Something is Missing from the LCMS President’s Holy Week “Perspective” by Pr. Rossow

Each week President Kieschnick sends out a little e-mail titled “Perspectives.” It is a really useful tool that allows the president to communicate to a large group of people. Click here if you are interested in subscribing. Take a look at this week’s “Perspectives” and you might notice that something very essential is missing from his summary of Holy Week…

Volume I Number 26

“Holy Week”

This is Holy Week. Christians around the world are remembering in a special way, with special worship, the events of Jesus’ suffering and death. These include His entry into Jerusalem; the institution of the Lord’s Supper; the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane; the betrayal of Jesus in that same garden; his arrest and inquisition; his cruel treatment and mocking; his crown of thorns and scarlet robe; his sentence to death; his crucifixion; the spear that pierced his side; his burial in a tomb. Those events precede the discovery by the women at the tomb that his body was missing; the appearance of the angels at the tomb; the appearance of Jesus to Mary in the garden and to the disciples on the road to Emmaus. All these events remind us of God’s love for us in His Son Jesus, the Christ.

 On Palm Sunday, Terry and I worshiped in an LCMS congregation where we had a very spiritually meaningful experience. The pastor’s message, accompanied by a powerful drama, deeply moving choral presentations, and congregation hymn singing, all focused on the power of Christ in our life and world today. Part of that service was a reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ. Many times in my life I have witnessed such portrayals. And each time I’m reminded of the depth of Christ’s love for me, expressed in His agony and cruel death. Those reminders sharpen for me the intensity and impact of the Festival of the Resurrection. For we know that Christ has power, even over death! O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!

May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you always!

Any guesses as to what is missing?  

It’s the forgiveness of sins. It is extraordinary that the president of a confessional Lutheran synod can write a 300 word summary of Holy Week and not mention the forgiveness of sins. My point is not to criticize President Kieschnick but to call your attention to how many like him are thinking and talking about the faith these days.

Notice also the emphasis on emotions and the emphasis on the Christian rather than Christ. He uses such phrases as “meaningful experience,” powerful drama,” “deeply moving” and “the power of Christ in our life and world today.”

Notice also that according to the author what Good Friday does is to “sharpen the impact of the Festival of the Resurrection.” According to this summary Holy Week is all about Easter, but truth be told, it is on Good Friday and from the cross that our Lord preaches “It is finished.” It is on the cross that the sacrifice is completed for the forgiveness of sins. As Dr. Luther and Dr. Nagel have taught us, Good Friday is the real working day for God; Easter is icing on the cake.

It is scary to think that the president of a leading confessional Lutheran synod could say plenty about the emotion of Holy Week and leave out the forgiveness of sins. It is scary but not surprising because the nine year administration of this president has demonstrated that he values the piety (or lack thereof) of culturally relevant American Evangelicalism (just listen to his description of the kind of church service he attended on Palm Sunday – it is the sort of thing that will be happening in thousands of American Evangelical auditoriums this week) as much as or more than the piety of traditional, liturgical Lutheranism.

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

Something is Missing from the LCMS President’s Holy Week “Perspective” by Pr. Rossow — 97 Comments

  1. Don Kirchner :
    leaving out the infamous Stefanski personal shots

    Better infamous than forgettable and ridiculous, like your twisting of Pr. Hering’s post.

    So, why proclaim the story of the crucifixion that expresses a reminder of the depth of God’s love when we can have the real thing, the Sacrament of the Altar? So we can (should?) forgo the Service of the Word- readings and even sermon, both which are delivery systems for the crucifixion, right?

    It’s nice to see you argue against yourself. Obviously, since the readings and sermon are not mere informational devices but, indeed, “delivery systems,” they are not to be set aside. What has been addressed in this thread is the displacement or overshadowing of the delivery systems that Christ has given with something that seems more powerful–play acting. What does Pres. Kieschnick gush on about? The wonderful play.

    And all this, of course, assumes that there was no Lord’s Supper on Palm Sunday at the service that President Kieschnick attended.

