BJS’ers Not the Only Ones Getting Deleted at 5/2; Just as Chris Rosebrough, by Pr. Rossow

Rev. Chris Rosebrough is the founder and moderator of Pirate Christian Radio. He is a sharp witted and sharp thinking Lutheran. He has his own story to tell about how the 5/2 Network folks are deleting comments on their blogs that ask hard and important questions of them.

Click here to read his account of deleted comments and questions on the 5/2 Facebook blogs.

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.


Comments

BJS’ers Not the Only Ones Getting Deleted at 5/2; Just as Chris Rosebrough, by Pr. Rossow — 100 Comments

  1. helen :
    District Conventions are this year, I think. Hennings isn’t running. If there is a Lutheran candidate for DP in Texas, I haven’t heard yet! What about your district?

    Benke, now Hennings. Can’t promise the new DP’s will be confessional, but let us hope that there is at least some movement away from entrenched liberal stances. Randy gives insight to Mid-South. Paavola is new, but also up there is years. (same can be said about Nadasdy) How has this last triennium gone? Kruger is stepping down, but I don’t think SELC has been a major problem.

    I pay attention and track district and synodical conventions (and the Concordia’s a bit), paying attention to who gets into leadership. And these leaders do make differences. I know some bang on Harrison a bit, but WE in convention(s) have selected certain leaders, set up a COP, and foisted the DRP over adjudication. Some of this works against what Harrison is trying to do. Even if not all of us care for our current president, we should all work at cleaning up the mess that has been created.

  2. John Rixe :
    Giving up here. I don’t know how I could be any plainer. Have a good week.

    How rude.

    What a joke. You explained exactly nothing. It is fine to disagree and explain what you think is the problem, mistake, or whatever in another’s understanding. However, the comments you leave here are insults followed by some quotations. Now those quotes could be used to support some argument, but that part aka what you should explain in order to make some point is entirely missing. Then you snark that what you have dumped here is plain, which seems to imply that everyone here in the discussion is just too stupid to see the obvious.

    I just want you to know how you come off to the ordinary reader. I am not an LCMS insider or bureaucrat or theologically trained. So, I have to evaluate comments as written. Since you start off with insults and don’t explain what you mean with the quotes you leave, an ordinary reader just sees you as rude.

    The other commenters explain their points, so at least they appear to be engaging in an actual discussion. I don’t know whether they are right, but at least I understand what they are saying. Also, they are willing to answer questions on the topic. You on the other hand just quip that it is plain to see when the people are asking you for clarification. So you just refuse to explain or clarify. Rude, rude, rude.

  3. @Jason #2

    Watch. Woolsey will become the next Texas DP. In many districts you have to be a card carrying member of the “Self-Licking Ice Cream Cone” club to enter that office. I do believe we have Kieschnick and Hennings on video singing Woolsey’s praises.

  4. Randy :
    @Jason #2
    Watch. Woolsey will become the next Texas DP. In many districts you have to be a card carrying member of the “Self-Licking Ice Cream Cone” club to enter that office. I do believe we have Kieschnick and Hennings on video singing Woolsey’s praises.

    The tough think about a Woolsey DP is the kind of intolerance of liturgy he seems to have. I think that he is the kind that would only allow contemporary style church plants such that 100% of any mission/support outflows from the district would go exclusively to contemporary style churches. So, if a mission were to offer so much as one liturgical service per month that mission or student center, etc., would then lose all district support. Notice that Woolsey entirely eradicated liturgical services. He doesn’t just offer a contemporary service. Lots of churches have a contemporary service and then also a liturgical service. Not Crosspoint. There is no opportunity there to explore and grow spiritually through learning about the historic liturgy. Once the member joins, there is just enough teaching to tell that newbie to get out there and get converts. Any spiritual growth opportunities are geared towards mission not personal growth for the individual.

  5. @Randy #4
    Watch. Woolsey will become the next Texas DP.

    If that is prophecy, would you suggest WELS or ELS next?
    I’m so tired of ‘running’, but that would be too much to stay for.

    [Which (LCMS) tune plays in Peoria?]

  6. I know it is unpleasant to think about but we need to start thinking about these things. How can anyone stay in a synod that elects DP’s that allow and even endorse the post-modern “new measures” such as 5/2?

