Yes the Church is Dying – Why I Joined the Lutheran Church, A Comment by Dave Spotts

Here is a comment from our post on the TCN at the St. Louis Seminary. It is by Dave Spotts, a former Calvinist who is now a Lutheran. His point about the church dying is this: TCN is geared toward saving dying churches yet the Sscriptures are clear that we live under the cross and the Christian life is not one of success, but of dying. (I am reminded of Hal Senkbeil’s book and Bible study “Dying to Live.”) It continues to amaze me that while President Kieschnick and most other leaders of the LCMS seek to destroy the traditional Lutheran Church, folks like Dave are finding that traditional, liturgical Lutheranism is the authentic expression of Biblical piety. Here is a little bit of his story as he told it yesterday. (You can see the post and all the comments by clicking here.)

Pastor Rossow

October 12th, 2009 at 16:04 | #15

Interestingly enough, I managed to stop a church growth person in his tracks a few years ago. I was serving as an elder in a Calvinistic Baptistic congregation. One gentleman sent an email to the elder board stating that “the church is dying.” I stopped him in his tracks by freely confessing that the church as we know it is dying. Then I asked him if he was referring to the arrested development of Western Christianity since the advent of the man-centered methodology of the 2nd Great Awakening or if he was referring to something more closely pertinent to our local congregation.

Yep, it stopped him in his tracks. He just didn’t know how to proceed with his requests that we have revival meetings, a youth club, and try to have a hip and casual worship service.

Sadly the other elders didn’t quite get it either. I guess that’s why I’m a Lutheran now.

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.


Yes the Church is Dying – Why I Joined the Lutheran Church, A Comment by Dave Spotts — 5 Comments

  1. Coming from a Presbyterian background, I understand. The first time I showed up at a good confessional, liturgical Lutheran church after a long procession of milquetoast churches, it was “like, wow! why didn’t somebody tell me about this?” What I’d been looking for all my life. It’s astonishing what people are willing to throw away, but I suppose familiarity can indeed breed contempt; and it seems that the superstar-focused, marketing-oriented culture is probably caustic when applied to the church.

  2. For what it’s worth, I’m on very friendly terms with the elders in that congregation to this day. They wanted to continue in the direction they were going, which was not quite the same direction as much of broader Evangelicalism. They are thoughtful, committed historic Calvinists while I am not. We went different paths but that local church still has not gone down the unfortunate path I was concerned about at that time.

  3. If we truly hold to our Confessions on Election and that we are truly saved by grace alone, one would have to reject the theological basis of TCN and CW. There is nothing Lutheran (Scriptural) regarding their view of conversion. Dear laity and clergy- will more people be in heaven by human efforts…NO! Dear people, press the theological point of Election and Conversion when you engage the CG crowd in the LCMS. They will ultimately admit the Word is not sufficient; that man’s cultural measures are needed for the Church to grow and people to come in to be “saved”.

  4. Another formerly lifetime Baptist/Evangelicalist here who got so burned out on the yippee! ‘Youth Group for Adults’ approach on the one hand and the legalistic Lordship Salvation approach on the other.

    My family and I are now LCMS Lutherans and I’m wondering how in the world I went for 40 years without the clear preaching of Law and Gospel, the beauty and reverence of the Liturgy, and Almighty God coming personally to little old me in the Sacraments. I know I could never go back.

  5. CD,

    Are you sure you are not my twin? ” ‘Youth Group for Adults’ approach on the one hand and the legalistic Lordship Salvation approach on the other” & “without the clear preaching of Law and Gospel…” I heard and experienced that! Just not for 40 years. I was only in it for about 10 years and about to literally jump off of a cliff nearly every day due to it.


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