wound is still there. The wound grows worse over time and infection becomes so severe that body part is in danger of killing the entire body.

The synod in convention has officially initiated the "band-aid effect." Congratulations MLS-ers. Your prayers have been answered how you wanted.

Anonymous said...

Lemkeel... only Jesus' words are inspired? The rest of Scripture can be picked up and used as pleased or be discarded? All Scripture is God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), not only the red lettered words. The words Jesus spoke while on earth, recorded in the Bible, and all the other Words the Spirit placed in the Bible are God's Word ... all of it.

Also, original sin means folks are dead in sin from conception. Sin dead people, unbelievers from any background, will always hate the Gospel. As God said through Paul, the Gospel has the smell of death to them (and the fragrance of life to us - 2 Corinthians 3:14-17). The Gospel is foolishness to the unregenerate (and TRUTH to the believer-1 Corinthians 1:21). Only when God creates faith with the means of grace does the hatred for God and his Word, abate.

The more you speak, the more you reveal your lack of spiritual clarity and trust in the Scripture. You obviously did not take much along with you into life from the classrooms where teachers sought to convey God's truths to you. That is a shame.

I do not envy you, for you have an apostate view of Christianity (which you don't see in your blindness and arrogance) and the personality of a goat with a belly ache. How's that to match your ad hominem attack?

I am far from a legalist sort of person, yet I do have ire when someone like yourself cavalierly casts doubt upon the Scriptures and also upon the Lutheran Confessions. Like someone said in a prior posting, you do not want instruction and understanding, but simply desire to start a fire and then arrogantly watch it burn. Arsonists with words are ill people, too. Did your psych classes get that through to you? :)

Anyways, have a nice day and I hope life brings you to your knees someday where you discover the only thing that matters and you have to cling to, is God, his Word and all the promises he makes to you in it.

Lemkeel said...

Anonymous 4:45, your words have little value and meaning because you cannot provide actual real life experiences to accompany such judgment. Until you can actually show me specific examples of how you translate your words into real life, I don't have time for you.

Please don't be busy shaming me. I would venture a guess that you could probably spend some time in the mirror shaming the person in the reflection and focusing on that person's needs and concerns. You don't know me, but yet you cast judgment on me. Very Christ-like I get it. You are a legalistic sort of person. You're exactly the legalistic/traditionalist/formalistic type person that Pres. Schroeder warned against. Just cause you say you aren't something doesn't mean you aren't that something. I could say I'm Michael Jordan but clearly I'm not.

The best thing you can do is to not address me. I don't have time for addressing people who refuse to listen to other viewpoints and who fail to see things from others' perspectives.

Anonymous said...

Once again your immaturity is on display. Your weakness of faith and understanding is, too. It is almost humorous to hear you say don't judge me, as you flash at me with judging personal digs. :) Grow up, little one.

Believe it or not, God does call for us to be judges of false notions such as you have publicly spewed on this board and not to tolerate and coddle them. and placate them as if they are acceptable. The unloving thing, surprisingly, would be to challenge nothing.

When you have studied Scripture and can use it to support your musings and judgments, then come back and discuss things spiritual.

Someday I hope this exchange bugs you enough to rethink where you have taken yourself. You see, I do understand who you are ... at his moment in time, someone very proud of herself, arrogant towards others and what is worse, wandering spiritually.

Anonymous said...

"Anon 3:04 am, have you read it? Are you being a hypocrite right now?"

Hi, that was me. Yes I have!

I really don't understand how one can feel that the Book of Concord describes a faith that is anything less than completely Biblical and also intended for the whole world.

Please can you back that up with examples/quotations where you think the BoC misses the mark? The Book of Concord quotes the Bible a LOT, you may or may not know--pretty much every point seems to be backed up with Bible verses. Does the Bible also lack this "inclusiveness" you mention?
"I'm pretty sure when Jesus spoke of his every little 'jot and tittle of scripture being important' he was speaking of his words during his ministry, which in turn are God's words. I don't recall much of his quoting 'all of scripture being important,' can you provide a direct quote/passage?"

An above poster already quoted I Timothy 3:16 for you, so I won't repeat it. Do you really think the "red letter" parts of the Bible are somehow better or truer than the rest of it?

"With regard to John 3:16 'always being perceived as foolishness by a sin-dead person,' please do provide examples from your own experiences of what you are speaking of (that is, if you've had any). It sounds to me as if you do not actually have any hands-on experience."

Hands-on knowledge? I have better than that--I have the Word of God:

I Corinthians 1:18-31: "the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing". Easy.

"Your insinuation that I am adding or subtracting to scripture is a great assumption."

But you at least strongly implied above that you think the "words of Jesus" are the most important or most true or best part of Scripture. That would seem to *definitely* be subtracting from Scripture.

Lemkeel said...

Anonymous 8:41, you're back! You guys seriously bring so much joy to my life. If you'd identify yourself your words would hold so much more meaning. Cause, when you state that "my immaturity is on display," you could actually be younger than me and sorry, but, though it may seem I'm being obnoxious (let's face it, I'm aware of the tone I'm taking) I am actually spiritually mature. If you don't believe that, you simply do not know me. I'm giving bits and pieces of me and my faith, thus what you're seeing is an obvious snarky attempt to wake you people up. You're absolutely right, as you judge me from your biased perspective, I respond in defense and also point out why I am saying what I'm saying. In other words, you wish you could be the only one speaking here, but then get mad when I respond and essentially tear you down. It crushes your self-esteem, and then you show it by telling me to grow up and calling me "little one." You are, precisely being, condescending. You are also showing a great amount of fear and anxiety.

Believe it or not, God loves all people and wants all to be saved. We are saved, not by our own works (good or bad), not only so that no one can boast, but because if anyone keeps the law but stumbles at just one point, s/he is guilty of breaking the whole thing. So, we are saved by the righteousness of Jesus' blood. This is not from ourselves, it is a gift of the Holy Spirit. (See, you can learn and do things differently, this paragraph is what I learned to do from Prof. Brenner's essay).

