Why is Pastor Rossow such a Mean-poopie?

March 1st, 2014 Post by

BJS_TimRossowThis post is meant to be fun, but it also makes a serious point.

In the course of writing for and serving as Associate Editor here at BJS I have found that lots of folks take issue with our Editor, Pastor Timothy Rossow for a number of things.  Some folks think he is just downright mean.  Others have ascribed to him the work of the devil.  Over the years at BJS he has even received death threats.

Well, after four years of knowing and working with him I am not sure that is an accurate picture of the cat-loving ecclesiastical critic. But in order to try and understand this mean-poopie phenomenon, I and the regular crew of BJS Authors have come up with a list of reasons why he may be perceived as mean. Here they are in no particular order: (Some of these have been submitted by Pr. Rossow himself.)

Pastor Rossow is a Mean-poopie because:

  • Happy Bob his cat, took all of the happy
  • He has gall stones, like Luther
  • He is an Iowa fan
  • He perceives a need to counter-balance the charm of President Harrison
  • He uses the historic liturgy
  • He loves doctrine over and above loving people
  • He prefers margaritas over beer
  • He is not as hip as his associate pastor
  • Unlike his hip associate pastor he wears briefs, not boxer shorts and wears them too tight
  • Tullian Tchividjian will not return his calls (and also wears boxer shorts)
  • Matt Richard also will not return his calls
  • He failed winsomeness classes at the St. Louis seminary
  • He can’t get an intern from Concordia University Chicago
  • He has only one kind of righteousness
  • He watched too many episodes of Dallas and actually likes J.R.
  • He took a Life Skills seminar from Bobby Knight
  • He was cured of passive-aggressive personality disorder and now is just aggressive
  • Iowans never learned Minnesota nice
  • John 8:44 was his confirmation verse
  • Psalm 137:1-9 was chanted at his ordination, by the congregation
  • He thought bacon could fix everything, so he tried it with lutefisk
  • He watched the new “Son of God” movie
  • He is actually under the tyrannical control of Happy Bob, who looks cute in the picture, but is actually a harsh taskmaster
  • He was dropped on his head as a child
  • He wears a tab collar
  • He is a Fort Wayne wanna-be and is overcompensating with mean-poopieness

Seriously, Pr. Rossow takes the confession of the truth as a matter of utmost importance.  This seriousness comes out in a lot of ways, some of which are labelled as mean.  As a sinner he sins and can even be mean at times.  He has in his own past dabbled in methods and theologies which he now speaks against with zeal.  This is because he has seen what these false teachings and practices do to people.  Souls are harmed when error is promoted or even tolerated.  People get confused when the practices don’t line up with the beliefs.  Confusion brings doubt, the very enemy of faith.  And in the end, all of this is about the Gospel – that people would hear about and have preached to them the real, true Jesus whom we Lutherans worship.

For those of you who know Pastor Rossow and even those who don’t, feel free to add your own reasons in the comments below.


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  1. Pastor McCall
    March 3rd, 2014 at 09:36 | #1

    It is hard to take this post seriously in light of its timing. Pr. Rossow just recently said some very unkind things about Jordan Cooper. He was called on it and suddenly this post appears defending him. Poor timing at best.

    @John Rixe #22
    Wonderful list John. In my not so humble opinion I’ve found that in the NT there are exactly two types of people: Christians and non-Christians. So unless someone is a non-Christian we ought to be treating them as a brother or sister in Christ. (and when we don’t we ought to apologize for our behavior)

  2. Diane
    March 3rd, 2014 at 10:17 | #2

    @Rev. Clint K. Poppe #45
    Pastor Poppe,
    I love this quote from Pastor Sasse. I’m going to copy it and carry it in my Lutheran Study Bible.

    Thanks,
    Diane

  3. Pastor Roepke
    March 3rd, 2014 at 16:13 | #3

    Well is it confirmed? That Pastor Rossow is a mean-poopie because he is the head of the true SPECTERE from the James Bond Movies. He has a cat you know and the villein in charge of SPECTERE has a cat! A coincidence? I doubt it.

    As I wrote in another blog I quote again:

    “Every time I see Pastor Rossow with the cat I think of “SPECTERE” from James Bond. It stands for “Special Executive for counter-intelligence, terrorism, revenge, extortion.” A organization that does not tolerate failure.