    No, it doesn’t assume this at all. It simply reflects what he saw as worthy of mention. I would take it for granted that any Lutheran congregation would have the Lord’s Supper on any given Sunday; unfortunately, your church body’s president simply left us to take it for granted, as he extolled a drama instead of making the concrete connection to the Lord’s Supper that would have benefitted all of his readers, whether they ever were so blessed with skilled performers as to have the sort of show he watched or not.

    Again, putting *anything* into a service that serves to overshadow the Word and Sacraments (even for so theologically-astute an observer as a synodical president obviously must be) is a very bad idea.

    Y’know, when you seek to put words and ideas into someone else’s writing/speaking, Pr. Kirchner, the only way you’ll ‘succeed’ is by his concluding that he doesn’t have time to respond to the nonsense. Thus, you’ll probably ‘win’ at this, since I have a low tolerance for the wasting of my time these days.

    EJG

  2. “I do not think he is doing all of this on purpose. It is being done out of ignorance but this is what happens when we start reading and listienting to more evangelicals than Lutherans. It is ignorance, I will grant him that, but it is an extremely dangerous ignorance that is threatening the survival of Lutheranism in the LCMS.”

    Several years ago at the MN North District convention, our circuit was host for the service. A brother and I led Evening Prayer and President Kieschnick preached. I recall him spending a lot of time talking about the shining light on the hill, how we are to carry that light out into the world, etc. But he never told us what that shining light was. IOW, he never proclaimed the gospel in that sermon; other brothers confirmed this. The closest he came was to perhaps talk about the gospel via a metaphor- a shining light on a hill.

    So, the “Perspectives” proclamation does not appear to be an isolated situation.

  3. Personal shots are not helpful, Pr. Stefanski.

    But, now we’re getting somewhere!

    The crux of the problem seems to be the play acting. The situation given is that there was a reenactment along with the sermon, to wit:

    “The pastor’s message, accompanied by a powerful drama, deeply moving choral presentations, and congregation hymn singing…”

    A sermon with accompanying drama, anthems, hymns. All can be delivery systems for the crucifixion, for the gospel (as can a crudifix or other artistic vehicles). All can be means of grace, i.e., proclamations of the Word. You, Rev. Herring, and others seem to simply prefer some delivery systems over others (assuming Rev. Herring meant what you say he did).

    So President Kieschnick gushes over the play. So what? Others might gush over the beautiful anthem or the singing of their favorite hymn. Others might gush over that pastor’s sermons in general. If the gospel is proclaimed through the various means, in this case the drama and accompanying pastor’s message, what’s the problem?

    And if that service had all these gifts plus the Lord’s Supper, let us rejoice!

    The problem as stated in the beginning of this thread is what was missing from the quoted proclamation, the failure to proclaim the forgiveness of sins, not what did and did not take place at that particular Palm Sunday service.

  4. Rev. Eric J. Stefanski :

    mbw :
    I trust you won’t oppose the importance of one with the other./p>

    They are a unit. I take the question of whether Good Friday or Easter is ‘more important’ simply to be an impious question.
    EJG

    I believe what you are saying here is God’s truth.

  5. Rev. Kurt Hering :
    “Part of that service was a reenactment of the crucifixion of Christ. Many times in my life I have witnessed such portrayals. And each time I’m reminded of the depth of Christ’s love for me, expressed in His agony and cruel death. Those reminders sharpen for me the intensity and impact of the Festival of the Resurrection.”
    I thought that was why the Lord gave us the Sacrament of the Altar.
    Why susbtitute play acting for the real thing?

    Play acting here would be the reenactment; the real thing would be the sacrament, right?

    I don’t think you are saying that this congregation deliberately substituted a dramatic presentation for the sacrament, are you?

    Are you more saying that you believe Rev. Kieschnick might have done better by focusing in his letter on the sacrament than focusing on a dramatic presentation?

    Neither the dramatic presentation nor Rev. Kieschnick’s retelling of it are forbidden, right?

    But are you saying that you think he would have made better use of the time and space devoted to his letter had he attended to more solid things?

  6. Don Kirchner :
    Personal shots are not helpful, Pr. Stefanski.

    Right, so don’t take them. Making it seem as if Pr. Hering were advocating a false doctrine taught by Rome is far more of a personal shot than anything else that’s been said.

