One More Thing to Wrap-Up the Review of President Kieschnick’s Presentation ““ You Won’t Believe What He Said About German Methodists: NID Convention Wrap-Up Part VII, by Pr. Rossow

(The other posts in this series can be viewed by clicking on the Editor’s Blog in the Brother’s Cafe.)

 

A couple of commenters on my last post are complaining that this is just a negative, “beat up on President Kieschnick” blog. That is not the case. These are very newsworthy items that are being reported here which also help us accomplish the purposes of the Brothers of John the Steadfast.

 

It is newsworthy when the president of the synod asserts that we are unified. Whether it is true or not, it is worthy of discussion by synod members. When he asserts that differences on open communion, inter-Christian relations, worship practices and the role of women are secondary matters, that is certainly worth knowing and discussing.

 

Reporting and knowing these things also helps us accomplish the purposes of the Brothers of John the Steadfast. Our first duty is to learn and promote the Lutheran Confessions. Our reporting of these statements by the president of the synod and the blog discussions that ensue help the Brothers of John the Steadfast grow in their understanding of Scriptural and Confessional doctrine. We wish the tone did not have to be so critical but these are days of great division in the synod and we are compelled by the Gospel to identify these differences and discuss them.

 

So what did President Kieschnick say about German Methodists? It came during the question and answer period of the presentation. He did not take questions from the floor but questions were selected from those submitted the previous day. (It   continues to strike us as odd that he is afraid of facing people and their questions directly.) Our lay delegate had submitted a really good and probing question but of course it was not selected. Instead the president was given a series of softball questions. Question number two was “What is the greatest challenge to the LCMS these days?”

 

His answer was in keeping with the point of the silly devotion that opened the convention. It was all about promoting change in the synod. He mentioned a congregation in Walburg, Texas. I did not catch his relation to the church. I think it was the church he grew up in, maybe his grandfather’s church. He made two points worth noting.

 

First, he pointed out that the reason the people of Walburg first got a Lutheran pastor was to bring together the German Lutherans who were already there. President Kieschnick went on to point out how this just isn’t needed anymore. We can’t just be the church of gathering together German immigrants since the boats aren’t coming anymore. The point, the church needs to change. He did not go into any specific changes. This was more like an Obama-like call for generic “hope and change.” We can assume, based on what he has said and written elsewhere that the change he is talking about refers to dumping the historic liturgy for something more catchy, moving away from a pastor as shepherd model for ministry to a pastor as leader model (this is born out by his regular leadership notes in the Reporter), changing the material principal of the church from justification to evangelism, and other such changes that have been hallmarks of his presidency.

 

This point about the end of the immigration is either so obvious that it is meaningless (does anyone know of a church that is literally sitting around waiting for more immigrants?) or it is a call for the church to abandon its traditions which have served the Gospel effectively and which are defended in the Lutheran Confessions. Just because we started out as a German immigrant church does not mean that 90 years after the boats stopped coming that we now need to have praise bands, women elders, and pastors as CEO’s. It just does not follow logically.

 

Secondly, he pointed out that the church records from Walburg showed that one of the very first problems that the church had to address was the presence of German Methodists in town threatening the purity of the Lutheran and Scriptural Gospel. BY BRINGING THIS UP HE WAS ACTUALLY MAKING A RHETORICAL POINT OF THIS EXAMPLE THAT THE CHURCH IS NO LONGER THREATENED BY GERMAN METHODISM AND SO WE MUST CHANGE OUR APPROACH TO DOING CHURCH. I was flabbergasted by this. The Scriptures and the Confessions are very clear that preserving the Gospel is job one for the church (see Gal. 1, Eph. 1, I John, John 8, etc.). Criticizing these good Texas Lutherans and their desire to uphold the pure Gospel against the weak, moralistic Methodism of its day is a mean act against one’s own family, one’s grandfather’s church.