No way anonymous person, I am clearly and plainly asking you to present to me (and others here) how you take your words, and apply them to real life. In other words, how do you take your theory and turn it in to practice? See, WELS has historically been way too theoretical and then boom, they get out into the real world and get crushed. I'm asking you for simple, specific examples of how you take your theory and turn it into practice. Thank God for Prof. Wendland, president of WLS. He's a brilliant man, and is doing the right thing and an important thing by having the men at seminary do some actual research. He wants them to be able to take a theoretical issue, and to see and understand the practical aspects of it. He basically is trying to do as others in graduate school do, make sure these men know how to think critically about stuff and also how to apply important theoretical concepts into real life experiences. This is basic MA degrees 101, particularly for practitioner fields such as being a pastor to people of a congregation. I had Pres. Wendland for an english comp course at MLC, and he was such an extraordinary teacher that I can visibly remember experiences from that class. I can also remember the things he said and did, and I would have to say he's simply one of the best teachers this world has to offer. He advised me to work on my writing skills, which at the time were lacking. I hope he's able to read some of them now and see that they've improved. I know now what he was talking about then.

Your last sentences make me laugh, and also, cry at the same time. I hope you're not in any position of leadership for anything cause yeah, I'll just leave it at that.

Lemkeel said...

Anonymous 8:34, you've read the BOC, congratulations. It's not so much that the BOC is not for the entire world, it's that those who subscribe to its' teachings are mostly, white, German heritage men (and women and children). Thus, you have my belief for an incorporation of people of different races, ethnicities, and cultural backgrounds. You see, you can say that you want, that it's "for all mankind," yet, clearly, that is not what's happening. In other words, there's no proof to back up your words. I know, numbers don't show faithfulness yada yada yada, but the point I'm getting at is if the BOC is for all people of all time, then, well, there would definitely be a heck of a lot more diversity in confessional congregations. I believe the proper reference would be to something like, by their fruits you will know them. A fruit of faith will show itself, there's no denying that.

I know what the BOC does, I've stated that in previous posts. A copy is sitting on my bookshelf. Again, the BOC was written as a direct response to the Reformation of the RCC by Luther and his colleagues. There's no effort to be inclusive of all people of all time and of all generations.

As far as the red letters of the NT, well, hmm, it's not that I think those words are "better or truer," but I do think that if the WELS is moving forward with a new logo and statement with Pres. Schroeder's full endorsement and effort that states "Christ's love, our calling," I think he's trying to put forth to go back to what our true calling as Christians are, and that is of CHRIST, not Martin Luther (nor my uncle who's named after Luther). If you look closely at Christ's ministry here on earth, it's pretty clear, plain and simple, what he was doing. Perhaps it would be beneficial for you to look at those red letters again.

I am asking for practical experience, cause as stated earlier to anonymous person, it is evident that WELS has theoretical knowledge, but no practical experience. Plain and simple. Not that I needed to hear that from Pres. Wendland of WLS during his presentation of WLS and how he's implementing a curriculum change so that the men at WLS are better prepared to go out into the world (and that simply do as other graduate programs do) by teaching them that they need to be able to put their theoretical knowledge and understanding into practical experiences. This is probably one of the best things that came out of this convention, those words from Pres. Wendland. Give me an actual documentation of an instance where the "message of the cross was foolish to those who are perishing." I'm not denying this, I'm asking you to state from your personal experiences of sharing this gospel message and how the receiver(s) responded to you. It's possible they were responding to you, if you were being judgmental and close-minded, or if they perceived you to be judgmental and close-minded (i.e., a stumbling block). I am speaking from personal experiencES, and also speaking to that which Prof. Brenner pointed out so eloquently in his paper.

You, as I've been reiterating, are coming from a theoretical standpoint and have failed to back up your words with practical experiences. Exactly what is going on in WELS. Unfortunately, with the continued propagation of prep schools, this ignorance is only going to continue.

Stephen Fiedler said...

It's interesting that you malign Biblical doctrine as mere "theoretical knowledge"--as if God is somehow lying to us when he tells us that the message of the Gospel will be considered "foolishness" by an unbelieving world.

Lemkeel said...

Stephen, where's your proof from personal experiences in how the unbelieving world is finding the Gospel message foolishness. I'm not calling God a liar, I'm asking you to discuss your examples of how you relay the Gospel to the unbelievers.

Lemkeel said...

Stephen, to add to my comment, you're taking the word "theory" too literal in this context. Theory can be a general term to mean any idea or thought or supposition that explains something. I was then differentiating that from practice which would apply that theory. I'm not stating that scripture is just a theory like Darwin's theory of evolution.

Anonymous said...

Lemkeel, Prof. Wendland, as president of the Seminary, asks each of the graduates what kind of subscription they will make to the Confessions. There is only one answer that will allow a graduate to be considered for a call. What do you suppose it is?

I, too, have a great deal of respect for Pres. Wendland. Since you have a high regard for him, I would encourage you to discuss some of these things with him. That would seem to be a much more fruitful conversation.

Anonymous said...

Michael Schottey do you understand anything you are talking about? Or, are you another parrot in training?

Lemkeel said...

Anonymous 9:02, you're trying to pin me down as a non-confessional, which, you can try to do but will ultimately fail because you have not talked with me about it. As I've clearly laid out in these posts, I do agree with the confessions and creeds written in the BOC. At the same time, I take a stand on the lack of racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity in such a statement of beliefs. God's church, God's kingdom on earth and in heaven is not going to be filled with only white, German heritage men (and women and children). Btw, the way you phrase your first few sentences here makes you sound like a "legalistic" person.