    A sermon with accompanying drama, anthems, hymns. All can be delivery systems for the crucifixion, for the gospel (as can a crudifix or other artistic vehicles). All can be means of grace, i.e., proclamations of the Word. You, Rev. Herring, and others seem to simply prefer some delivery systems over others (assuming Rev. Herring meant what you say he did).

    The reading and preaching of the Word were given to us, as was the Lord’s Supper. Drama, hymnody, choral selections, etc., are things that must support what was given, not overshadow it. Are you really having that difficult a time understanding this concept?

    Part of the reason that the preaching of forgiveness was missing is that the methodology tends to work against such preaching. It elevates (fake) eye-witness of events over the understanding and proclamation of the events and what they mean and have accomplished. Even though I’m sure that such was not the intent, it is the impact that it has, as is shown by Pres. Kieschnick’s reaction. (As a side note, when someone gushes about a hymn, I ask “Why?” too, as the focus must always be firmly fixed on Christ as the producer of such emotions. Fortunately, we don’t have to worry about anyone gushing over the preaching.)

    I am the last one who would say, “Don’t use drama,” but I will be first in line to say, “Don’t use it in the Divine Service.” The nature of drama is to overshadow; if it doesn’t do so, you’re not using it correctly.

    In short, Pres. Kieschnick, since the drama was done, had a great opportunity to connect the play acting with the real delivery system for the Crucified Christ, but missed it. Hopefully, when his associates who watch this site see this discussion, they’ll advise him to extend his previous remarks…preferably without the usual whining about the mean internet people.

    EJG

  7. mbw :
    Neither the dramatic presentation nor Rev. Kieschnick’s retelling of it are forbidden, right?

    The fact that something is not forbidden doesn’t make it a good practice. Chewing gum during the Lord’s Supper isn’t forbidden by God’s Word, either, but one would think that a proper understanding of what one was receiving would indicate that one should not be chewing gum there.

    (In southeastern Kansas, a few decades ago, now, you could substitute ‘tobacco’ for ‘gum’ and you’d find why one parish, at least, introduced individual cups for the Lord’s Supper.)

    EJG

  8. @Rev. Eric J. Stefanski #58

    > The fact that something is not forbidden doesn’t make it a good practice. Chewing gum during the Lord’s Supper isn’t forbidden by God’s Word, either, but one would think that a proper understanding of what one was receiving would indicate that one should not be chewing gum there.

    Totally understand. However, I believe we could prove that chewing gum during the Lord’s Supper is generally forbidden. It’s not fair for me to say this, because I am not going to try to prove it right now.

    > (In southeastern Kansas, a few decades ago, now, you could substitute ‘tobacco’ for ‘gum’ and you’d find why one parish, at least, introduced individual cups for the Lord’s Supper.)

    🙂

  9. “I am the last one who would say, ‘Don’t use drama,’ but I will be first in line to say, ‘Don’t use it in the Divine Service.'”

    Rev. Rossow, in his book “Preaching the Creative Gospel Creatively” and as taught in his homiletics class, disagrees. Particularly in Chapter Four, Creativity Through the Use of New Sermon Approaches and Formats, he discusses the use of dramatic vehicles for proclamation as well as others. These were also discussed in class.

    Some might find the concept difficult to understand. 🙂

  10. Concerning drama in the church service, I have always asked the question: “What would Luther or St. Paul do?” I cannot picutre either of them taking time out of the divine service for drama. That answers it for me.

    TR

  11. That is correct, Mr. Pierce. He is lovingly known by his students as “Rev Rossow.”

  12. Don Kirchner :
    Rev. Rossow, in his book “Preaching the Creative Gospel Creatively” and as taught in his homiletics class, disagrees.

    Yes, I know that he there advocates having a layman violate Augustana XIV to ‘help’ you preach via dialogue (cf. p. 130), and glories in the use of role playing (cf., p. 126; which, in my limited experience, has been universally awful), but even he makes the points made in this thread:

    To be sure, there are potential dangers connected with the literature format. The preacher must be careful not to permit the literary selection employed in his sermon to upstage his Biblical text…it should play a servant role in respect to the text and in respect to the Gospel that the text contains.