 

In a very sad way President Kieschnick is actually correct. We no longer need to be concerned about Methodism because we have brought Methodism into the LCMS. President Kieschnick and his ilk  no longer have Methodism as their chief concern because under their leadership the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod has embraced the practice and thus the doctrine of Methodism, or more accurately Methobapticostolism (i.e. the strange combo platter in American Evangelicalism of Methodism, Baptist and Pentecostal theology expressed in seeker sensitive worship based on emotion, churches geared toward programs than meet people’s felt needs, preaching designed to make the hearer a “more effective Christian,” etc.). President Kieschnick asserts that our new enemy is not Methodism but Islam and an immoral culture. These are certainly important issues for the church to address but they have not replaced the opinio legis (natural man’s faulty belief/opinion that we must justify ourselves before God) as the chief thing that we must battle day in and day out in the church.

 

There were numerous other bothersome things in the presentation including a misuse of Jeremiah 29:4-7 as a justification for his point that the church must engage the culture. Jeremiah 29 is actually clarifying for the captive people of Israel that they might as well settle down in Babylon because God was not going to rescue them anytime soon. President Kieschnick yanks this passage out of context to try to convince us that God wants us to engage the culture. This misuse of Scripture most likely came from a Rick Warren or John Maxwell book. We could spend a lot more ink on these other annoying things in the presentation but there are other important topics to address from the NID convention. Our next topic will be the Blue Ribbon proposal presentation. In the meantime I encourage the Brothers of John the Steadfast and all our readers to heed the words of St. John and remain vigilant and keep battling the influx of false practice and doctrine into  Christ’s church.

18  Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. 19  They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. (I John 2)

 

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

One More Thing to Wrap-Up the Review of President Kieschnick’s Presentation ““ You Won’t Believe What He Said About German Methodists: NID Convention Wrap-Up Part VII, by Pr. Rossow — 37 Comments

  1. “our new enemy is not Methodism but Islam and an immoral culture” Recall “the Turks are at the border and Rome is a cesspool.” Sounds a bit redundant but I do believe the second statements originated with a German monk headquartered in Wittenberg. Doesn’t sound so new now – does it.

    For me, I’ll choose the german monk to guard the sheep over current leaders who invite methodist “wolfs” in sheep’s clothing to enter in and devour the flock.

  2. Interesting that I heard the same story at our Southeastern District Convention. What are the odds that the same question would have been culled from the submitted questions in the NID and the SED? That is simply amazing!

    Awestruck,
    Jeremy

  3. Here is a first-hand account from a 19th century pastor, who confronted the Methodists. I think it says a lot about what is going on in Synod these days, what with “days” and “seasons” of repentance:

    “When I received the call to Wisconsin, while living in ___________, Dr. Sihler and my dear William Stelter remarked in the letter that the Methodists, Albrecht’s people., – we called them jumpers – were working there and lo – about six so-called preachers were going from house to house. They already had a goodly number of the people in their fold. In the beginning I was obliged to hold services in the schoolhouses and dwellings in the Indian country. Once in the schoolhouse beyond Welkes in the woods, I arrived a little early because arriving late was not my style. An old teacher from Europe was present and began, “Pastor, what about the Methodists? They invited your predecessor to a disputation, but he never appeared. Now they made a great victory of it. What will you do?” I said, “In the beginning, I will pay no attention to these sectarians, but if they attack, me, they shall receive their due.” He said, “Yes, will the right answer always immediately come to your mind?” I said, “Don’t fear, my dear _____., I have no fear.” Once. I held church services in Nashboro. There I said during the sermon, “Just you believe on your dear Savior, then all is well.” Then a lady said, “No, no!” I said, “What is missing?” She said, “One must repent.” I said, “Is a believer not repentant?” She was quiet. I said, “Now please be quiet. After service we will talk some more about it.” I finished my sermon. During the singing of the next hymn she left.

    The more things change, the more they’re the same!

  4. President Kieschnick favorite straw man argument:

    1) Everything historically Lutheran is German cultural baggage.

    2) The LCMS is in America now.

    3) The LCMS needs to abandon its German cultural baggage, and change to fit American culture.

    Response: Lutheran theology and practice aren’t German; they’re Christian.