    So you pet the cat and threaten world with stolen H-Bomb. Pet the cat and send a failed henchman/henchwoman to death by poison etc.. Pet the cat and …….

    So in good Lutheran fashion we ask, “What does this mean when Pastor Rossow shows himself with the cat?”

    Is he the head of SPECTER of James Bond style? Or is he the head of the following SPECTER, “Special Executive for Confessional, Teaching, Rebuking, Encouragement.

    Inquiring minds want to know.”

    So Pastor Scheer, what SPECTER does He belong to?

    Or are you just one of his henchmen planning something devious?

    Oops I got to go! A black helicopter is out side my window.

  4. March 3rd, 2014 at 16:23 | #4

    @Pastor Roepke #3

    What you write is just silliness. Happy Bob is an alien from another planet and controls Pr. Rossow telepathically. Happy Bob is THE cult leader. I’ve said too much… better go!

  5. March 3rd, 2014 at 17:16 | #5

    Pastor McCall :
    Pr. Rossow just recently said some very unkind things about Jordan Cooper.

    Do you consider this mean?

    Pastor Tim Rossow :
    Jordan is young and needs to spend a lot of time hanging out with senior theologians, something he did not do via his correspondence school theological training.

  6. jb
    March 3rd, 2014 at 23:12 | #6

    While I am a “dawg” guy . . .

    I have tolerated “feline” fellows such as Fr. Rossow – I even let one such creature Sammy the Cat (Samwise) sleep with the dawgs on their bed in the cold weather . . .

    He acts like a dawg around me – veddy schmaht cat!

    Every one of us needs to spend time hanging out with “senior theologians.” That’s not a chronological issue, BTW.

    Hint? That senior theologian ain’t the one who looks back at us when we shave in the AM.

    A blessed Lenten season to all (I Timothy 1:15). Pax

  7. Pastor McCall
    March 4th, 2014 at 08:13 | #7

    @Ted Crandall #5
    Instead of selectively choosing just one comment why not quote all of what Pr. Rossow said?

  8. Irene Mallin
    March 4th, 2014 at 12:47 | #8

    @Letetia #17
    You took the words right out of my mouth!

  9. Irene Mallin
    March 4th, 2014 at 12:54 | #9

    @Mark HUNTEMANN #26
    The mark of the Christian!

  10. Irene Mallin
    March 4th, 2014 at 13:15 | #10

    “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Amen!

  11. John Rixe
    March 4th, 2014 at 13:56 | #11

    @Irene Mallin #8

    It isn’t possible to stand firm on sound doctrine and avoid being called a poopie-head, mean-poopie, unloving, uncaring, arrogant, proud, hateful and worse.

    …but it is possible to firmly and convincingly speak the truth with kindness and clarity avoiding personal insults.  Positive examples:  Pr Noland, Pr Poppe

  12. Martin R. Noland
    March 4th, 2014 at 17:48 | #12

    Dear BJS Bloggers,

    Mr. Rixe (second page, comment #11) is too kind to me. I am afraid that I come out looking like a Melanchthon in comparison to Pr. Rossow’s Luther.

    Luther once responded to his critics, who complained about his rough and even vile language about the pope, the Vatican, the bishops, etc. He responded something to the effect that nobody would listen to him if he was nice and kind. Or in other words, Luther said that sometimes a rebuke, as applied to false doctrine and erroneous practice, requires the “not-so-nice” approach.

    Of course, you can’t find this in the Pietist versions of Luther’s Works, since “not nice” is the unforgiveable sin for Spener, Francke, etc.

    The more significant issue is whether someone has standing to speak words of rebuke in such a way, to whom, and if there are more effective means of doing so. But we should never forget the charge to pastors to correct and rebuke (2 Timothy 4:2).

    I can find that Luther quote if you are interested. I am not exaggerating either.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  13. John Rixe
    March 4th, 2014 at 18:20 | #13

    @Martin R. Noland #12

    Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. (2 Timothy 4:2)

    Thanks, I agree with your reference and would add:

    And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. (2 Timothy 2:24)

  14. Randy
    March 4th, 2014 at 18:27 | #14

    The non-confessional crowd lives, breathes, and thrives off of the fact that the majority of confessional’s have an uncanny ability to bury their head in the sand with a yellow streak of tolerance.