    P. 109, emphasis mine. So, also, when he writes:

    Another danger that may arise is elevating extra-Biblical revelation to the level of Biblical revelation.

    (ibid.) beyond my cringing at his calling whatever literature “extra-Biblical revelation“–as if literature were necessarily the valid testimony of nature and conscience–I see exactly the problem being addressed here: making the extra-Biblical acting out of a text (with the necessary inauthenticity of not really crucifying One who is God and Man) the equal of or, more likely, the emotional superior of the Gospel text, the Gospel preached, and the Gospel connected to visible elements in the Lord’s Supper.

    In short, while Prof. Rossow has a few good ideas here and there in chapter four, they are greatly pushed into the background for me by the uncritical acceptance of practices that either violate our Confessions (and, thus, Scripture) or cause the ‘main thing’ to be overshadowed. He tried to ‘be sensitive’ in his writing of this chapter, obviously, but the need to do so is testimony in itself that these things being thrust into the Divine Service is not a good idea. Personally, I’ll take my stand with Luther and relegating the Palm Sunday processional of the donkey to the schoolhouse and keep it from diverting any portion of attention from where it belongs.

    EJG

  13. mbw :
    Totally understand. However, I believe we could prove that chewing gum during the Lord’s Supper is generally forbidden. It’s not fair for me to say this, because I am not going to try to prove it right now.

    Y’know, if you have a place in Scripture that forbids the chewing of gum during the Lord’s Supper, you really owe it to us to tell us where it is. Anything less would be truly unbrotherly.

    EJG

  14. I have a fresh supply of flak jackets (made in USA) just in. They are available in four designer colors that go nicely with grenade launchers of any hue or shade.

    The colors are:
    Bogosity Blue
    Purpose-driven Puce
    Tranformational Taupe
    Curmudgeon Crimson

    Johannes (Curmudgeonly Crimson, of Course)

  15. Well, the issue is not the extended use of literature format to which the Rossow quotes apply. But, be that as it may…

    “Yes, I know that he there advocates having a layman violate Augustana XIV to ‘help’ you preach via dialogue…

    …the uncritical acceptance of practices that either violate our Confessions (and, thus, Scripture)…”

    No, Rev Rossow does not in his book, nor did he in his class, advocate or suggest violating our Confessions.

  16. @Jim Pierce #69
    I hate to appear ignorant, but what is the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch? I’m missing something here.

    @boogie #70
    These flak jackets are “experience-friendly.” They have been tested by exposing the wearer to 20 consecutive hours of Saddleback Praise worship. The wearer was also wearing specially designed earplugs, and escaped unscathed. The flak jackets are indeed lightweight, and you will find that your limbs are totally free to wield your own grenade launcher, or other weapon of choice.

    Oh, yes. We can make custom colors upon request and submission of color sample.

    Johannes

  17. @Jim Pierce #72

    No, I stopped watching Monty Python when their anti-Christian bias went way over the top. Even the “Flying Circus” got to be too much. Call me thin-skinned, super-sensitive, or whatever, but I didn’t like it. I still love “Crunchy Frogs” and the British Poets bit with the king, Dennis Moore and the lupines, among others, however.

    Based on the extensive testing however, these flak jackets should be able to withstand even the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.

    Johannes (not without a sense of humor)

  18. @johannes #71
    Who can resist an “old, cranky Lutheran” joke? How about “Cranky Khaki” with the built-in TLSB and BOC storage pockets? Although not exactly lightweight, it would be well-armored.

  19. @johannes #73

    On a serious note you are right about the anti-Christian bias with the Monty Python troop’s humor, Johannes.

    But, I am thankful your jackets withstandeth such a force as the Holy Hand Grenade. 😉

  20. Don Kirchner :
    “Yes, I know that he there advocates having a layman violate Augustana XIV to ‘help’ you preach via dialogue…
    No, Rev Rossow does not in his book, nor did he in his class, advocate or suggest violating our Confessions.

    Yes, that is exactly what his advocacy of ‘dialogue sermons’ does.