    How sad that the President of the LCMS has such a shallow and misguided understanding of his own church, its theology and practice.

    TW

  5. My ears perked up when the SP made light of the German Methodists, as though we should not be concerned with Methodism then or now. All sides of Methodism (conservative and liberal) present teachings that we should guard against. Some would insist on two conversions (one that saves and later one from the outpouring of the Holy Spirit), some are “Enthusiasts” and rely on personal experience, some are in fellowship (or nearing fellowship?) with the ELCA and hold many of the same social policies (apparently that is enough to declare altar and pulpit fellowship).

  6. I wish the poor guy could get comparable salary, benefits and power in the UMC or something. It certainly sounds like he’d be happier there.

    And if a fella wants to be Methodist, he should be able to be! But there’s NO reason why “leaders” like him should have the effrontery to think they can, and should, bring everybody along!

  7. “President Kieschnick and his ilk”

    Hmm, I wonder why people think this site is run by a bunch of negative Nancys, I wonder…

    Does this kind of language really help accomplish or further the purposes of the Brothers of John the Steadfast? I would put forward for consideration an idea that maybe the bar for serious theological discussion might be raised if the authors were more mindful of how the arguments are framed.

    There are certainly times for snarky but those occasions are separate from the more serious discussions.

  8. Frank,

    Is there a problem with “ilk?” To me it means “cronies” (sp?) or those who think alike. Is there some meaning beyond that I am not aware of?

    TR

  9. Frank,

    “a bunch of negative Nancys”

    Does this kind of language really help accomplish or further the purposes of theological discussion?

    TW

  10. Ilk has a undertone that I just can’t see as being helpful when engaging those might learn from reading posts here. There is no hidden meaning implied or otherwise on my part.

    I’m the very last person to ask for spelling advice as anybody who reads the drivel I write can attest.

  11. And, can we ban the word “snark” and all its variants too?

    It smacks of the “eighth commandment” club wielded by the LCMS elite.

    TW

  12. “And, can we ban the word “snark” and all its variants too?” that would require a resolution to be passed wouldn’t it?

    Seriously, I don’t think snark is bad (who would have thought!). I do see in the circles I run in and the boards I sit on where the 8th is used as a club to suppress a dialogue on theological differences.

    You know, you could always leave the company run gig and go work for a small family owned endeavor where people appreciate you more;-)

  13. Luther described dealing with false prophets and error, which is what Dr. K is fostering, as a dog that has bitten a child. Luther goes on to say that a parent runs after the dog, but consoles the child.

    Taking this example and applying to the LCMS: Dr. K is actively biting the child, which is the congregations of the LCMS. The parent of the child (faithful pastors, and I will add faithful layman) chases after the dog (Dr. K) with all ferocity to get the dog away from the child. The child, while having some blame, is consoled by the faithful pastors, admonishing them not to “play” with strange dogs anymore.

    Using the 8th Commandment, as some do, does not mean that we cannot, with all ferocity, defend the congregations of the LCMS and chase the dog(s) away from them. What is more loving, to sit idly by as the dog continues to bite the child, or to chase the dog with a baseball bat to protect the child? I think we all know the right answer.

    Kiley Campbell

  14. “Ilk?” “Cronies?”

    Nah, I like “Minions.” It has a nice ring to it, not too ilkish, perjorative, or otherwise. And it rolls off the tongue. Sure is better than “toadies.”

    I hope this doesn’t make me sound like a “Nattering Nabob of Negativism.”

  15. Negativity?

    I cannot speak for anyone else here, but I can speak for myself—that I come here and to other similar sites to fight AGAINST the soul-crushing negativity that I see all around me.

