The Holly Spirit, by Mollie

So now that Kari Jobe (who I’m sure is very nice and dedicated but not, you know, Lutheran) is no longer the “lead worshiper” at “Glorybound 2008” — the Texas Lutheran Youth Gathering, who’s “leading” the worship?

Kari’s now just the “song leader” (she’s still not Lutheran, apparently). The new “worship pastor” is one Pete Luedemann.

A tipster (one of my favorite Synodical employees) wonders whether this is the same Pete Luedemann who pastors Beautiful Savior in Portland, Oregon. I think the pictures would indicate we have a match.

Surfing around the congregation’s Web site, they have — oddly — a “spiritual gifts” survey (It’s been removed; you can view it here: archive) straight from the early 1980s. Here is a sample of the gifts listed on the survey:

I have spoken in tongues.

I speak in tongues as a personal spiritual exercise.

I feel welcome and a part of a group where Christians speak in tongues.

The Holly Spirit uses me effectively to lead others to respond to God’s gift of salvation through faith in Christ.

I know it’s a typo, but it cracked me up — the Holly Spirit. Here’s another typo (presumably):

I feel great compassion for the problems of others.

Compassion for the problems of others? Or the people with the problems?

Anyway — it’s interesting that the Texas “Lutheran” Youth gathering doesn’t seem to have much of a Lutheran emphasis. But it’s got the freshest spiritual inventories from the early 1980s.


The Holly Spirit, by Mollie — 37 Comments

  1. It is important that we not lose site of this issue even though the convocation has taken center stage. Thank you Mollie for doing your usual fine investigative work to uncover more on the story.

    Is there anyone out there in internet land who is planning on going to the Texas Youth Gathering in November and can give us a report? The very fact that we would have people there may move the leaders of this gathering to make it more Lutheran, after all, they are reading this website as proved by Pastor Hennings response.

    Pastor Rossow

  2. A throw back to the 80’s? I’ve heard somewhere (guess where?) that we like picking up garbage that different churches have found ineffective from 20 years ago. They’ve moved on to try new different methods, and we use the leftovers.

  3. Good question Al,

    I will answer it in the next few days. If you have not heard from me in few days in direct answer to your question – put a bug in my ear on this string of comments.


  4. Similar spiritual gift surveys are all over the internet. The linked list from Luedemann’s church site looks like it came from the old Spiritual Gifts Discovery Workshop presented in the 80s by C. Peter Wagner of the Fuller Institute of Evangelism and Church Growth. Originally there were 125 questions from the Modified Houts Questionnaire prepared in 1976 by Dr. Richard F. Houts, a professor in the North American Baptist Theological Seminary. Wagner adapted it for his workshop and book, Your Spiritual Gifts Can Help Your Church Grow. I have Wagner’s workshop notebook and his book buried in a box somewhere in the garage.

  5. I remember Pete Luedemann from seminary. Very nice guy. Great love for missions. Should never have been ordained as a Lutheran pastor, though. I could tell that even then. Baptist, yes. E-Free, yes. Pentecostal, yes. Lutheran, no.

  6. Molly,

    uh ohhhhh…..when I joined the church I’m currently attending, my wife and I took a spiritual gifts class that had the questions you descibed. Was it the spelling errors or the class itself that alarmed you?

  7. I took one of those spiritual gift tests at a Lutheran church in California a few years ago. When I discovered that one of my gifts was martyrdom I decided not to take any more.

  8. My spiritual gift discovery test concluded that my gift was being a “thorn in the flesh”… actually more to the back and a little lower.

  9. Additional Spiritual Gifts:

    Infiltration: Is there anyone out there in internet land who is planning on going to the Texas Youth Gathering in November and can give us a report?

    Confessional Discernment: Very nice guy. Great love for missions. Should never have been ordained as a Lutheran pastor, though.

    Watergate-ism: A tipster (one of my favorite Synodical employees)

  10. Silly me…I thought the article was tongue in cheek (Holly Spirit)…but evidently it only works one way. But you told me off…I shall disappear.

    JALAJ…Just as Lutheran as Jesus!

  11. Not up to the challenge, eh?

    Anonymous comments are one thing.

    Continual anonymous sniping is another.

    I’m sure you’ll be back under one of your other aliases.

  12. Great things, those “Spiritual gifts” inventories.
    I has a pastor in Houston who was interested in stewardship results.

    When my “pre test” as a guinea pig for his version came up “prophecy” he took all the questions related to prophecy out of the test.