With regard to speaking to Pres. Wendland, perhaps at some time. Additionally, I'm not currently seeking answers to questions right now, I'm basically trying to present a different viewpoint/perspective that is deemed to be heretical by many on this blog. Yet, it is not heresy, it is simply a different viewpoint/perspective. Just cause something may not be "fruitful" for you does not mean it's not fruitful for someone else. That's an example of someone imposing his or her beliefs on someone else. Finally, as I've been reiterating, the best thing you can do at this point is tell me real life examples of how you yourself have interacted with those with whom you've tried sharing the Gospel message with. That is, if you've ever tried. I understand that some people aren't cut out for this type of thing, and there's not necessarily anything wrong with that. Some people are more comfortable sharing their faith and the Gospel with others, while some are not. There's other ways to serve and do your part to help build the body of Christ.

Michael Schottey said...

Anon @ 3:43...

Care to elaborate? Or just baseless accusation?

Stephen Fiedler said...

"Stephen, where's your proof from personal experiences in how the unbelieving world is finding the Gospel message foolishness. I'm not calling God a liar, I'm asking you to discuss your examples of how you relay the Gospel to the unbelievers."

No, you're not calling God a liar, exactly, you're just saying that his plain words aren't enough for you, and that to **really** believe what he says in the Bible you require "proof from personal experience" on top of it. This sounds a lot like Thomas: "Sure, I'll believe you, Lord, but you have to prove it to my satisfaction first."

For that reason I hesitate to add anything to Scripture for you. After all, if the Word of God isn't enough for you, why would my words be any better? If you wouldn't believe God alone, what are the chances you'll believe "God plus Stephen Fiedler"?

If you really need or want assurance that I have personally experienced the unbelieving rejecting the Gospel, one need not look any further than the last two weekends, when I spent several hours with my pastor distributing VBS information door-to-door for our church's VBS, which began today. I am not talking about a polite "I don't have kids" or "we're not interested"--the degree of outright hostility of some people was pretty amazing.

By the way, because I know this is (inexplicably) important to you, our outreach programs, including VBS, Christmas for Kids, and Easter for Kids, invariably draw approximately 50% minority children.

Lemkeel said...

Stephen,

You're taking my words and filtering them through your belief system (i.e., biases, perspectives) and not seeing them from my POV. Thus, you're not making a good argument here. You're simply taking what I'm saying, and twisting it up so it fits the mold you want them to fit in. These are not good discussion or debate skills. To begin with, I am not saying God's words "aren't enough for me, that to **really** believe what he says in the Bible I require 'proof from personal experience' on top of it." This is a fallacy. I am saying, in a rather subtle or distinct way, that if and when you actually try to witness the Gospel to others, you will better be able to understand what the scriptures say and know even better how and when to apply them. I am not "Thomas the doubter" from the NT. Nice try though.

I think you're hesitant cause you lack experience. That's the way life works. That's why having experience is a good thing.

With regard to distributing door hangings for VBS at your church, that's great! I too have experience doing that, endless hours it seems going from one house to the next and usually not getting a lot of positive responses. From my experiences, I would say that it's not necessarily the Gospel that people in this instance are rejecting, but rather the people they're rejecting. Afterall, how are you able to preach the Gospel in a 5 minute or less talk to a stranger? Probably not happening. If you put yourself in their shoes, imagine having someone knock on your door asking you about church and the Bible (it would help to imagine you're an unbeliever). Now, on top of the visit you and your pastor made, imagine several others knocking on their door several times a year. Might you not be annoyed by such behavior? Not saying this method of evangelism is futile, cause sometimes it works. At the same time, it's probably not the best way to get out there and do real, actual evangelism. Think honestly about how you would like to be evangelized. Then, try to treat that person in the same way. In my experiences, evangelism works really well when you're able to establish a relationship with them, and thus do not give the appearance of being superficial. It's hard to establish a relationship with people when you move from door to door cause you gotta get that quota in and there simply isn't time. If something's not working, it's important to consider why that may be, instead of falling back to "they're rejecting me cause they're rejecting the Gospel and are therefore lost."
____
cont.

Lemkeel said...

Why is it "inexplicable" or unable to be explained (the definition) to reach out to as you put it "minority children?" Btw, I'd urge you to not say "minority children." It says, "I'm the majority, and there's less of you so you're the minority." This may be true, but you don't want to goad such ignorance that makes you look like a bigot, right? I've also taught VBS and volunteered for quite a few years (including being in it every summer as a kid) and I can tell you that having different kids from different families and different congregations go to VBS and other children’s services/programs is a common thing. The obvious tricky part is getting them and their parents and families to stay. Unfortunately, from what I've seen over the years, the percentage of families that join the church and become members is quite small. This doesn't necessarily mean they’re rejecting the Gospel either. It's likely the parents already belong to a church, whether or not they’re active members, and we all know that once people are set in their ways, change is usually a long time coming, esp. with something like membership in a church. Other major factors to consider are tradition and other familial pressure. Can you imagine how difficult it may be for a family who’s catholic and whose family has always been catholic leave the catholic church for a Lutheran one? That family who leaves and joins a Lutheran church may risk losing contact with all of their immediate family members and even friends. There’s a lot of stuff to consider when doing evangelism and to not get downhearted so quickly and call them lost and be done with it. You’re talking about a specific kind of evangelism, one that is more of a pastor’s work. I’m talking more about the kind of work you can do on your own in your own life.

Stephen Fiedler said...

"If something's not working, it's important to consider why that may be, instead of falling back to 'they're rejecting me cause they're rejecting the Gospel and are therefore lost.'"

Except that's what the Bible says, almost word-for-word. "Shake the dust from your shoes" and leave, in that case, we're told, and "don't cast pearls before swine."

Again, you seem to have an issue with the plain words of the Bible on this point. The Gospel **is foolishness**--utter, senseless stupidity--to those who are perishing. A thousand anecdotes from you or me won't change the accuracy of that simple Bible truth. That is why I hesitated even to share with you. (And I'm not sure how you have drawn the conclusion that I'm "inexperienced" in outreach. Is my pastor, too, in your infinite wisdom? I wouldn't say he experienced any more or less rejection than I did.)