    When someone stands up against the non-confessionals they generally respond with shock, disgust, and awe. Get over it. If you’re into the CGM and Contemporary worship please elaborate on how you are confessing your ordination vows (if you’re a pastor), or continuing to make a public confession as outlined during confirmation (if you’re laity or a pastor), and attempting to profess true scripture and the confessions instead of crying like a little kid with a boo-boo. The truth can be a real pain in the tail-pipe can’t it?

  15. GJG
    March 4th, 2014 at 18:38 | #15

    oops

  16. March 5th, 2014 at 05:34 | #16

    @John Rixe #13

    As much as it lies with you…

  17. Pastor McCall
    March 5th, 2014 at 09:27 | #17

    On the one hand I see John quoting Scripture and on the other I see Pr. Noland and others selectively quoting Scripture and then saying, “Well because Luther did it I can do it too.” Interesting.
    Let’s step back and look at it in context. The event immediately preceeding this article was Pr. Rossow responding to someone mentioning an alphabet Lutheran group. He responded with something to the effect of, “Holy crap, that group with Jordan Cooper? Run as fast as you can the other direction.” and then proceeded to further malign Jordan Cooper in following comments. When pressed for a reason for this attack he stated, “Jordan Cooper says we don’t emphasize good works enough.? Huh!? That is the justification for what was said about Cooper?! If I am going to go on a public blog and blast somebody like that I better have a much better reason. And if I’m not willing to publicly state that reason then I better keep my mouth shut. Talk about putting a poor construction on Pr. Cooper’s words! John is right. Everybody loves to correct and rebuke, but few people actually take the time to do it with patience and teaching.

  18. Quasicelsus
    March 5th, 2014 at 12:23 | #18

    QUOTE OF THE WEEK

    Pastor McCall :
    On the one hand I see John quoting Scripture and on the other I see Pr. Noland and others selectively quoting Scripture and then saying, “Well because Luther did it I can do it too.” Interesting.
    Let’s step back and look at it in context. The event immediately preceeding this article was Pr. Rossow responding to someone mentioning an alphabet Lutheran group. He responded with something to the effect of, “Holy crap, that group with Jordan Cooper? Run as fast as you can the other direction.” and then proceeded to further malign Jordan Cooper in following comments. When pressed for a reason for this attack he stated, “Jordan Cooper says we don’t emphasize good works enough.? Huh!? That is the justification for what was said about Cooper?! If I am going to go on a public blog and blast somebody like that I better have a much better reason. And if I’m not willing to publicly state that reason then I better keep my mouth shut. Talk about putting a poor construction on Pr. Cooper’s words! John is right. Everybody loves to correct and rebuke, but few people actually take the time to do it with patience and teaching.

    Nobody is arguing for tolerating heresy.
    Nobody is arguing that we should be smiling at error as it creep into the church.

    It’s not a matter of bear teeth or tolerate.
    There’s a third option – reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

    A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1)

  19. Martin R. Noland
    March 5th, 2014 at 12:57 | #19

    Dear BJS Bloggers,

    Regarding the quotes I mentioned above, one source that has many of them in one place is What Luther Says (CPH, 1959), pp. 1053-1061. See under the topic of “Polemics.” These would be citations #3351 to 3378. I believe that this book is still available from CPH at http://www.cph.org; many church libraries have a copy, too.

    Here are just a few samples from that topic:

    e.g., #3351 “The wolf can readily tolerate a good pasture for the sheep; he likes them the better for their fatness. But what he cannot endure is the hostile bark of the dogs” (from S.L. edition of Luther, vol. 9, 1100f.)

    e.g., #3355 “When the sin is evident and becomes too widespread or does public damage, as the pope’s teaching has, then there is no longer time to be quiet but only to defend and attack, especially for me and others in public office whose task it is to teach and warn everyone” (from S.L. edition of Luther, vol. 7, 394).

    e.g., #3352. “In his Epistle to Titus, St. Paul orders (1:9) a bishop to be able not only to exhort by sound doctrine but also to refute those who contradict.” (from S.L. edition of Luther, vol., 4, 1107).

    e.g., #3367. “I wonder whence this new scrupulousness is born which calls all that is said against an opponent abuse. What do you think of Christ? Was He abusive when he called the Jews an adulterous and perverse generation, an offspring of vipers, hypocrites, and children of the devil? Paul, too, speaks of dogs, vain babblers, seducers, unlearned. . . . Why does he here not rather modestly flatter this fellow in order to convert him instead of thundering in such a way? The truth, which one is conscious of possessing, cannot be patient against its obstinate and intractable enemies.” (from S.L. edition of Luther, vol. 19, 485 ff.)