  7. helen :@Randy #4 If that is prophecy, would you suggest WELS or ELS next?I’m so tired of ‘running’, but that would be too much to stay for.
    [Which (LCMS) tune plays in Peoria?]

    Well, I never received the gift of apostle, prophet, or sacramental entrepreneur, but when standing on the tracks I can easily see and hear the train coming. I will step off before it hits me.

  8. @Pastor Tim Rossow #7

    Why should we leave? They’re the ones who don’t want to follow historic Lutheran teaching and practice. We can just point that fact out even louder. Let the powers that be know that this is out of line and that said 5/2 folks won’t engage in discussion with us over their false teaching, but they are heretical and need to go join up with false teachers like them.

    In Christ,
    Rev. Robert Mayes
    Beemer, NE

  9. @Mrs. Hume #5
    I think that he is the kind that would only allow contemporary style church plants such that 100% of any mission/support outflows from the district would go exclusively to contemporary style churches.

    We’ve already got that, in new plants, have had since Kieschnick (for sure, maybe since O’Shoney). District subsidy is holding Crosspoint up, years past time to cut them loose, I’m told.

    If some of the multiple service congregations cut out their traditional worship altogether, it might have repercussion in their budgets (and maybe district’s, too).

    A former Concordia (Austin) President’s wife told me, “You have to pay for things you will not use, so that [the contemporary crowd] can use things they will not pay for.”
    To myself, I said, “You think so?” … and left that congregation. [The new pastor announced that he would have open communion: “If you don’t like it, find the door.” That being the last straw, I did.]

  10. @Rev. Robert Mayes #9
    Hmmm. Lutherans have a history of leaving, aka Reformation we celebrate. We broke from Mother Rome, we tried to fix it, but it refused.

    Is this a bad thing? I myself am not advocating anything, but I do believe it will charge up ACELC and the like to become more “get it fixed or bye-bye.”

    If we get that bad, how can we stay in good conscience?

    Perhaps time for a Church Council of the days of the past? And yes, I think it needs to be made up of the theologians, bishops, pastors of the Church. OK, those days are history.

  11. @Martin R. Noland #12

    hmmm

    If the DP has more actual power than the Synod Pres., then the DP is a de facto head of his own synod. The ELCA calls its districts, synods, which they aren’t, and we call ours districts but the amount of authority given DP’s in 1992 seems to be enough to let them form their own synods.

  12. @Pastor David L. Prentice Jr. #11

    David:

    Much lesser known, but Lutherans also have a practice of insisting that false teachers leave. I can point to the town of Rostock at the beginning of the Reformation who drove out the false teachers of their day by the congregation members singing Luther hymns during the middle of the papists’ sermons.

    I can also point to Joachimsthaler in Austria after the Catholic Hapsburgs took over and exiled Lutheran pastors from the country. That Lutheran parish not only drove out several Catholic priests, but also converted one.

    It can be done, and has been historically too.

    In Christ,
    Rev. Robert Mayes
    Beemer, NE

  13. @Joe Strieter #50
    I will try to find some time to listen to a FiveTwo “sermon,” but do not expect me to listen to hours of that crap. 🙂 However, I am grateful for strong confessional men, laity as well as pastors, who wade through it to reveal it’s heterodox stench. Thank you and many others for that selfless act.

  14. @Rev. Robert Mayes #14
    I have to wonder with the LCMS political climate today, don’t you think a congregation who ran their pastor off in such a manner, be it justified or not, would be labeled an alligator congregation and never see another candidate? That may have worked in the sixteenth century, but I cannot see it working now. I wish!

  15. @LadyM #16

    Sadly, LadyM, there were some times in the 16th century when good men were run off by congregations, too, and those congregations still got new men.

    However, there are still things we can learn from false teachers being run off. Faithful laypeople heckling during sermons, for example. I’ve heard of a lot of things happen in LCMS churches, but so far I’ve never heard of faithful lay people stand up and start heckling the false prophet for preaching heresy so that it bothers him enough to leave. If I heard of Confessional lay people heckling a heretic so he left, that might be more in line with what happened in 16th century Germany.