"Think honestly about how you would like to be evangelized."

That's the thing you're missing, Lemkeel: if I'm not a believer, I don't *want* to be evangelized at all. The Gospel is nothing but foolishness to me.

You are saying that we can make the Gospel more effective with human action. That is unScriptural and untrue.

You don't want me to use the word "minority" and yet the racial makeup of congregations seems to be a key obsession of yours. Our congregation is roughly 20% Hispanic, and we also have African-Americans, Asians, and first-generation immigrants from various non-Lutheran countries (England, Portugal, Italy off the top of my head). We have ex-Mormons, ex-Anglicans, and ex-Catholics.

Our job is to sow seed, not to force it to grow (we cannot in any case do that, no matter how hard we might try). We are to preach Word to all. The response of "all" to the Word is God's part of the equation. The preaching is ours, the working of faith in the heart is his and his alone. We do not measure our success in congregational numbers, and certainly not in the color of the people who join our congregation. We measure it in pure Word rightly preached, and Sacraments rightly administered.

Lemkeel said...

Stephen,

With all due respect, your lack of experience is showing through here. You're trying to say that there's a passage that fits with every move you make (and don't make), and with great effort you're trying to say that because people slam doors in your face during your door hanging adventures that it's because they're lost to the devil. Well, you could be right, but also could not be right. Truthfully, only God knows, and we're supposed to do the work as if everyone are precious children of his. Yes there are signs and there will be warning signs, but in the end, only the Lord can look into hearts. You're making some sort of asinine claim that you can read hearts and minds, and also that you can read God's mind. Cause, from what you're suggesting here, you have a perfect knowledge and understanding of the scriptures (i.e., words of God) which is truly, emphatically amazing. Please do share with me how it is that you and God have the same mind?

Again, with your Bible is utter foolishness to those who are perishing statement, I would like for you to share with me how you know the ones who are perishing from the ones who do not. Your words show your inexperience. I'm not going to say your pastor's inexperienced when I know nothing about him nor his work. I can state, generally speaking, that the door to door evangelism method is not the most effective type of evangelism because (a) people don't appreciate being "intruded on" in their own home rather they prefer to "invite others" into their home, (b) there's no effort to establish a relationship with them before you ask them for a great thing, to attend your church, and (c) it's one of the most unoriginal and widely used methods for doing outreach which leads to the problem of, "how does your church distinguish itself from the other churches?" And you do this all within a 5 minute or less spiel. I was trying to get at in the previous post that it would work to try to think of how you would want to be treated, and follow suit to others. Basic empathy, and oh yeah, also what Jesus meant when he said "Love your neighbor as yourself."

You're speaking for an unbeliever and yet you've never really talked with one cause you have not provided real examples here. Thus, you're laying your assumptions on the unbeliever and of course making a great error. If you're considering the ministry for a career, perhaps spending some time with missionaries during practicums would be beneficial. Do you think, seriously, that mission work means give up and walk away cause "the Gospel is foolish to unbelievers?" I wonder if missionaries can read hearts and minds like you can and know which people to bypass and which ones to talk with. Maybe I can ask my cousin who's a world missionary.
_______
Cont.

Lemkeel said...

I am NOT saying the Gospel is more effective with human action. That is your mistaken belief that you, as stated previously, twisted from my words to try to fit your unbelievably incorrect mold. There's a difference between actions that attempt to make God's word more effective, VERSUS actions that negatively impact attempts at disseminating God's word due to the disseminator's behavior. This could mean anything that you do that negatively impacts the spreading of the Gospel. In other words, having a closed mind, being judgmental, being lazy and giving up after having a door slammed in your face, not being prepared to share the message, etc. These things are called "stumbling blocks." These are quite SCRIPTURAL and quite TRUE.

It is clear to me that you are not being racially, ethnically, and culturally sensitive. I am choosing to not discuss this with you any further at this point. I've been stressing not only RACE, but ETHNICITY and also CULTURE. If you don't know what these words mean (and they do mean different things, subtle as they may seem, they're not the same) I'd look them up.

Your last paragraph doesn't make sense to me, cause it sounds as if you're spewing out words that have been regurgitated to you and you don't really know what you're saying. If your job is to "sow seed," I'd expect more patience and understanding from you. I'm not at all talking about forcing anything to grow. I am, however, talking about cultivation. Anyone with any knowledge and experience that has been successful in maneuvering about life knows that in life you sometimes need to work a little harder, try taking a different road, stop and go back and do something over, and finally make an executive decision to the best of your ability that something should be done. It is apparent that you have not had a lot of experiences yet, and you speak as if you do. I'd caution you on this one. I understand faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit. No need to keep preaching that to me. I am not saying success is measured in congregational numbers. I am saying, look at reasons why it's on the decline and see if there's anything you can do to help it. To just sit back and kick it and say "God's will or equation as you state" sounds like fatalism to me. Where in the world did Jesus say, be hesitant in sharing my message with unbelievers. ? If you want to continue with the false belief that there's nothing wrong with the fact that your congregation is mostly white, German heritage men (and women and children), then fine. Continue believing as you choose, cause it's apparent to me you're not gonna change. Thus, you would fall into the category of legalism/traditionalism/formalism who are seemingly incapable of change. Hmm, and I thought only God doesn't change.

Anonymous said...

1 Corinthians 1:18 "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

1 Corinthians 1:23-25 "but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength. "

Lemkeel said...

Anonymous person 7:35, no need to quote these Bible passages, cause my point is not what scripture says but rather, how do you APPLY scripture. Is this not making sense? Please provide specific examples of how you have experienced in your life such scriptural passages as the ones you posted.

Anonymous said...

Lemkeel,

Stop right after "my point is not what scripture says"

The discussion is now over.

Anonymous said...