    It is surely negative whenever anyone refers to my congregations or others like them as “dead,” “dying,” “stagnant,” “irrelevant,” “a museum,” “uncaring,” “rearranging deck chairs,” “fiddling while souls burn,” or “useless to God,” when Christ’s life-giving Word and Sacraments stand at their heart and center. (funny, no one seems to mention the 8th Commandment in these circumstances…)

    It is negative whenever fear is employed to coerce the faithful—as if the congregation or Synod were doomed to sudden and evil death unless certain radical actions are taken—do this, or you are responsible for your church’s demise! Revitalization or congregational death! Restructuring or synodical death! Has God’s Word so little power among us that all this will crumble without our immediate intervention?

    It is negative whenever guilt is used to prod the faithful to action—accusing them of so-called collective or institutional sins, or making them responsible for actions outside their control—millions are going to hell every day, and it’s your fault! The salvation of the world depends upon you! Get to work! Is burdening consciences with such an overwhelming load truly the work of the Gospel?

    It is negative wherever the Gospel is replaced by the Law, wherever the Means of Grace are denied in favor of an immediate conversion theology, wherever the cross of Christ is replaced by the works of men as the agent of salvation, wherever faithful adherents to the Word of God are mocked for being “behind the times,” and wherever the word of man supplants the Word of God.

    Those who have been on the receiving end of this sort of negativity know that it is the Gospel alone which can bring comfort and reassurance to afflicted souls. Where the Gospel is absent, such resulting negativity is inevitable. Thus, I (we) fight for the Gospel.

  16. Pastor Hojnacki has hit the nail squarely on the head. It sounds as though he and his congregation have already been “revitalized” (or is it “transformed”?) without having gone thru one of our synod’s ersatz programs! Can you imagine that? No crisis, no manipulated day of repentance, no sermon series on the missional nature of the church. The Gospel strikes again!

    You done good, Pastor–thank you.

  17. Snark is uncharitable sarcasm, and correctly describes some of the comments here. It grossly devalues the legitimate criticisms made. I don’t see that fg had anything to repent of.

    We fight for the gospel in a loving manner.

  18. Boaz @19,

    I disagree. “Snark” has become a word used by some to “whip” others, they disagree with, for a lack of political correctness in an attempt to silence them along with their criticisms.

  19. That goes along with the accusation in another thread of ‘Kieschnick bashing.’
    It’s a ploy to invalidate valid criticism. It hopes to shut up opposition.
    Unfortunately, that’s the chief arrow in that quiver.
    It used to be a feature, and not a bug, that someone would ‘speak truth to power’ or ‘call a spade a spade’ or ‘tell it like it is.’
    I must’ve slept thru the rule changes.

  20. “So also the “Missourian” perspective is this; it is unfair and unjust to charge a church body with false doctrine if that fellowship practices doctrinal discipline and attempts, according to the Word of God, to put an end to the false doctrine which has arisen among its individual members. However, it is completely fair, proper, and required by God’s Word to charge that church body with false doctrine if the fellowship has told its individual members and indeed its leaders, “You may say whatever you want to.”

    We Missourians only then hold a church body as such to be orthodox when the true doctrine sounds forth from all of its pulpits and professor’s chairs and in all writings which are published within the church body, and every false doctrine, on the contrary, as soon as it makes its appearance, is eliminated in the way which God directs.

    According to this standard we judge others; according to this standard we also submit to be judged ourselves. We Missourians must and will be content to be judged according to the doctrine which is taught by our individual pastors whether in San Francisco or New York, St. Paul or New Orleans, or which is taught by our publications whether they be published officially or unofficially.

    If anyone should prove against us that even one pastor preached false doctrine, or even one periodical stood in the service of false doctrine, and we did not eliminate this false doctrine, we would thereby have ceased to be an orthodox synod and would have become a unionistic fellowship. In short, the mark of an orthodox church body is that throughout that church the true doctrine alone prevails, not only officially and formally but also in actual reality.”

    Pieper, Franz (3), “Die Missouri-Synode und das General Council,” Lehre und Wehre, Jahrgang 36, No. 8. (August, 1890), p.262.