    Also, faithful laypeople singing hymns with lyrics that were completely orthodox and against the heretical teaching that was being taught. Even if it meant during the sermon, when heresy was preached. That also happened in the 16th century. In Rostock.

    So there are some avenues of congregational dissent that just haven’t been done. Maybe it’s because our society is used to being polite. Don’t know. Things weren’t that way in the 1500’s, though.

    In Christ,
    Rev. Robert Mayes
    Beemer, NE

  16. LadyM :
    @Rev. Robert Mayes #14
    I have to wonder with the LCMS political climate today, don’t you think a congregation who ran their pastor off in such a manner, be it justified or not, would be labeled an alligator congregation and never see another candidate? That may have worked in the sixteenth century, but I cannot see it working now. I wish!

    What about CRM candidates? I mean, some of them might be willing to listen to the whole story and talk to some members of the congregation to see if he might want to give it a go.

  17. @Randy #20
    Here’s an LCMS link from last year indicating Woolsey gave his consent to serve as First VP of the Synod or VP of the WEST-SOUTHWEST REGION if elected.

    Kyrie eleison!

  18. helen :
    @Randy #20
    Here’s an LCMS link from last year indicating Woolsey gave his consent to serve as First VP of the Synod or VP of the WEST-SOUTHWEST REGION if elected.
    Kyrie eleison!

    I’m thinking something more along the lines of “AAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!”

  19. @Rev. Robert Mayes #17
    I heard this happened from people who were there: A really bad fill-in pastor was giving announcements and having stand-up time at the front after the service. He asked, “Did I forget anything?” One man answered, “The gospel.”

    The man was later made to apologize for being “rude.” The so-called pastor is still on the entertainment circuit.

  20. @Rev. Robert Mayes #1 pg 2

    Respectfully, don’t you think that 85% (of laymen at least) would regard “confessional” views of such things as women lectors, women voters, grape juice option, etc, as fringey? Thanks.

  21. @John Rixe #24

    If they do, it is because they are very poorly catechized, or at the bare minimum ignorant of history. Either way, too many pastors have abandoned their call in “apt to teach”, and/or Ephesians 4.

  22. @John Rixe #24

    “It is possible to unify 85% of the synod in doctrine, practice, and mission, I’m convinced.  No one group in the Synod has moral hegemony or superiority.”  

    Doesn’t the 85% include laymen?

  23. @John Rixe #26

    Sure, but there are a lot of converts. Adults who came in when they moved because we were the closest church to their home (shows their catechesis and commitment to their old denomination). Some married in. Some grew up in the LCMS but didn’t attend much or had absolutely substandard Sunday school and confirmation instruction. You can use the adage of ‘how will they hear if no one tells them?” Well, too many pastors (because even one can be too many) have been light and shallow on the teaching aspect of Lutheranism. Especially in the one day adult new member classes.

    Back in the 70’s we had an informed laity acting like Bereans, telling the St. Louis faculty they were drifting out of bounds. Today, I propose Pres. Harrison has been going slow because there is such mass ignorance, wrongly embedded ideas and many false teachers that he is trying to elevate the synod’s understanding of the Word. You know, the parable of letting the weeds grow with the wheat until harvest. The problem is invasive enough that harshly rooting it out will likely cause a lot of good wheat (I’m thinking of the weaker Christians) to be torn up as well.

  24. Dear Jason,

    Excellent response in comment #27! Your response is truly in accord with the doctrine of the Church as found in the Book of Concord!

    Dear BJS Bloggers,

    Pastors know that trying to root out “one bad apple” in the bunch often does more damage than leaving it sit and rot. They learn this by experience themselves, and by watching fellow pastors err in this matter.

    Jesus’ parable of the “wheat and tares” is perfectly applicable here as we discuss the Five-Two group and similar errors. Luther preached and criticized the errors of his day, but did not “force” the matter, but rather let the Word take its course, while he, Melanchthon, and Amsdorf “drank Wittenberg beer.”

    That doesn’t mean that everything happened magically in the Reformation. It means Luther informed the appointed authorities (Elector, parish pastor, university president, city council) what the errors were, and then let the appointed authorities decide what to do, and when to do it. In our LCMS, because we have a democratic system, that appointed authority is the assembled delegates of our district and synodical conventions.