And it seems Pietism is alive and well

Lemkeel said...

Anonymous 10:21, you craftily tried to get me to fall into a "trap" so you could try to close down discussion. See, I knew what you were trying to do, however, the problem is not what I said, but rather your thinking. You are a black and white thinker. This must mean that you have great difficulty in life going about daily business because if things are said and done that are not what you would think and what you would do, you freak out. You clearly are in the legalism/traditionalism/formalism group that is seemingly incapable of change. From my understanding, only God is incapable of change.

If the discussion is over for you legalistic person, then stop reading it. You cannot make me do something because you are unhappy with something or think I'm being "unscriptural." Your thinking is not "the right thinking." I know this because there simply is no way that your black and white, legalistic/traditionalistic/formalistic way of life is the only right and true way. In addition, it's not a Christ-like behavior.

Lemkeel said...

Anonymous 10:29, if you think WELS is pietistic and it bothers you, I'd have one single recommendation: find a different church body to worship with, one that meets your every need cause that's seemingly what's going on. You may say WELS is being unscriptural, but what you're really saying is WELS is not doing what you want it to do. You officially belong in the legalism/formalism/traditionalism group that is seemingly incapable of change.

Anonymous said...

Lemkeel,

No, WELS is not inherently pietistic. You are.

You wish only for a practical, "relevant" view of scripture. You would discount the confessions or more shockingly words of Scripture without some sort of practical proof.

The WORD of GOD is the only thing effective to change men's hearts. Anything we do before that to be kitschy or relevant is only the spinning of wheels.

You argue on the basis of your logic and your feelings. I'll stand on the side of many who would rather stand behind Scripture.

Anonymous said...

You are sure good at attacking others by belittling them, Lemkeel. You are a smugly self-righteous personality. Using your own logic, we can surmise that you very insecure and have a misfit's personality that has trouble interacting well with others (no matter how hard you doth protest against such a characterization). You sniffingly dismiss any Scripture quoted that does not align with the view of life you have formed for yourself. Indeed, you are the one who should be worshiping in a body other than WELS, as the views you espouse are not in alignment with the church body you seem to call home. Thanks though for clearing up above, that your purpose in being here is to try to bait people with your antagonizing thoughts. Like you said, "very Jesus-like." Good luck to you.

Lemkeel said...

Anonymous legalistic peoples 4:02 & 4:25, haters unite! I don't have time for haters such as yourselves.

Lemkeel said...

I'm going to go ahead and post my response to an anonymous person on GJ's inherently biased blog as there is no doubt in my mind that my comment will not be posted there due to GJ's unfair and unbalanced stance on keeping his blog in the "truth of God's word" or should I say "truth of Martin Luther's word."
______________________________________________
Anonymous 6:47,

"Warren's biggest error was addressing a large audience of unbelievers and failing to declare Christ crucified. Instead of taking advantage of an opportunity to reach the lost, he instead spoke about the "common good" and other post modernist pipe-dreams."

--> Simple question: were you there? Did you listen to him speak or are you speaking from something which you literally are clueless?

"Do certain WELS pastors, upon meeting with the doctrinally lost, take a bold stand and point out error, or do they cower behind fake smiles, opportunism, and self-serving desire?"

--> Clearly you are not WELS pastor and clearly you do not know the answer. Of course you can ask, but logic clearly dictates that instead of asking a small, extremist audience that sees things through black or white only lenses that you actually ask a WELS pastor himself. This helps curb slander and gossip of course.

"Post modernism is a grave threat to any confessional church and will at least lead to bland (and deadly) ecumenicism. "Lemkeel," a regular new-age troll over at Bailing Water, is a good example of this. In her sincere efforts to embrace diversity, cultural competency, and toe the party line at a public university, she is more than willing to compromise the Word. The poison is so strong that she is unable to see her error."

--> How do you know post modernism is a grave threat to a confessional church and will lead to bland and deadly ecumenicism? I mean, do you have first-hand knowledge and experience with post modernism and how it actually threatens confessional churches and eventually leads to ecumenism? Without actual experiences to back up your claims, your whole argument is nothing but a moot speculation that reflects a deficit-filled life.

Thanks for calling me a new-age troll, anyone who resorts to name calling is clearly at his or her last resort. A helpless one at that. Nice speculation pretending that you know me. It's evident you've not spent much time in a learning institution that doesn't allow you to make claims or speculations without backing such blather up. At this point, the only error I see is staring me smack dab in the face with your comments that are filled with fluff.

"Let Obama keep Warren and let WELS stick to the Word. Both false doctrine and political/ideological post modernism can be overcome with a little education and adhering to first principles. In the WELS, we need to study the Word and the Confessions and not false prophets. In our society, we need to brush up on basic economic principles and realize that destroying perfectly usable and fully paid vehicles in order to get into debt by buying a shiny new car is absurd.?

--> This last paragraph speaks to exactly my point. You truly don't know what you're talking about because you evidently don't have any experience. You may have thoughts and presuppositions, but you have no actual experience or practice to back up your claims. It's people like you that are actually poison that are causing more harm than good. It is evident that you are a black or white thinker, and a conservative in politics and religion. Dah, there's people unlike you in this world and from what you've presented you think they're worthless and damned due to false doctrine/teaching. Hmm, anyone here see a problem with this evidential faulty logic?

Anonymous said...

Lemkeel,

Do you have a point?

Post modernism has already plagued the church once--pietism. You reek of it.

Lemkeel said...

Anonymous 4:57,

Hmm, well, if you fail to see a point in what I say I can't help you there. I'm sure you're being facetious but in case you aren't, you remember reading long paragraphs or even series of paragraphs and then picking the right choice as to what the point of the reading was, right? No one's gonna tell you. Of course, in those tests, the test makers want you to see the right choice and because they don't want everyone to get every answer correct they sort of make it rather difficult at times. This is less intense stuff.