    Just to comment on the accuracy of these things: the least hospitable person I knew came up “hospitality” on that inventory.
    [He said he’d taken enough “tests” of the same sort to bend the results any way he wanted to.]

  13. Note to Mollie, (or anyone who knows),

    Did the BCS have a meeting in August and, if so, shouldn’t the minutes be posted on by now?

    Thought you might be able to tell me.
    (I know, not there any longer, but…)

    Alt. address: [email protected]

  14. Mollie,

    Thank you for your kind, constructive thoughts. I know that I am loved in Christ by you as well as the others who respond.

    I will work on correcting the typo’s and I’m glad the Holly Spirit makes you laugh.

    I sense that your concern was not that we borrow from an old (?) spiritual gifts survey. Certainly as Lutherans old is not a problematic thing for us. There seems to be concern maybe about addressing spiritual gifts at all or about specifically addressing speaking in tongues.

    I know that Paul encourages us to not be ignorant of spiritual gifts, 1 Cor 12.1. If there is a theological issue I stand very willing to be taught by the Word of God. More than anything I want to speak and teach clearly His truth.

    I must apologize that without a last name I don’t remember which George remembered me from seminary. I am thankful that he considers me “very nice”. But I am also concerned that he questions my ordination as a Lutheran pastor with no evidence or without addressing me personally. Once again I stand humbly willing to be taught and corrected by the word of God. George, if you read this please contact me and share your concerns. Certainly that is a part of your responsibiilty to our Lord, His church, and me as a (possibly wayward?) yet still redeemed brother in Christ. How could you have known for 10+ years that I should never have been ordained Lutheran and never raised this with me?

    As to my role with Glorybound, I intend to prayerfully share Law and Gospel with the youth gathered there. I beg for your prayers for my humble ministry with the youth there. I thank you that you are not only vigilant for truth, but also willing to pray for God’s work among the Lutheran youth in Texas.

    Pete Luedeman
    Pastor (by God’s grace)serving at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church in Portland, Oregon. [email protected]

  15. Dear Pete,

    I had stopped following this thread but one of the list managers was kind enough to point out your post to me.

    You are absolutely right. If I had concerns with you, I should’ve raised them with you first before speaking my private opinions. I should’ve confined my comments here to the public concerns over the Texas District Youth Gathering. However I did not & thus sinned against you.

    I apologize to you & ask for your forgiveness.

  16. Revgeorge,

    For what it is worth, I have had a few personal e-mails with Pr. Luedemann and have arrived at a similar conclusion that you did. (I had not read your comment above until just now.)

    I am sure that you don’t mean any personal harm in saying that he would be a better Presbyterian than Lutheran, I know I don’t. We are just trying to keep the Lutheran church Lutheran and there is prima facia evidence from things like the Texas Lutheran Gathering that suggest that some people do not want that (e.g. having non-Lutheran speakers and worship leaders at Lutheran conferences). If Pastor Luedemann and others want to disagree with us they are certainly welcome to, and the way things are going, they will probably succeed in permanently compromising Lutheranism in the LCMS but not without brave people like you having a say about it.

    Pastor Rossow

  17. Quick “techie” note-the link to the “spiritual gifts” survey has been removed from the bcls web site.

  18. Thanks! They have put their redesigned site online; I’ve linked to the new locations where I’ve been able to find them, and linked to archived copies where appropriate.

  19. I think it’s cute that of the thousands of points that you’d totally agree with one the bslc website, you try to find the one thing that you can skew to disagree with. Sigh. I’d hate to live like that.

  20. Jill,

    I know Mollie and she does not skew anything in order to be critical of it. She calls it like she sees it and this case, there is not just a single error, but multiple errors.

    Mollie lives what Socrates would call the examined life, not accepting things blindly (except for matters of faith) but as St. John says in I John 4:1 – “test the spirits to see whether they are from God.”

    The “Holly” Spirit typo is a silly thing that points to much deeper concerns that we have found as we have tested the spirits of the Glory Bound conference. I would encourage you to look around the rest of this site to see what those concerns all and then test those spirits yourself.

    Thanks for your interest in the website.

    Pastor Rossow

  21. Wow. I was not at all referring to the spelling mistake.

    To be more clear in my comment, I think it’s sad that a Lutheran pastor who lives in a city strewn with lost people dealing with more suicide, divorce, homosexuality, and homelessness than almost any other city in the country has to pause in his daily passion for Jesus and His children to make sure an old spiritual gifts survey is removed from his website.

  22. Jill,

    Why don’t you think it’s sad that you’re wasting time correcting me here?

    I don’t get the double standard.