    This situation that we have been investigating and reporting should not be shocking to those who know Lutheran theology, as found in our Book of Concord.

    For example, in the Apology, Article VI/VIII, the outward appearance of the church is described with reference to Matthew 3:12, Matthew 13:38, Matthew 13:47, Matthew 25:1, etc. (see sections 1-19 here http://www.bocl.org?AP+VII+1). This includes the parable of the wheat and the tares that Jason references.

    See especially Apology VII/VIII, section 17 “since the wicked belong to the kingdom of the devil, they are not the church. In this life, nevertheless, because the kingdom of Christ has not yet been revealed, they are mingled with the church and hold office in the church” (my emphasis; Tappert, 171). And then section 19, “Christ teaches us that the church is hidden under a crowd of wicked men so that this stumbling block may not offend the faithful and so that we may know that the Word and Sacraments are efficacious even when wicked men administer them.” (Tappert, 171).

    So we need to be thinking about appropriate responses in overtures to the district and synodical conventions. Overture deadline for Indiana District convention is February 10, 2015. Similar deadlines for other districts should be posted at your district website. If you have only one Fall voter’s meeting, you need to get working on those overtures now, because they can only come from a congregation, circuit forum, or other qualified group.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  25. @Martin R. Noland #29
    OK, this one is directly to you, especially as you say we should prepare for the conventions, etc.; with resolutions and overtures.

    OK, for the most part, in my 57 (OK, let’s say about 40) years of active LCMS life, conventions are becoming less and less a place to discuss real issues. My son actually attended one and got a kick out of both sides, confessional and liberal. No real discussion, everyone just wanted to “call the question”. Oh, there would be moaning about the win or loss; then let’s have a beer later (OK, not a bad idea).

    We need some real discussion and sometimes it takes far longer than a few days. And I think it must be ordained pastors and theologians only. We can certainly discuss with our laity, but the called and ordained servants who will report to God on how we manage our earthly flock, we are at most risk of a Church straying from the Word of God.

    And you all know the Scriptures that speak of this.

    And yes, perhaps more of us need to speak up directly and suffer the pains that may come of calling out someone that is trampling the Scriptures and our Confession.

    Yes, perhaps a direct note to Pastor Woolsey asking to explain what I saw concerning Holy Communion is in order.

  26. @Pastor David L. Prentice Jr. #30
    And I think it must be ordained pastors and theologians only. We can certainly discuss with our laity, but the called and ordained servants who will report to God on how we manage our earthly flock, we are at most risk of a Church straying from the Word of God.

    Even some “confessionals” I could name don’t seem to be too worried about that accounting! [I’ve suggest to one or two that they might think of it.]

    And with all due respect, I believe some of the lay men contributing here are more knowledgeable and more concerned about Lutheran doctrine and practice than many of our “pastors” who are in “good standing” only because there is no discipline left in Missouri.

  27. @Joe Strieter #22
    I’m thinking something more along the lines of “AAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!”

    Well, that, too, Joe!

    [Do you suppose that qualifies as an “imprecatory prayer”?

  28. Pastor David L. Prentice
    We need some real discussion and sometimes it takes far longer than a few days. And I think it must be ordained pastors and theologians only. We can certainly discuss with our laity, but the called and ordained servants who will report to God on how we manage our earthly flock, we are at most risk of a Church straying from the Word of God.<

    I thought this is what the Koinonia Project was supposed to be about – Pastors coming together to study the scriptures, have discussions and figure out how to “walk together”. Since this was Rev. Harrison’s plan and he was voted in as SP partly because of this, we should be hearing more from him if anything is happening with this.

  29. Dear BJS Bloggers,

    With response to recent comments by Helen and Pastor Prentice (#30 and 31):

    I believe that our synod forefathers showed great wisdom in having synodical conventions equally represented by clergy and laity. This was something of an innovation in the 19th century for Lutherans, since the original church-organizations in the USA were run exclusively by clergy. These were the Pennsylvania and New York Ministeria–the last terms indicates that only ministers were members of the church and only they voted at conventions.

    I don’t remember which synod was the first to allow lay suffrage at conventions, but I am pretty sure that the Ohio Synod did. If you look at LCMS history from the perspective of the experience of Friedrich Wyneken, Wilhelm Sihler, and the Loehe men, the LCMS was really a “spin-off” of the Ohio Synod, so having lay suffrage was a natural for them.