  21. RE: Comments 7, 8, 10 & 15

    Just Googled “ilk” and found that most of the definitions from the resources listed there do not even mention a pejorative or negative usage. It is simply defined by such synonyms as “like,” “similar,” “kind,” “type,” or (my favorite) “kidney.” (Didn’t know “kidney” could be used that way… I guess it goes back to the Hebrew notion of the kidneys being the seat of emotion, like we would say two people of similar passions “have the same heart.”)

    Several times, I have heard Rev. Wilken put questions or comments in perspective on his radio program by referring to “myself and those of my theological ilk…” I don’t think he was putting himself down or being snarky in his comments. Just because a word CAN be used in a negative manner doesn’t mean that when it is used it IS negative.

    Brings to mind the student-led call for resignation of a professor who used the adjective “niggardly” in an op/ed piece when I was in college. The word is derived from the Old Norse “nigla” meaning “fussy about small matters” and means “miserly or stingy.” It is in no way related to the Romance language root of “nigra” meaning “black,” but everyone wanted the head of the racist on pike!

    According to the “Shift Happens” video that opened the NID Convention, there are 5 times as many words in English as there were in Shakespeare’s time. Why do we need more words if we don’t know how to use the ones we have? (This is a general lament I have regarding language in general. Sorry for digressing.)

    The PPPadre

  22. As a member of BJS I am willing to admit that I am often negative about our synod and its supervisors. I believe we should call a spade a spade. There are many things going on in our synod that can only honestly be brought to light in a negative way. The only way to put a positive spin on some of this stuff would be to join the devil’s camp and see things the way he sees them positively.

    Several men in our synod stick their necks out to call to repentance and defend the Gospel of Christ from charlatans, and like John the Baptizer, they get their heads chopped off. People who have stood up for truth have seldom been popular. There is just something about the devil, the world and our sinful flesh that can’t tolerate hearing the truth. That’s right, it’s sin, the anti-truth.

    We had better realize that we are in a very serious battle for the truth about Jesus in our synod just as we are in our own daily lives. God has sent us some faithful men who are bold enough to stand up for Christ and His Gospel and they deserve encouragement, not chastisement. Bold Confessional Lutheran brothers are as sinful as anyone else and they are the first to admit it, but they are still on the right side of the truth. I pray that we would stand steadfast with these men just as we are called to stand with our Lord who brings peace through His body and blood, but brings the sword to any who would try to separate us from His love.

  23. So everyone is clear, I’m not at all saying that we shouldn’t be calling people out for deviating from either Scripture or the confessions, we absolutely should. I’m not trying to invalidate anyone’s argument or whip those who remain steadfast to what we hold to by any form of political correctness.

    Anyone who knows me knows well that I’m the least politically incorrect person and the king of snark (sorry TW, I don’t know a better word for what I write). As I only serve and interact with others at the congregational level so I’m for the most part insulated from what I see brought up here as a technique to further the transformation of the LCMS into Americanized pop evangelicalism. When folks disagree with my views, they just stop inviting me to every meeting instead of defending their positions.

    I just think we elevate the rhetoric in such a manner that our opponents will not be able to use our very words against us.

  24. From what you say, Frank Gillespie, name-calling and false accusations have flamed from us commenters, and we peasants have all but stormed the palace gates with torch and pitchfork and blazing effigy. When the most regrettable and dangerous words have been those of Kieschnick himself, who, having caused much division within our Synod, and then having taken that division and used it to his advantage, now claims ‘What division?’
    Now that you’ve begun to deconstruct your straw man, perhaps you’ll look over the recommendations of Kieschnick’s own task force, and read Diekmann’s thorough analysis of TCN, etc., and display more horror at our Synod’s de-confessional direction, and put blame where it belongs.

  25. Susan, I did not say the posters or those who comment here are storming or setting ablaze! any effigies.

    I didn’t deconstruct any straw man as I haven’t put one up. I was however trying to clarify what I thought was point. Read my comments again, I did not blame anyone here for any problem facing our synod. I did say that we should elevate our rhetoric so that our own words do not harm our discussion with those not are not aware of all the politics going on.

    I have read the task force proposal and have written amendments that were presented to the SED convention opposing it.