    One more quote, in which Luther urges that the pastor must deal with different people in different ways:

    e.g., #3360. “You may be harsh in dealing with the liars, the hardened tyrants, and be bold to do things contrary to their teachings and their works; for they are not willing to listen to you. But the simple people, whom they have bound with the ropes of their teachings and whose lives they have endangered, you must treat altogether differently . . . .With the wolves you cannot be too severe; with the weak sheep you cannot be too gentle” (from S.L. edition of Luther, vol. 10, 372).

    This last quote gives the same counsel that Walther does in his Law and Gospel. Impenitent sinners are to be given the Law. Penitent sinners are to be given the Gospel. This is part of the pastor’s call and office.

    I am not passing judgment on anything or anyone in particular–I don’t even know who these pastors or groups are, i.e., the ones who are the object of discussion in the many comments above. I am just noting–for the umpteenth time at this site–that rebuke is called for in many cases. I am also noting that the neglect of this duty may be a sin for pastors, bishops, or theologians of the church, when they recognize error and don’t do anything about it because of laziness, love of vainglory, or fear that it might hurt their career.

    As I have also said previously, talking to a brother privately first, if he has not previously been confronted with the specific error you are concerned about, is the best modus operandi, as Scripture also states and our Confessions reaffirm.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  20. robert
    March 5th, 2014 at 14:11 | #20

    @Nicholas #8

    Thanks for the link I was not a ware this fellow WELS Synod member Congress man kind.
    was supporting homosexual’s Marring . I only knew he supported and defended the Murder
    of unborn babies publicly .I sent him a email since he lives more than a thousand miles from me and got a hold of his pastor to ,several years ago now..
    What else can a synod peon do? Fighting such a big shot whom I sure is able to give tons of money to the synod.. And WELS CHURCH’s and synod important programs ALWAYS being SHORT on money.. Im sure they way the good and bad AND DECIDE THEY CAN DO MORE GOOD WITH THE MONEY. Hoping even praying the bad will just go away ..

    Luther once said if a fellow wanted to change the world to take up his pen and write.

    So far its not working to well. more than likely do to the peon doing the writing..

  21. robert
    March 5th, 2014 at 15:15 | #21

    the rules for engagement must have been written by a pastor..as the only thing he for got to do, is leave a dictionary with them; so us common folks can figure out what he said..

  22. March 5th, 2014 at 17:48 | #22

    It has been both fun and educational to read this post.

    For now, I have three comments.

    Those who have criticized do not know me. It is probably meaningless to them but people who know me know that I am a gentle and kind person. I have a particularly large heart from Jesus for the poor in spirit. I am not so tolerant of the proud and arrogant.

    Secondly, when I am being accused (falsely I believe) of being mean, it is usually, if not always concerning comments I have made about Lutheran pastors. I am much more tolerant of the laity. Lutheran pastors should know better. I have critiqued laymen but usually only after I have seen a disturbing pattern for a long period of conversations or posts.

    Finally, I do not believe I am guilty of ad hominem. My critiques and attacks are about theology and not about the person.

    Thanks for all the fun and instruction.

  23. March 6th, 2014 at 11:04 | #23

    QUOTE FOR THE DAY

    “With the wolves you cannot be too severe; with the weak sheep you cannot be too gentle.”

  24. robert
    March 6th, 2014 at 19:57 | #24

    @Pastor Tim Rossow #22

    I never meet you and no nothing about you and I am positively sure your a kind and gentle person just as you say ..

    but I have a question ? why are you choking that little black and white kitty.. .that is your hand around its throat isn’t it?

    sorry I just reread your post and now I understand why your choking the kitty in the picture .. it
    must have been a “proud and arrogant kitty”—

    well its getting what it deserves then–huh — that naughty kitty

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