    I agree with Helen that some laymen and some laywomen in the LCMS “are more knowledgeable and more concerned about Lutheran doctrine and practice than many of our pastors”.

    It has been my greatest privilege in life to meet these lay folks at synod and district conventions. I would have never met them otherwise. They are not just sharp with a book-keeper’s pencil, or good for a “check to charity.” They are perceptive, theologically astute, and not afraid to “call a spade a spade.” And many of them write or comment here at BJS, and for the Lutheran Clarion (www.lutheranclarion.org).

    I have noticed that in conventions, the delegates will listen with some patience as the umpteenth pastor gets up to deliver a “sermon on the text of the day,” i.e., the overture being considered. But when a layman or laywoman speaks at the microphone, everyone sits up and pays attention. Why is that? Maybe because everyone knows that pastors often try to impress others with their speeches; and sometimes some things are simply a “clergy fight.” But when one layman speaks at the mike, he represents one thousand just like him, or her.

    Listen to your laymen and laywomen, pastors! God distributes his gifts–you don’t possess all the gifts the Lord gave to his church.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  30. @Lifelong Lutheran #33
    This project, and I say it lovingly, provided a document on marriage I do believe in my District. It was good, but it took a year, and what I read, a few afternoons over coffee was all it really required.

    So was the rest of the time just a bunch of bickering???

    But time will be granted to it, I pray it works.

  31. helen :
    @Joe Strieter #22
    I’m thinking something more along the lines of “AAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!”
    Well, that, too, Joe!
    [Do you suppose that qualifies as an “imprecatory prayer”?

    … or perhaps rather a “groaning too deep for words” (Romans 8:26)?

  32. @Martin R. Noland #34
    I understand where you all come from, but I think at some point, certain issues should only be voted on by pastoral delegates. And yes, I do agree many lay people know more in certain areas, and a good pastor does listen with good discernment.

    A Pastor may not have all the gifts, perhaps very few; but by the grace of God and through the Holy Spirit, we have been granted access and given the responsibilities that are within the Office of the Holy Ministry and that does set us apart.

    We are lower in some aspects as slaves to His Church; yet when we stand in for Christ, well, you know.

  33. @R.D. #23

    R.D. – Wow! Bold words! But if the man was right, he shouldn’t have to apologize for it. The preacher should have to apologize for it.

    In Christ,
    Rev. Robert Mayes
    Beemer, NE

  34. Martin,

    I totally disagree with you. Instead, once you develop a culture of getting rid of rotten apples it becomes much easier.

    I have had to get rid of some rotten apples. If you stand firm, be transparent, and teach your elders how important it is, it is then not so hard and IN THE LONG RUN SAVES YOU TONS AND TONS OF PROBLEMS AND PRESERVES THE GOSPEL.

    Of course the goal is not to get rid of the rotten apple but to win the brother and so Matthew 18 is applied but applied firmly.

    Jesus promises in that passage that where two or three agree in his name against an unrepentant sinner (rotten apple) he is there with them to ratify their actions. Yes, that is where that passage comes from. Look it up.

    Walther says “For the sake you your salvation flee all false teachers and heterodox congregations.” This is true first and foremost for the church.

    It is not fun the first time around but it pays huge dividends and is the right thing to do to root out the rotten apples.

  35. @John Rixe #24

    Hi John. Thanks for your question.

    I like “Jason”‘s comments in post #27 a lot. It is very biblical and appropriate in this case as well. The wheat and the tares parable fits quite well.

    The problem with polls in the church is that the church is not a democracy, but a Word-ocracy. We don’t want to be based on what man says, or even on what a majority says. As Christians, we want to be united in God’s Holy Word. We see from reading 1 Cor. how devastating the factions were in that congregation, and we also see that Paul’s answer was not to take a vote, or take a poll, but to teach God’s Word. Only God’s Word can unite us. 1 Cor. 1:10 is a powerful reminder.