    I have no problem with people complaining about me or my work, but I don’t get how they can do it if the substance of their complaint is that I shouldn’t be complaining.

    Color me confused . . .

  23. Mollie,

    Blessings from Dallas, Texas.

    To summarize your complaint:

    The TLYG “doesn’t seem to have much of a Lutheran emphasis.” In sole support of your charge that it “seems” (not that it will) lack a “Lutheran emphasis” (whatever that is vis a vis God’s directive for one holy, apostolic church) you note Beautiful Savior’s webpage reflecting a “spiritual inventor[y] from the early 1980s.”

    That “seems” to be the most deficient testing of the spirits that I have seen of late.

    Could it be that the “Lutheran emphasis” you so desire is that of “confessional Lutheran-ism” and that such thrust has skewed your ability to truly test the spirits or, if you prefer, colored your ability to discern what is done to further His glory and not yours?


  24. Uh, Jim, this one point that Mollie focuses on in this post isn’t & hasn’t been the only concern about the TX District Youth Gathering. There have been quite a few concerns raised, all of which have been pooh poohed by those who promote non-Lutheran theology & practice as somehow Lutheran & who claim that they are more loving than the rest of us & that they are more concerned about God’s glory than the rest of us.

    It does not further God’s glory to promote false teaching & practice, & I think it quite incumbent upon those who are promoting this youth gathering as a good thing to show why it is not a departure from sound Lutheran teaching & practice.

  25. Jim,

    Please invest yourself in the entire discussion on this website concerning Glory Bound before you comment. Here are the other posts that address the issue of the lack of Lutheran character of the event.

    I would appreciate your comments on the substantive issues raised in these posts.

    Thank you,

    Pastor Rossow, BJS Editor

  26. It’s sad that you (Mollie) would take time out of your day to point out how sad it was that Jill pointed out how sad it was that Pete Luedemann had to take time out of his day to take down a possibly embarrassing spiritual gifts inventory from his church’s web site.

    Oh, wait! It’s also sad that I posted this, too, in response! I’m caught in the loop of sadness!

    But seriously, is Mollie’s point that a spiritual gifts inventory on the web site has something to do with the quality or Lutheran-ness of the Glorybound 2008 experience? Is that because Lutherans don’t believe in spiritual gifts, or because Pete Luedemann isn’t, you know, a Lutheran? Or is it maybe because Rev. Luedemann is going to be handing out those inventories to the unsuspecting LCMS youth of Texas, complete with typos intact? Is this what your sources are telling you?

    Typos are another form of error, which we hate.

    On second thought, it IS sad that I wasted my time posting this. Or is it?

  27. Dear Pastor Rossow,

    One of the cited blogs attack Beautiful Savior’s website for “failing to even mention the sacraments” in its statement of beliefs.

    That proffer is erroneous.

    Can you read, as I have, the presentment of the sacraments in it’s statement of beliefs?

    Will you acknolwledge that the blog you asked me to invest my time in reading is erroneous?

    or, as Michael would ask, why am I wasting my time? I doubt you will acknowledge this most obvious misstatement of fact, even though you rely upon the proffer.

    Regardless of erroneous postings in this blogosphere, Mollie’s argument (and my only challenge) rested solely upon an old spiritual inventory which has no bearing upon or relationship to the gathering. Or did I somehow miss a footnote?

  28. Jim,

    Thank you for taking the time to comment. I really do appreciate it. It sounds like we may have different views of what Lutheranism is but I do appreciate your taking the time to read this site and comment.

    The report is not in error. Beautiful Savior recently updated thier website. Thier previous website, which is the one I got when I googled a few weeks ago, said nothing about the sacraments in thier statement of belief. I have had conversations with Pastor Luedemann and he has defended the old statement of beliefs (without the sacrametns listed) but is also happy to now have them listed on thier congregation website.

    My point still stands – at a recent point in time, the congregation that Pastor Luedemann serves, put out thier statement of beleifs and it did not include reference to the sacraments. This is a non-Lutheran approach to the fundamentals of the faith. This in part, is one of the reasons I and others are concerned that Glory Bound is less than genuinely Lutheran.

    Thanks again for your time and investing in this important issue in the church.

    Pastor Rossow

  29. Blessings Pastor Rossow.

    I guess it all boils down to one’s definition of being “genuinely Lutheran.” I suspect that we would agree with each other on all fundamental tenets of our Christian faith. I certainly trust that both of us want the gathering to bring our youth closer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

    I then am left to conclude that, for many, the debate is over the mode or method of delivery. Yes, that is an oversimplification. Full disclosure: I am certainly one who does not feel it is the end of the world for a non-Lutheran (or, ghast, a woman) to lead or speak at the gathering.