    EJG

  21. johannes :
    @Jim Pierce #72
    No, I stopped watching Monty Python when their anti-Christian bias went way over the top. Even the “Flying Circus” got to be too much. Call me thin-skinned, super-sensitive, or whatever, but I didn’t like it. I still love “Crunchy Frogs” and the British Poets bit with the king, Dennis Moore and the lupines, among others, however.
    Based on the extensive testing however, these flak jackets should be able to withstand even the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.
    Johannes (not without a sense of humor)

    I question your ability to designate anyone as having curmudgeon status.

    EJG

  22. To accuse a faithful servant, now a professor emeritus, of such a thing without sufficient basis…well, it is simply an ignorant, bitter statement which merits no further response.

  23. @Rev. Eric J. Stefanski #79

    I’m not sure what you mean. Curmudgeons do indeed have a sense of humor–it’s in the job description someplace. As one who once was known as the “resident curmudgeon” and who has trained others in the curmudgeonly arts, I am eminently qualified to designate curmudgeons, calling them, of course, as I see them. In fact, you might be one….if you have a sense of humor.

    Johannes (curmdgeon emeritus & flak jacket-attired)

  24. Don Kirchner :
    To accuse a faithful servant, now a professor emeritus, of such a thing without sufficient basis…well, it is simply an ignorant, bitter statement which merits no further response.

    Funny. Quoting his book is ignorant. Telling the truth about it is bitter. You call good “evil” and evil “good.”

    Your professor specifically advocates having a ‘dialog sermon’ in which “a lay assistant” preaches with you (p. 130). This is playing fast and loose with AC XIV. NOT that he intends to do so, but that is what he ends up doing. Thus, I condemn the practice, but not the man; indeed, I said that he “tried to be sensitive” in writing this chapter, to try to walk the line between acceptable creativity and that which goes beyond what it ought. In this particular case, he failed.

    While your response(s) merit no further response I respond lest any be led astray by your appeal to authority and argumentation ad hominem…which things so often carry the day.

    EJG

  25. Johannes :
    @Rev. Eric J. Stefanski #79
    I’m not sure what you mean. Curmudgeons do indeed have a sense of humor–it’s in the job description someplace.
    Johannes (curmdgeon emeritus & flak jacket-attired)

    I’m sorry; I quoted the wrong post. It wasn’t the sense of humor that was problematic, it was the all-too-soon and all-too-predictable attempt to sell flak jackets. Or, maybe, it was the all-too-late attempt to do so, as if they were needed at all, it was back when Pr. hering was being attacked, not when he was being defended.

    That happens a lot, too.

    EJG

  26. “Funny. Quoting his book is ignorant.”

    No, putting the best constuction on your accusation, it is derived out of ignorance.

    As for the quotes, you use quotes addressing other proclamation formats to support problems with dialog and role-playing formats. That’ s intellectually dishonest.

    “Telling the truth about it is bitter.”

    No, asserting evil of a faithful servant of Christ and professor emeritus by alleging that he suggests that students and pastors violate the Confessions and doing so without a legitimate basis is bitter, perhaps evil in itself. A lay assistant is, by definition, doing exactly that- assisting. He is not violating ACXIV, nor is Rev Rossow suggesting that anyone do so.

    The book has been out since 1983. How sad that such defamation gets thrown about.

  27. Don,

    Stefanski has said he is not criticizing the man but his ideas. Is that defamation?

    Also, the logic of semantics seems to be on Stefanski’s side here. A dialogue sermon is preaching. Preaching is the administration of the word. Administration of the word is the work of the pastor. A layman by definition is not a pastor. You can call him whatever you want (e.g. an “assistant”) but that does not change the logic behind the words “pastor,” “preaching,” “sermon,” etc.

    Since Rossow is my namesake (not related) and I know his work well since I took two classes with him at sem, I guess I can speak to this matter. He is a fine confessional theologian but sometimes his creativity takes him places he does not need to go. For instance, his book “Gospel Handles” is at best extraneous. The point of it is to help us find little handles for the Gospel in a text that has no Gospel. For my money, if I run across a text in the pericopes without Gospel (are there any?) I would just simply preach on a different reading.