The only thing that currently reeks here is your attempt to try to state that (a) I am all-consumed of post modernism/pietism and (b) your failed attempt to try to explain current events from something that happened in the past (a long time ago actually; i.e. induction). There are purposes for induction (opposite of deduction), however, it's rather foolish to claim that something that's currently going on is the exact same thing that happened previously in history. There may be similarities, but there's nothing that is exactly the same as what happened during pietism in the 17th & 18th centuries. You may be familiar with the incorrect slogan that "history repeats itself." While there may be repeated patterns so to speak, there's never anything that reoccurs precisely the same as what happened long ago. Believe it or not, we as humans actually evolve thank God and thus it would be impossible to reenact a previous historical event(s).

Bottom line: get involved in today's day and age and stop worrying about what happened in the history of the church, particularly what Martin Luther did. Apply history to the current events of today meaningfully and appropriately, and don't simply try to make today's occurrences fit into the mold of yesterday's.

Anonymous said...

Lemkeel, I am singularly unimpressed with your academic credentials to be making the arguments you make.

Lemkeel said...

Anonymous 11:02, Since you state that you are "singularly unimpressed with my academic credentials to be making the arguments I make" I would ask you what are your academic credentials? If you are of the opinion that my academic credentials are not up to par, the least you could do is reveal what credentials you have. Otherwise, your comment has no real validity.

The point in my arguments is not so much that I've achieved this or that. That is not the point and I'm sorry if you feel that the arguments I present are based on some academic credential. You're then missing the whole point. It's not the credentials that are providing fuel for the arguments I present, rather it's the entire picture of all of the experiences I have had in my life, including educational experiences in academic institutions. The arguments are not coming from one single experience, rather from multiple experiences that of course include academic experiences.

It's too bad that you would discredit what I have to say based on your belief that the academic credentials I have received thus far are not "worthy" according to your belief. You're then missing the whole point, that it's not only educational experiences but also real world experiences. Additionally, I'm not trying to "impress" anyone on here. I'm simply trying to wake people up and present things from a different perspective.

Anonymous said...

Lemkeel,

Go retake whatever logic class you barely passed. You completely missed the boat. However, way to have a lengthy reply to someone who said what everyone else was thinking in one sentence.

No one is discrediting you because of your credentials. Rather, you are discrediting your credentials with your ineptitude.

Lemkeel said...

Anonymous 7:08, My this just gets funner as the comments go by. It feels like I've talked to you before, but I can't be certain since you're an anonymous person and this blog is filled with anonymous persons. About the logic class, I've already stated on here somewhere that I've never taken a logic class, so I couldn't have "barely passed" it. What boat did I miss exactly? If you're busy ensuring that people hop on the right boat you'd probably want to make sure I know what boat it is that I need to catch. Usually my responses are lengthy cause I like to be thorough so misunderstandings are not as likely to surface as are briefly stated incomplete statements that leave nothing other than an impression of ?? seriously?

Who's the people discrediting me? Right now, based on the evidence before me, I'd say it's one person, whomever you are, that probably masks him- or herself as multiple anonymous persons when you're probably the same person. As I've stated earlier, you can say that I'm inept, but you've yet to prove it. I can say I'm Michael Jordan, but clearly I'm not. Where's your evidence that backs up your statements?

Anonymous said...

Well, to start, I have three degrees from top schools ("top" in terms of top 5-10 in the world or so, both overall and in my field).

Fun, unrelated fact: the University of Iowa is not one of the top 25 psych programs in the country.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it's not one of the best psych programs in the country, but I do think Lemkeel is in the right location: "(i.e., people flock to the city I live in because of the access to resources, such as mental health as well as physical health care)." [Lemkeel: July 29, 2009 11:40 PM]

Although it is my fear that it has been exposure to those kinds of worldly resources that have warped her thinking and (I doubly fear)jeopardized her faith.

Lemkeel said...

Anonymous 1:05, forgive me I've been rather busy these past few days. What degrees do you have and what are they in? As far as University of Iowa facts, here's an article I'll post. The Psych dept. at Iowa may not be in the top 20, however, different branches of psych within the overall psych dept. are in the top 20, such as clinical psych. Rankings such as these are typically taken from the amount and quality of research done by profs within each branch of psych. Also, interesting fact: in case you took the ACT for a college admission test the ACT that was created by two research psychologists in the college of education at the University of Iowa 50 years ago. The ACT campus is located in Iowa City.
_______________________________

University of Iowa News Release

March 28, 2008

NOTE: This release presents the U.S.News rankings in two ways: comparing public and private universities together (as the magazine presents the rankings in "America's Best Graduate Schools 2009") and comparing the UI only to other public universities (derived by pulling out private universities and recalculating). This is intended to give readers a better idea of how the UI is ranked compared to other publicly funded peer institutions across the country.

U.S.News ranks 23 UI programs among top 10 in nation among public universities

U.S.News & World Report now ranks 23 University of Iowa graduate programs and colleges among the 10 best in the country among public universities, placing five of them in first place.

"America's Best Graduate Schools 2009" ranks the UI's speech-language pathology and audiology graduate programs as first among public universities. Previous No. 1 rankings of three other UI graduate programs -- physician assistant and nursing specialties in Nursing Service Administration and Gerontological/Geriatric - as compared to other public universities will be carried over into the guidebook's print edition, which is due out March 31.

Other highly ranked UI graduate programs, compared to public universities, are: printmaking, 2 (new ranking); social psychology, 3; physical therapy, 3; rural medicine, 3; rehabilitation counseling, 4; earth sciences specialties-paleontology, 5; nursing-anesthesia, 6; nursing specialty-nurse practitioner: pediatric, 6; Master of Fine Arts program in art and design (new ranking), 7; physics specialties-plasma, 7 (new ranking); College of Law, 7 (new ranking); Master of Fine Arts specialty-painting/drawing, 7; Carver College of Medicine-primary care (new ranking), 7; clinical psychology, 8; engineering specialty-environmental/environmental health, 9 (new ranking); nursing, master's, 9; education specialty-student counseling and personnel services, 10 (new ranking); and education specialty-higher education administration, 10 (new ranking).
_____________
cont.