    I also wonder whether those who have personally attacked the organizers, speakers, leaders, or such, will attend the gathering, report back as to the working of the Holy Spirit, share the experiences of the youth who mature and grow in their faith, and apologize for any misdirected attacks and assertions.

    I pray that the Holy Spirit work through the leaders, speakers and organizers to touch the lives of our youth.


  30. Molly, was your specific issue that speaking in tongues was presented as a valid Christian experience? I ask not because I think I have ever witnessed or experienced such (and the one time I was in the presence of “speaking in tongues” at an LCMS congregation–I’m fairly certain it was false), but because we do not, as a synod, have an official statement saying that this gift has ended, but leave it open that it is still possibly in use by God. (check the site to discover the truth of my statement) Given that the LCMS takes this stance, I can see no reason to fault the church for having such statements on its site.

    I assume the issue with a woman song leader (non-Lutheran) is that she is non-Lutheran? Or is it an issue to have a woman leading songs? I fail to see how this is usurping authority or teaching in a corporate setting. I fail to see the evil in this. Perhaps you or someone else can more fully explain this. We know that women were not meant to remain absolutely silent because Paul, in the same letter, notes that they pray and prophecy within the corporate setting. I fail to see how leading songs is more laden with teaching and authority than prophecying. Rather, as I understand it, it is a supportive role to the authority of another (male). This is true of most “worship leader” situations I have encountered in the LCMS. They are not, in my experience, usurping authority or teaching. I suppose the question would be, What is usurping authority? Perhaps it would be better if we reclassified them as “song leaders” instead to avoid confusion.

    As far as a statement of beliefs… I can see the usefullness of giving as full a statement of beliefs as possible, but also reason not to. One argument against would be this… in the NT we find that people come to faith first drinking spiritual milk. They are not expected to know or agree with everything before they are properly taught. A statement of beliefs apart from the active love and teaching in the context of the mentoring relationship present between a pastor of a congregation and those attending, and the mentoring relationships present between the members and those who are new to the faith/congregation, is nothing but a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. The Lord was exceptionally clear throughout the NT that faith was intended to be transmitted not through impersonal statements about God, but through statements about God given in the context of relationships which reflect Him.


  31. “I assume the issue with a woman song leader (non-Lutheran) is that she is non-Lutheran?”

    I forgot to expound on this. If the songs are approved by the LCMS leaders of the event, and if she is actually Christian, I fail to see the problem.

    When we were warned not to pray with unbelievers, it certainly didn’t include those who are actually part of the body of Christ but exist in a different congregation.

    In Christ,

  32. Jim,

    In your last comment (#32) you have boiled things down to this, that the youth at the conference be drawn closer to Christ as if I and the others involved in the criticism of the conference do not want that and only want to criticize people. That is not the point at all. The point is, that which truly brings us closer to Christ. Please answer this question for me. Do you beleive that we ought to offer the best that we can when attempting to bring our youth closer to Christ? It would clarify our discussion if you could simply answer that question. Once I know your answer to that question I will be able to proceed with my response.

    Also, I would appreciate an apology for accusing me of lieing about Pastor Luedemann’s website. Why is that folks like you never stick to the issue but when shown to be wrong you change the topic?

    Pastor Rossow

  33. My earlier posting seems to have been deleted. The Texas Youth Gathering was fabulous. The controversy involving Keri Jobe seems rather silly now. She and her praise band were simply the best I have ever witnessed. The speakers were fantastic. God provides. God, indeed, provided our youth with the best. Praise be to God.


  34. Jim,

    Your comment couldn’t be less specific. In what way was the Texas Youth Gathering “fabulous”? Could you discuss said fabulosity with an eye toward confessional Lutheranism (the interest here at Steadfast Lutherans)?

    In what substantive way is the controversy involving Keri Jobe “rather silly now”? Are we to just take your assertion? If so, why? Again, please, with an eye toward the Lutheran Confessions.

    You write that “She and her praise band were simply the best I have ever witnessed.”

    That may be, but by what standards are you judging this “praise band”? Again, please respond with an eye toward the Lutheranism.

    In what way were the speakers “fantastic”?

    I frankly thought your comment was a hoax due to its lack of specificity.

    But if you have answers for these questions, we’re all ears! We weren’t there, needless to say and are anxious to hear how whether this gathering was Lutheran in nature, contrary to its advertisements.

    In Christ,


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