    TR

  28. Johannes :@boogie #75
    We call it “Khranki Khaki”. Is that all right?
    j (Khurmujin)

    That’s great. This will be a far better seller in confessional Lutheran circles than “Narcissistic Navy.”

    boogie (kranky to the kore)

  29. @Rev. Eric J. Stefanski #84
    “All too soon,” “All too predictable”, “All too late” flak jacket comments. My point is that the flak is all too predictable, often comes all too soon, and quits all too late, regardless of whom is being attacked or defended, that’s all. (That’s one reason I no longer post on ALPB.)

    @boogie #87
    Narcissistic Navy was never a big seller. We took it off the market. However, Tiger Woods is currently testing our “Golf Course Green” model.

    Johannes

  30. @boogie #87

    I almost forgot: wait until you see our “Chill Out White” line. We will be offering special discounts on that color only for BJS contributors.

    Johannes.

  31. “Stefanski has said he is not criticizing the man but his ideas.”

    Well, let’s see what he actually wrote.

    “Yes, I know that he there advocates having a layman violate Augustana XIV to ‘help’ you preach via dialogue…

    Yes, that is exactly what his advocacy of ‘dialogue sermons’ does.”

    Yes, that is defamation.

    “Preaching is the administration of the word. Administration of the word is the work of the pastor. A layman by definition is not a pastor.”

    Indeed. But the scenario stated is that the pastor is there, proclaiming the Word. If, in doing so, he wishes to incorporate a dialogue format, he may certainly ask a layman to assist him in the dialogue portion of that sermon. The pastor is responsible for the content. He is there proclaiming. There is no AC XIV violation.

    Goodness, the next thing you’ll be maintaining is that, if the pastor quotes from a writing of a layman in his sermon, there’s a violation of AC XIV.

    For my money, if I run across a text in the pericopes without Gospel (are there any?) I would just simply preach on a different reading.”

    Well, that’s what a Baptist would do. 🙂

  32. Don,

    If that is what a Baptist would do then God bless the Baptist!

    Actaully, the Baptists takes pericopes (if he even recognizes the word) rich with Gospel and ignores it and preaches the law instead. 🙁

    TR

  33. Actaully, the Baptists takes pericopes (if he even recognizes the word) rich with Gospel and ignores it and preaches the law instead.

    TR

    Great analysis, as this is exactly what Beth Moore does. Instead of Law and Gospel, it’s Law and Law. The book of hers that I read devoted one paragraph to the Cross and empty tomb, as I recall.

    As she states in “To Live is Christ,” “Salvation is also the open door to a rich earthly life in which we enjoy the love and direction of an active God. Many unbelievers are repelled by Christianity because they are afraid they will have to give up so much. Make your sense of ongoing purpose a part of yout testimony. We often have no idea how many people are struggling to find reason to live and persevere through difficulty.”

    I guess if God doesn’t drop a million dollars on my front porch, I’m doing something wrong. How ironic that a book recounting St. Paul’s journey promotes earthly prosperity and happiness. I wouldn’t exactly refer to Paul’s post-conversion life as easy and prosperous. From an earthly standpoint, he would have been much more “comfortable” remaining a Pharisee.

  34. Don Kirchner :
    “Stefanski has said he is not criticizing the man but his ideas.”
    Well, let’s see what he actually wrote.
    “Yes, I know that he there advocates having a layman violate Augustana XIV to ‘help’ you preach via dialogue…
    Yes, that is exactly what his advocacy of ‘dialogue sermons’ does.”
    Yes, that is defamation.

    No, Don, it’s just the truth.

    Indeed. But the scenario stated is that the pastor is there, proclaiming the Word. If, in doing so, he wishes to incorporate a dialogue format, he may certainly ask a layman to assist him in the dialogue portion of that sermon. The pastor is responsible for the content. He is there proclaiming. There is no AC XIV violation.

    Yes, there is. A pastor being “responsible for the content” by no means allows a layman to preach. Though, I suppose your synod president knew what his wife was going to say when he let her preach with him, and your many contemporary worship practitioners know what their parishioners will ‘testify’ when allowed to get up and ‘share’ in the midst of their preaching. And, of course, since a pastor is ultimately responsible for what all of your church body’s ‘district-trained lay deacons’ preach (and, one supposed, for their ‘proper’ administration of the Sacraments, too), there’s obviously nothing wrong with that, either.