Lemkeel said...

"These rankings reflect the outstanding caliber of our programs and the commitment of everyone involved to providing a world-class education," said UI President Sally Mason. "Academic excellence is a collaborative effort, and the rankings are a real tribute to everyone -- from our deans and faculty to our staff and students -- for the expertise and dedication that they share daily through teaching, research and service."

UI Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Lola Lopes agreed. "This is very encouraging to see the rankings moving us toward our aspiration to be one of the nation's top 10 public research universities," Lopes said. "The fact that we have a number of graduate programs so highly ranked reminds us of how fortunate we are to have outstanding educational opportunities here in the heartland that draw students from across the state as well as the nation and world."

John Keller, dean of the Graduate College, said he's pleased that a number of the university's graduate program offerings continue to be recognized as among the best in the nation.

"Not only have some of our traditionally strong programs maintained their top rankings, but we had substantial improvements in speech language pathology and in primary care in the UI Carver College of Medicine," Keller said. "This recognition is an excellent indicator of the strength of many of our graduate programs that have a major impact on improving people's lives and contributing to the academic vitality of this campus and the community."
__________
cont.

Lemkeel said...

Highlights of the graduate school rankings are scheduled for publication in the April 7-14 edition of U.S.News & World Report's magazine, available for newsstand purchase as of Monday, March 31. It's "America's Best Graduate Schools" guidebook goes on sale Tuesday, April 1. All of the information in the printed guide, plus deeper rankings that are available only online, may be found at http://www.usnews.com. A subscription is required to access all of the data.

Each year, U.S.News ranks graduate programs in the areas of business, education, engineering, law, and medicine. These rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinion about program quality and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school's faculty, research, and students. For the rankings in all five areas, indicator and opinion data come from surveys of more than 1,000 programs and nearly 9,100 academics and other professionals.

U.S.News first published a reputation-only graduate school ranking in 1987. The annual America's Best Graduate Schools report began in 1990.

* * *
Following are all ranked UI graduate schools, specialties and programs, beginning with the highest-ranked programs. Rankings at the front end of each entry are as compared to other public universities. The overall ranking, comparing UI colleges and programs to all public and private universities, is listed subsequently in parentheses.

Rankings with an asterisk (*) are new for the 2009 issue of "America's Best Graduate Schools." All other rankings are from previous years but still stand. Some of the rankings are from an expanded list available online at http://www.usnews.com with a paid subscription.
_________________________
cont.

Lemkeel said...

*1 Speech-Language Pathology, master's (At the UI, this program is in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, formerly named the Department of Speech Pathology, in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences) (1)

1 Physician Assistant, master's/doctorate (Carver College of Medicine) (1)

1 Nursing Specialty-Nursing Service Administration (College of Nursing) (1)

1 Nursing Specialty-Gerontological/Geriatric (College of Nursing) (2)

*1 Audiology, master's/doctorate (CLAS) (2)

*2 Printmaking (CLAS) (2)

2 Sociology Specialties-Social Psychology (CLAS) (3)

*3 Physical Therapy, master's/doctorate (Carver College of Medicine Division of Associated Medical Sciences) (5)

*3 Medicine Specialty-Rural Medicine (Carver College of Medicine) (3)

4 Rehabilitation Counseling, master's/doctorate (College of Education) (4)

5 Earth Sciences Specialties-Paleontology, doctorate (CLAS) (8)

5 Nursing-Anesthesia, master's (College of Nursing) (6)

6 Nursing Specialty-Nurse Practitioner: Pediatric (College of Nursing) (13)

*7 Master of Fine Arts program in art and design (CLAS) (21)

*7 Physics Specialties-Plasma, doctorate (CLAS) (9)

*7 College of Law (27)

7 Fine Arts Specialty-Painting/Drawing, master's (CLAS) (19)

*7 College of Medicine-Primary Care (Carver College of Medicine) (7)

*8 Clinical Psychology, doctorate (CLAS) (9)

*9 Engineering Specialty-Environmental/Environmental Health (15)

9 Nursing, master's (College of Nursing) (12)

*10 Education Specialty-Student Counseling and Personnel Services (College of Education) (12)

*10 Education Specialty-Higher Education Administration (College of Education) (16)

11 Nursing Specialty-Family (College of Nursing) (16)

11 Nursing Specialty-Nurse Practitioner: Family (College of Nursing) (16)

11 Public Health (College of Public Health (18)

12 Healthcare Management, master's (previously cited in rankings as Health Services Management. At the UI, this program is located in the College of Public Health Department of Health Management and Policy) (17)

12 Political Science, doctorate (CLAS) (25)

*13 Business Specialty-Accounting (Tippie College of Business) (26)

*14 College of Medicine-Research (Carver College of Medicine) (31)

*15 Medical Specialty-Family Medicine (Carver College of Medicine) (18)

15 English, doctorate (CLAS) (28)

*15 Pharmacy, Pharm.D. (College of Pharmacy) (16)

*16 Economics, doctorate (Tippie College of Business) (34)

17 History, doctorate (CLAS) (32)

*20 Engineering Specialty-Biomedical/Bioengineering (College of Engineering) (40)

20 Psychology (College of Education Department of Psychological and Quantitative Foundations) (36)

20 Sociology, doctorate (CLAS) (34)

*21 College of Education (31)

*23 Biological Sciences, doctorate (CLAS) (48)

*23 College of Business (49)

25 Psychology (CLAS) (47)

*29 Engineering Specialty-Civil (College of Engineering) (43)

29 Library and Information Studies, doctorate (Graduate College) (33)

31 Social Work, master's (CLAS) (46)

*32 Engineering Specialty-Mechanical (College of Engineering) (52)

*32 Mathematics, doctorate (CLAS) (55)

*33 Engineering Specialty-Computer Engineering (College of Engineering) (57)

*35 Engineering Schools (61)

*35 Physics, doctorate (CLAS) (56)

*37 Computer Science, doctorate (CLAS) (61)

*39 Chemistry, doctorate (CLAS) (62)

*39 Engineering Specialty-Electrical/Electronic/Communications (College of Engineering) (65)

47 Earth Sciences, doctorate (CLAS) (70)

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACT: Lois J. Gray, University of Iowa News Services, 319-384-0077, lois-gray@uiowa.edu

Lemkeel said...