    Scott Diekmann’s analysis was a spot on analytical series that I enjoyed. I think he laid things out in a way that was helpful and could easily be understood by most anyone even if not familiar with all the ins and outs and goings on of the LCMS.

    I’ve stated before here and I guess I’ll need to state it again; the blame for our beloved synods problem lie with those who believe that the confessions are relics and that we must, to grow the church, line ourselves up with the culture using what are the same business techniques used to sell laundry detergent instead of what the Church has historically done, per Christ’s command; preach repentance and the forgiveness of sins. I hope that is a clear enough statement for all.

  26. These “ilk, cronies, minions, backslappers, bootlickers, doormats, flatterers, flunkies, groupies, hangers on, etc. hold the power at present. So they have the luxury of the bully pulpit. However, the unceremonious sacking of T Wilkin and J Swarz over a year ago shows they are neither kin nor kind to Lutherans who wish to actually be Lutheran.

    It is no wonder they want to be baptigelicalmethocosticals. In those churches this heavy handed moves are common. If you are one of those on the short end of the stick and complain are subjected to being called unloving and worse. Having been raised in those type of churches it is revolting to see people who claim an actual heritage toss it aside. If I want evangelifish religion I have no lack of places to get it.

    With all due resect, Frank Gillespie, direct some of those comments toward the powers that be. Direct those men to practice being less heavy handed in their approach.

    Sorry for the rant.

  27. Dave, the last paragraph of my last comment did exactly that, reread it!

    My first statement was not critical of Pr. Rossow’s analysis nor was it a personal attack. I’m soory that some seem to think otherwise. I think I know Pr. Rossow well enough by now that if he thought the comment was an a attack on him that he would of, well, corrected me. And if it was an attack on him, or even the brothers here, he would have every right to do so and that’s a good thing because none of us are above criticism.

    Does anyone see what has happened in this thread? Does anyone see that it has been suggested that a member of BJS, and yes I am a member, should not offer any criticisms, of any author, on this site and that even the suggestion that an elevation of the rhetoric be raised so that it be conducive in teaching people what it is that we face moving forward in the LCMS is uncalled for and needs to stop? Are any of us above reproach and is it that critique is only directed towards President Kieschnick and the LCMS?

    What would an organization like BJS look like if discussion or dialogue was cut off if we didn’t toe the company line?

  28. Frank,

    I think I missed something. Where was it suggested that no BJS member offer “any criticism of any author on this site?”

    Looking back over the thread, I see that you objected to the use of the word “ilk”, and then debate ensued on the merits of that word.

    Personally, I think you lost that debate. “Ilk” is just not perjorative. However, Pastor Rossow did offer you a way to convince me of your point: rewrite a BJS article you think proves your point and show us how the author could have done a better (‘kinder, gentler’?) job – without sacrificing the truth.

    I certainly for one want to learn how we can better communicate Lutheran orthodoxy in winsome, persuasive, and convincing ways. I hope you can show us a better way.

    Will you do this for us?

  29. 1.”Ilk” should always be considered pejorative by a speaker and never by a hearer. (Cf. the discussion at , especially the post by Ken Greenwald.) If one perceives himself to be spoken of in a negative light, “ilk,” etc., will simply heighten his perception of it and lead him to view your criticism as a personal attack (always too easy to do). “Cronies” has a similar impact.

    2. Pr. Wilken can speak of his own ilk and it is acceptable whether pejoratively intended or not; yet, do we not think that ‘his kind’ are not hated? Certainly they are, so the use of the term by him could also be an acknowledgment of the detestation of confessional Lutherans by the world. Again, we cannot know by the term alone, but the pictures generally constructed with this word are negative.

    3. Mr. Gillespie did nothing wrong.

    4. The enemies of the Gospel will use this thread to ‘prove’ that they are ‘right’ about BJS. Perhaps that is the first thing that posters should consider: “How will the enemies of the Gospel be able to pervert my words, and how easy am I making it for them to do so?”