    Goodness, the next thing you’ll be maintaining is that, if the pastor quotes from a writing of a layman in his sermon, there’s a violation of AC XIV.

    When all else fails, resort to hyperbole.

    EJG

  35. johannes :
    @Rev. Eric J. Stefanski #84
    “All too soon,” “All too predictable”, “All too late” flak jacket comments. My point is that the flak is all too predictable, often comes all too soon, and quits all too late, regardless of whom is being attacked or defended, that’s all. (That’s one reason I no longer post on ALPB.)

    Have your comments helped the discussion or merely distracted from it?

    EJG

  36. Yeah, it all gets so confusing, Eric. Like this guy, who posted on the Lutherquest board:

    William Kope posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 – 2:45 pm:

    “I am a layman and I have preached, several times in my lifetime. Please note that I did not choose to preach or teach, but was requested by my Pastor to do so in his absence and to use a sermon he approved. So did I really preach or did I just read those sermons? As for your comment above try using the Augsburg Confession XIV; “It is taught among us that nobody should publicly preach or teach or administer the sacraments in the church without a regular call.” That is rite vocatus, I believe. Pastors correct me.”

    Mr. Kope’s Church Website URL: http://holytrinitylc.com

    At that site:

    “Our mailing address is: P.O. Box 2612, Harrison, AR 72602, and our phone number is (870) 577-0742”

    “Our pastor, the Rev. Eric J. Stefanski,…”

    Surely if a layman can preach a sermon approved by the pastor in the pastor’s absence, a lay assistant, if asked by the pastor, can asist in a dialogue format as part of a sermon approved by the pastor in which the pastor is present and preaching without any usurpation of the Office.

    And to accuse a well-respected servant of Christ and pastor emeritus of advocating “having a layman violate Augustana XIV to ‘help’ you preach via dialogue” is not only defamatory. It is blatant hypocrisy.

    The point of this thread is long gone. And the side issue of suggesting that what a poster wrote was incorrect (All he had to say was, “Yeah, I was unclear. Let me clarify what I wrote”) has now, through a childish “You started it!” ended in a faithful emeritus professor being falsely accused of encouraging the faithful to violate the Lutheran Confessions. That’s enough. I’m done.

  37. Don Kirchner :
    Yeah, it all gets so confusing, Eric. Like this guy, who posted on the Lutherquest board:
    William Kope posted on Wednesday, June 22, 2005 – 2:45 pm:
    “I am a layman and I have preached, several times in my lifetime. Please note that I did not choose to preach or teach, but was requested by my Pastor to do so in his absence and to use a sermon he approved. So did I really preach or did I just read those sermons? As for your comment above try using the Augsburg Confession XIV; “It is taught among us that nobody should publicly preach or teach or administer the sacraments in the church without a regular call.” That is rite vocatus, I believe. Pastors correct me.”
    Mr. Kope’s Church Website URL: http://holytrinitylc.com
    “Our pastor, the Rev. Eric J. Stefanski,…”
    Surely if a layman can preach a sermon approved by the pastor in the pastor’s absence, a lay assistant, if asked by the pastor, can asist in a dialogue format as part of a sermon approved by the pastor in which the pastor is present and preaching without any usurpation of the Office.

    Mr. Kope neither preaches nor ‘reads sermons’ here…nor does any layman, whether in my presence or in my absence; he spoke of what had happened in the past. As you note, he requested correction, and he has received it (and he has received it in the typically humble Christian demeanor with which he receives all of God’s Word and the Lutheran Confessions).

    The practice at Holy Trinity when I am absent is to recite the Catechism and to sing hymns. Thus, your

    And to accuse a well-respected servant of Christ and pastor emeritus of advocating “having a layman violate Augustana XIV to ‘help’ you preach via dialogue” is not only defamatory. It is blatant hypocrisy.

    is as incorrect as your other statements. You would do well to find facts, rather than to assume that quotes taken out of context from various sources over a period of years actually prove anything.