    I would humbly suggest that each of the points you raised (“women lectors, women voters, grape juice”) as well as each of the other points included in the “etc.” that you listed would need to be talked about and taught, first by laying out what our Lord says in His holy Word, and then what the Confession of our Lutheran church is, and then after that, the private writings of our Lutheran church theologians from history (like Martin Luther). But only in that order. 1, Scripture. 2, Confessions. 3, private writings of historical theologians.

    In Christ,
    Rev. Robert Mayes
    Beemer, NE

  36. This is not a matter for conventions. Conventions mean nothing when it comes to doctrinal supervision. You can have all the rules on the books you want but if no one is held accountable they are worthless.

    This is a matter for those we have elected to be supervisors. I have been elected to supervise my parish and I do. It means doing hard, uncomfortable things sometimes.

    DP’s and SP’s get elected to supervise districts and synod.

    If our church body is constantly electing DP’s and SP’s who will not supervise then we are not a confessional denomination.

  37. @Joe Strieter #19
    Okay, Joe, I listened to a “Love Does…” sermon by Woolsey- one of a series on stewardship, or guilt, or social gospel, or “a theology of abundance vs. a theology of scarcity.” On second thought, omit the stewardship. Mainly it was, “Don’t be cautious with your giving to us.” Three Bible verses used to support his point, ending with Stephens “ministers” coming forward to pray over their prayer teams and a reminder that if you have friends who have not been baptized, bring them ___Sunday, because the pool will be heated. Apparently little to no instruction prior to adult baptism.

    Watching this guy make a mockery of the liturgy, of vestments, of the Sacrament was almost more than I could bear. I found nothing preached about the work of Jesus. If truly Confessional men watch this, they MUST protect and defend the true doctrine and the true practice of the Church. If our leaders do not, then as far as I am concerned, they are not worthy of leadership roles. Lord have mercy!

  38. @LadyM #43

    “If truly Confessional men watch this, they MUST protect and defend the true doctrine and the true practice of the Church. If our leaders do not, then as far as I am concerned, they are not worthy of leadership roles. Lord have mercy!”

    Absolutely Correct! What is stopping our leaders from speaking out against the likes of FiveTwo? Bi-laws, conventions and politics aside…..where is the voice of our Synod leadership and why do they look the other way as false teachers lead the sheep astray?

    To any confessional leaders out there, please LEAD. Please WARN the sheep of these false leaders. DON’T remain silent. Where are you?

  39. @LadyM #43

    Thanks for taking the time to view the sermon, LadyM. You have to see this stuff to accurately evaluate what is going on. I can’t bring myself to watch any more, but it appears that your experience is like mine, and your evaluation is valid. It seems to me that pastors who won’t proclaim Christ crucified have no faith in God’s Word, especially the Gospel. And when that is the attitude, the preaching becomes all about works. My guess is that in the sermon you heard, he probably mentioned, as information, that Jesus died for us (“We all know that”). Then it’s “Get to work.”

    As far as the vestments and liturgy are concerned, I share your dismay, however, I tried not to let that get in my way. I’m not sure what you mean by “mockery of the sacrament,” however. I did not see any such thing in the stuff I watched.

    Ya done good!

  40. @Joe Strieter #45
    By mockery of the Sacrament, I meant the part about the pool being heated. No instruction, no reverence, no font really. No pointing to Christ’s baptismal drowning of the old Adam into new life in Christ. No Gospel.

    One thing that did occur to me as I have been lamenting and praying about the heterodoxy running rampant in the LCMS is this: if not for the Kieschnick years, if not for heterodox practices, etc., I do not know if I would have delved so deeply into Scripture, the BOC, and other historical writings of the Church. And I especially do not know if I would have had the courage to change churches within our little circuit. I believe even we Confessionals need to repent of our complacency of the past. However, God still builds His Church and “there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.” (1 Cor. 11). I hope that we all keep this in mind whenever we are discouraged from the wolves’ advancements.

  41. @LadyM #46

    Got it. Thanks for the clarification. I guess heating the pool is a dimension of sacramental enterprenuership. As I did not listen to the same sermon you did, I’m wondering if you heard the same careless use of questionable (at best) and offensive (more like it) language that I did. At the risk of offending you and other contributors, in the two sermons I viewed, I heard these phrases: “Give his father the finger,” “Rip him a new one,” and “pound sand.” I had to go back and listen twice to make sure I heard what I heard.