    EJG

  30. Cantor, my first comment was only a wish that we elevate the rhetoric and not a discussion on specific word. That being said, I’ve lived in three distinct areas of the country, the north, Texas, and now the south as well as on two other continents and in each place I’ve lived the word ilk used in the manner of the post would have been considered pejorative. As the meaning of the word pejorative means expressing criticism or disapproval, I didn’t think the dialogue would take the direction it did.

    I use the phrase “slack jawed yokel” when referring to myself all the time over my way. I don’t think anyone is offended by me doing this. With some of the comments I get it would appear most folks mightily agree with that terminology.

    If now, I were to use the same term in referring to any member of the synod, no matter who he or she is, could I really get away with saying, oh, I’m using that in a nice way and still have a productive dialogue with someone who disagrees with me?

    I’m not saying we have to be politically correct but we must conduct ourselves in a manner that is above reproach if we are to have this public dialogue and teach people about what it is that is facing us.

    Using “ilk, cronies, minions, backslappers, bootlickers, doormats, flatterers, flunkies, groupies, hangers on” is not helpful when describing our opponents in this debate by any of us. It’s simply not helpful. How could I possibly demonstrate a more winsome and persuasive way if we can’t even come to an agreement that, again, “ilk, cronies, minions, backslappers, bootlickers, doormats, flatterers, flunkies, groupies, hangers on” is not conducive to framing a real debate?

    “Where was it suggested that no BJS member offer “any criticism of any author on this site?””

    Three times above I was told to direct any critique to the synod and not here. The problems that we face make us immune to critique? Really? So even the suggestion that we elevate the rhetoric results in what is going on here?

  31. Hi Frank,

    Sometimes tone of voice does make a difference. I certainly will concede that is true with a work like “ilk”, but also with “kind”. I’ve lived in Maine, Virginia, Malta, Nebraska, Texas, Alabama, and Illinois and have not found the same reaction to “ilk” as you have found. Certainly you would not have gone after this if this were the *only example* you have of poor tone. Seriously, there are thousands upon thousands of words on this site. Surely you are making your statements based on more than the use of the word “ilk”!

    Can we not be sidetracked by some points made in the thread about synod’s meriting critique and stick with the real issue here? If I understand you correcetly, you are voicing agreement with the cause of BJS, but believe that the tone of writing on this site hurts the cause. If you are indeed correct, I believe there must be many more examples. Please persuade. I am open to your arguments. I’m sure others, including Pastor Rossow, are as well!

    No one is trying to squelch debate here. We just may disagree with you. But, you might convince many and then achieve what I believe you would agree to be a good purpose:

    1 – the tone of the site would be elevated.

    2 – more would be persuaded to adopt positions on issues facing our synod that are more in keeping with Scripture and the Confessions.

    This would be a great thing! I ask you again, will you help us? Please rewrite an article for us and show us the way. Give us other, more convincing, examples to prove your point. Don’t give up because people are not convinced or keep harping on the ‘ilk’ issue because people are not convinced. I think we just disagree on that one.

    But surely your assessment is broader-based. Give us a chance to understand how you’ve reached your conclusions. We are sincerely interested in what you have to say.

  32. Yes. And how did you hope to elevate the rhetoric by calling out ‘a bunch of negative Nancys’ and accusing them of ‘snark’?
    And ‘ilk’ bothered you?
    Granted you’ve been more articulate in your followups, and I certainly get your point.
    But I imagine many of us think it’d be nice for you to admit that your initial rhetoric on this thread wasn’t particularly helpful, and not without rhetorical problems of its own. Sort of blindsided the lot of us, I think.

  33. Susan, I do sometimes have the habit of using pop culture references like “negative nancys” where those I’m chatting with might not understand might my own snark. That is why I said I repent in comment 12. I should have made it a little more clear what it was that I was repenting of. I thought that coming right after TW’s comment exposing the hypocrisy of my comment that it would be clear… not so. Again, I apologize for starting this off on the wrong foot.

  34. Here’s an idea. How about Pres K go to back to Texas and try to change them one heart at a time and leave us alone? I’ll buy his ticket.

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