Anonymous 9:19, whatever, you are clearly unable to see things from other perspectives and are paralyzed by fear of the unknown.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Such verbal diarrhea, Lemke! I'm not sure that copy-and-paste was necessary or even supports your point. But really, I'll distill it down: the only relevant rankings with respect to assessing YOUR academic credentials are:

Undergraduate: not in top 25. (Not even in the top 25 among public schools.)

Graduate (Psychology): not in top 25.

I hate to be mean about this, but since so much of your argument seems to depend upon your claims to be better-educated than most others here, it seems pretty relevant.

Citations:

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/national-universities-rankings

http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/national-top-public

http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-psychology-schools/rankings

Lemkeel said...

Anonymous 12:10, why do you have to use the words "verbal diarrhea?" Seriously, like using the word diarrhea adds to your comment and makes it that more awesome. With regard to undergraduate, I'm not even sure colleges/universities rank undergraduate psych programs. Everyone knows undergrad is not as highly considered as graduate programs. This situation here calls for what you might call "reading between the lines." Let's think about it this way, if a graduate program in clinical psychology, say at the University of Iowa, is ranked #9 in the nation, then there's probably some good professors in the department, probably pretty good graduate students they admit, and then it's these people that teach the undergrad courses at the University of Iowa. Thus, while the overall program in psych may be lower ranked, taking within that same program aspects that are highly ranked and distinguished and consider that these highly qualified individuals are teaching and mentoring undergrads along with grad students, then you have yourself a decent situation. Make sense? You're presenting facts from a black and white sense and are not reading in between the lines. A common concern for people such as yourself. The entire psych grad program at Iowa my not be in the top 25, however, the clinical psych dept. is ranked #9. If that's the area that you as a student are interested in, then this is a pretty good program to consider. If you make blanket generalizations and judgments on something such as this, then you're missing out on a whole ton of good stuff in between.

Btw, you're not being mean. You're presenting yourself as uninformed. Also, my argument is not that the University of Iowa is some top-notch university that all should attend, rather I'm saying that my experiences here have been great for a variety of reasons. The scary thing is, if you're dead set on claiming that the University of Iowa sucks and therefore I suck, well, then how do the synod schools rank then cause from what you're saying I went from worst to worse?

My arguments do not depend on any claims that I'm better-educated than more others on this blog. If you feel that you're less-educated, that's all you.

Anonymous said...

"how do the synod schools rank"

WLS is one of the two best, most orthodox Lutheran seminaries in the country, the other being BLTS. So I'd say they rank "tied for first."

Meanwhile, you have close to zero background in theology. You apparently skipped most of your Lutheran confessions class and yet still feel that they should be revised and rewritten. This is sheer arrogance.

Look, so many of your arguments depend upon your supposedly superior "understanding," it just seems a little ridiculous that you're posting away from a mid-tier public school (not even in the top half of the Big Ten for psychology, or the undergraduate education) rather than the Ivy League or someplace comparable. You use the often fallacious "appeal to authority" argument, holding up your still-incomplete education as the "authority" so often it makes my head spin, and it just seems a little disingenuous that the education in question isn't really that sterling in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Lemkeel, you should be advised to pay a little less attention to the post modern thinking and a little more to logic.

The "appeal to authority" when the authority is your own genius is a little much.

Surpassed only by the "you much be a stick in the mud who can't think of new things" (which, ironically, you repeat again and again)

Lemkeel said...

Anonymous 11:09, where do I begin with this one. I'm sure somewhere in your life you realized that life is what you make of it. You could go to the best school in the world and not really get anything out of it. It's on your shoulders to make the best of the situation. That being said, having more opportunities usually implies that there's more of a chance that something good will result. But again, it depends upon you and what you do with what you've got.

Since when does a person have to have a background in theology to be able to express ones' faith? If you're claiming that one needs to have gone to the WLS to be able to have discussions of a theological nature than I'm not surprised that you probably have zero witnessing experience. If you sit back and say the pastors and missionaries can and should do it, you're missing out on a bunch of opps to share the message of salvation with those who need to hear it. But, that again is on your shoulders.

That said, it can be dangerous for people to go off on tangents related to theology if they are not prepared (i.e., have the proper education, training, experience). This of course leads to misunderstandings and causes more confusion than not. Talking with people who have been trained and who do have experience is beneficial in times like these. If you are of the POV that I'm wrong in what I say, your better argument would be to prove to me how I'm wrong rather than make a fallacious claim that my education isn't that good cause it doesn't come from an ivy league school. Furthermore, you’re missing the fact that I’ve spent most of my education in Lutheran schools where God’s word was taught daily. That’s a lot of exposure to the Bible there. Additionally, many of my family members are called workers or were called workers, which adds to the exposure of the scriptures. And then, add to that the fact that I have a curious mind and have studied the scriptures with this same inquisitive mind and consequently asked many theological questions throughout my life. There’s so many factors to consider that without doing so leads to fallacious conclusions such as the one you’ve presented.

Lemkeel said...

Anonymous 7:33, What? Your comment is so full of fluff (i.e., crap) that I can't even respond appropriately. If you think it's not full of fluff, then you need to prove to me where you've come up with your illogical conclusions. Methinks you're trying too hard here to no avail.