    When Pr. Woolsey says, he wants to acculturize worship, I wonder if this is what he means. After all, four letter words are part and parcel of our culture. Relevant, you know?

  42. @Martin R. Noland #29
    This is a most important question about the wheat and the tares! (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43) Is it a Christian duty to fight against false teachers within a heterodox church body year after year, decade after decade or not? Shall we let both grow until harvest day or not? Of course we shall, Jesus says “Let both grow together until the harvest”. But where shall we let them grow? Jesus explains that. He says “The field is the world”. He does not say “The field is the church”!

    As Luther discovered the gospel, justification by faith alone, he soon realized that the Pope was lying about the Church. The Pope said that the Church is an organization, the Holy, Roman Church with the pope as its head. Luther found that the Church consists of the Disciples of Christ, of those who in their hearts believe in Christ and therefore are justified, united with him. It is because of this invisible Church Scripture calls the outward assembly church. This is why AC VII/VIII is there.
    The pope said that the outward Roman Church is holy. No, said the reformers, as the parables in Mt 13 say, the Church consists of both bad and good fish. The Roman priests are not holy because they serve in a certain church. They are holy only if they believe in Christ. If they don’t, they are bad fish, even if they are in the office! Here is the connection to the Donatists, who thought that men sinned when they received the Sacraments from the unworthy in the Church. The Donatists tried to have a pure church in the sense that they tried to root out the hypocrites, those who don’t believe in their hearts. No, says Melanchton, both the sacraments and the Word are effectual by reason of the institution and commandment of Christ even if they are administered by evil men.

    Does this mean that we should tolerate evil men, false teachers, in the church? Shall we let them grow there, fighting them within the church until harvest time? NO, this is not the meaning of Scripture, not the meaning of Melanchton, not the meaning of the BOC. Melanchton answered that question in the same article in the Apology: Impious teachers are to be deserted [are not to be received or heard], because these do not act any longer in the place of Christ, but are antichrists. And Christ says Matt. 7:15: Beware of false prophets. And Paul, Gal. 1:9: If any man preach any other gospel unto you, let him be accursed. The words in brackets are from the online text. http://bocl.org?AP+VII+47

    Two more quotes from the BOC:

    [A]ll doctrines are to be conformed, and what is, contrary thereto is to be rejected and condemned, as opposed to the unanimous [emphasis mine] declaration of our faith. Epitome, Preface 6 (Found no link)

    [T]he subjects of controversy are important and great, and of such a nature that the opinion of the party in error cannot be tolerated in the Church of God, much less be excused or defended. Necessity, therefore, requires us to explain these controverted articles according to God’s Word and approved writings, so that every one who has Christian understanding can notice which opinion concerning the matters in controversy accords with God’s Word and the Christian Augsburg Confession, and which does not. And sincere Christians who have the truth at heart may guard and protect themselves against [flee and avoid] the errors and corruptions that have arisen. The words in brackets are from the online text. http://bocl.org?SD+PRE+9

    Two more quotes from the Bible:

    I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment. 1 Cor. 1:10

    Purge the evil person from among you 1 Cor. 5:13

    And one quote from Francis Pieper:

    You may say: ‘I want to remain in the heterodox church in order to accomplish good in it, namely to prevent it from losing the truth altogether.’ If you happen to be in a heterodox church, then first of all, bear witness to the truth clearly and definitely. If they listen to you, good. Under certain circumstances, you can wait a little, to see whether the truth is accepted. But as soon as it is clear that they will not accept the truth, you must separate yourself from that group which holds to the error. If you, nevertheless, remain in it, then you are no longer reinforcing the truth, but rather, the error…It is an absolute contradiction to be both a witness-bearer for the truth, and an associate of false teachers.
    Francis Pieper, The Difference Between Orthodox And Heterodox Churches

  43. @helen #6
    Regardless of who’s the next DP in Texas, I would recommend you not to leave now, but to first write to the ACELC and ask them if they agree with dr Pieper in the quote at the end of my comment #49, because if they do they will have to leave if the LCMS doesn’t repent.

    But if the LCMS doesn’t repent and the ACELC declares by word or deed that they won’t leave the LCMS, then I wouldn’t join the WELS. There are better options for BJS-minded Christians, I think.

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