    The point of this thread is long gone. And the side issue of suggesting that what a poster wrote was incorrect (All he had to say was, “Yeah, I was unclear. Let me clarify what I wrote”) has now, through a childish “You started it!” ended in a faithful emeritus professor being falsely accused of encouraging the faithful to violate the Lutheran Confessions. That’s enough. I’m done.

    He has violated the Confessions. You have supported him in it, as well as acting evilly overall. You were ‘done’ a long time ago.

    EJG

  38. Rev. Eric J. Stefanski :

    He has violated the Confessions. You have supported him in it, as well as acting evilly overall. You were ‘done’ a long time ago.

    I was asked, off-site, to ‘unpack this statement.

    1) It is evil to ‘defend one’s neighbor’ by trying to shame someone else by means of falsehood.

    2) It is evil to present something as true when you cannot prove that it is true. Moreover, it is stupid, because then you look like an evil, vindictive child when it is demonstrated that you have made a false accusation.

    3) Seeking to find fault in the orthodox when they are pointing out error is a grievous sin. As Isaiah 29 says: “20 For the terrible one is brought to nothing, The scornful one is consumed, And all who watch for iniquity are cut off—21 Who make a man an offender by a word, And lay a snare for him who reproves in the gate, And turn aside the just by empty words.” (NKJV)

    4) While Missourian (and WELSian) practice of long-standing has been to have ‘elders’ (in the Calvinist sense of that term) ‘read sermons’ in the pastor’s absence, those who were around when the Book of Concord was compiled tended to be sensitive to Augustana XIV. The parish at Hoya, according to their Church Order of 1581, had a Küster (custodian/guard) appointed to take care of the furnishings, etc., for worship, and if no pastor was available, he would lead the parish in the recitation of the Catechism. One of his qualifications was to be able to lead congregational singing; another was the ability to chase away dogs. At any rate, this Missourian abuse has been used as justification for more recent errors…everything from vicarage to dialog sermons to having Terri Kieschnick ‘add a few words’ during her husband’s sermon, and should be avoided. Thus, we use a catechetical recitation after the pattern of the parish at Hoya.

    5) Mr. Kope’s words that were quoted here were written before Holy Trinity, Harrison, was even founded, much less before we were able to advance beyond Missourian peculiarities. To try to set a layman’s words spoken in such a context and at such a distance chronologically against his pastor’s stated position without reckoning that there may have been some growth, etc., is shameful. Should we take a layman’s words in 2010 in favor of open Communion and say that his pastor in 2015 is a hypocrite because the pastor condemns open Communion?

    No, from start to finish, what Pr. Kirchner has done is to try to shame and defame. He started out with his nonsensical representation of Pr. Hering as some wild-eyed Papist, and he concluded by defending his professor’s (one and only, as far as I know) false teaching with regard to laymen ‘sharing a pulpit’ by means of trying to make a conflict between a pastor and a parishioner–or, rather, to make it seem as though said pastor were not practicing what he preached. (Of course, that would also make every pastor who proclaimed the benefits of frequent Communion, but whose parish rejected his teaching, a ‘hypocrite’, too. Many pastors are ‘stuck with’ things that they teach against; in this matter, however, we do not do what Mr. Kope’s previous parishes did, and if he were asked to do today what he was asked to do then, he’d probably immediately ask for a transfer to another parish.)

    Yes, I’m through; I don’t think I want to spend another second being this disgusted. As with the false attacks against Pr. Wilken on a few other recent threads, this attack against Pr. Hering was so misguided that it required a response, and it’s shameful that so few would be willing to make one, but that, instead, we would get the ‘flak jacket’ nonsense. Good grief, Kirchner tries to defend his old prof (when the prof actually teaches incorrectly) by making false accusations, but you need ‘protection’ when those who are teaching correctly are defended?

    But, that’s what I get for hanging around a Missouri-dominated discussion. ‘How the libs are’ has rubbed off on (a great many of) the rest of you, just as we noted in our review of Craig Stanford’s “The Three Walls Preventing Reform of the LCMS.”

    EJG

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