A Brief Report on the Trip to Concordia Seminary, by Pr. Rossow

As reported last week, the President of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, The Rev. Dr. Dale Meyer, invited me to the seminary this week to discuss the issues I have raised about small groups and contemporary worship at the seminary. He and I met for an hour and a half on Wednesday afternoon. We then met for over two hours with many of the faculty members I named in posts over the last few weeks and the Pastoral Formation Committee. Dr. Meyer, the provost and I had dinner on Wednesday night and then Thursday morning I had a two hour meeting with Dr. Burreson, the Dean of the Chapel, Dr. Meyer and a few other faculty members. There were several tense and serious moments but overall the meetings were characterized by a desire for mutual understanding.

It will be a few days before I post a detailed report on the visit. In a spirit of brotherly fraternity Dr. Meyer and I agreed that any reporting on this particular visit be agreed upon by us mutually. That will slow down the process a bit but for a good cause.

I will say this much about my time in St. Louis. Dr. Meyer and I have a long-standing friendship but we had not had a chance to nurture it for the last ten years or so. Despite the very serious and critical things we needed to speak to each other, it took all of about thirty seconds to renew our friendship. Our mutual enjoyment of each other’s company for the two days provided a comortable and safe environment in which we could get pretty straight-forward and blunt with each other, all for the good of our Lord’s Gospel.

More to come…

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.


A Brief Report on the Trip to Concordia Seminary, by Pr. Rossow — 129 Comments

  1. @Dutch #83


    Please be assured that I have no grudge against you personally for not using your name. This is a peripheral matter that I only joined in after it was raised by other commenters. I do hope that you consider answering the questions I asked you directly in comment 67. And it seems necessary to again explain that I have never asked you to speak to why you left the LCMS. It was a matter of clarification.

    You have attacked my character and offered no evidence to support your claim. I submit that your accusations are false, unproven, and therefore, are not to be taken seriously. If you wish, I would be more than willing to discuss this matter either here or through private e-mails. If you need my e-mail address, well, I guess you could Google it…

  2. @Jason #100

    I actually think it is entirely possible for any church musical group to fall into the temptation to think that “it’s all about me;” not just praise bands. I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with enjoying playing in church; having played in church for special occasions for many years, I absolutely love being able to praise God with my voice or trumpet. I’d rather know the band loves what they are doing than know they would much rather not be up there. With that being said, every musician needs a good dose of “it’s not about me, it’s about what God does for all of us and only then about our praise of Him” every so often. For that reason, I decided several years ago that no ensemble I direct or which performs in my church will ever be in front of the congregation. I made that mistake the first time I directed an ensemble in church, and was really embarrassed when the congregation did the natural thing (for a concert) and applauded.

  3. @helen #95
    They may not be in danger, but the things that carry over from other sites to here can be a little intimidating at worst or just plain confusing at best. I don’t get the PTM and cyberbretheran digs, but that is just fine with me.

    The problem with text is that the reader inevitably makes conclusions about the intent of the writing and those conclusions can be upsetting. Whether or not we intend to violate the 8th commandment we often do in our writing. “…We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, or defame our neighbor, but defend him, [think and] speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything.”

    @Johannes #98
    I enjoy all of your (titles) considering the context that was a really funny one and a little gross.

  4. @Concerned Seminarian #58
    Yes Concerned Seminarian, I suspect that your between-the-lines-reading is somewhere near what is meant by “any reporting on this particular visit be agreed upon by us mutually.” I look forward to reading what they have to say. Sometimes these types of reports can be substantive, like the joint report on the April meeting of the Committee on Lutheran Cooperation (http://www.elca.org/Who-We-Are/Our-Three-Expressions/Churchwide-Organization/Communication-Services/News/Releases.aspx#&&a=4520), which was very instructive. At other times, these types of reports tell you next to nothing, like the joint press release on the October meeting between the Association of Confessing Evangelical Lutheran Congregations and VP Mueller and DP’s Sommerfeld and Mirly (http://acelc.net/index.php). I hope the report will be more like the former and less like the latter. I agree that it is helpful for the two sides to “compare notes” to make sure there are no misunderstandings. At the same time, these previously agreed upon ways of reporting can be problematic if one party, for whatever reason, won’t allow the other party to report something that is truthful and should be brought to light. In this case however, I believe that both Pastor Rossow and Dr. Meyer are men of integrity who won’t allow that to happen, nor do I think there’s some deep dark secret lurking in the recesses of CSL that should be exposed.

  5. @Andrew Strickland #103

    Re: Punchbowls and their contents, please keep in mind that I did not originate the reference. However, most websites do need a real punchbowl orderly, and this website may have a particularly strong need for one. I suspect that Norm has his hands full (pun intended) with that job here on BJS.

    Rev. Weinkauf :So the brief report generates over 100 comments, what will a full report bring?

    Great question! It ought to be very interesting.


  6. @Andrew Strickland #103
    I don’t get the PTM and cyberbretheran digs, but that is just fine with me.

    Not a dig… PTM runs a very tight ship at Cyberbrethren; anyone who thinks this one is ‘loose’ might be happier there?

  7. @Jim Pierce #87

    Apology accepted, but really not needed. I just wanted it to be clear.

    You responded: “The focus of “small groups,” as being discussed here, is upon what I do to become a better Christian. Perhaps another way of putting it is that the focus is taken off of Christ’s gifts to me and is placed upon my own piety.”

    My thought is: From the comments provided by at least one seminarian who has participated, it does not sound to me as if the small groups at CSL are gathering for the purpose you describe. I do not perceive or understand the purpose of the small groups at CSL as teaching seminarians how to become a better Christian. The point about taking the focus off of Christ’s gifts and placing it upon my own piety cannot truly be judged without personally observing the discussions taking place. Debating the appropriateness of the SOAP method, albeit related to this situation, is something to do in a different chain or thread. I’m trying to understand the frequency of chapel issue.

    You asked, “Do you agree that is a terrible problem?”

    My response is: IF – and that is a big ‘if’ – the purpose of the small groups is to teach piety at the expense of receiving the means of grace, then yes. I see it as a problem. But, again, whether that is happening or not is debatable since neither of us have actually observed first-hand what is taking place within the small groups.

    (I’m going to take a risk and try to insert a block quote. If I mess this up, I apologize in advance.

    Jim Pierce :
    John, I don’t know if you are aware of it or not, but your statement “centuries old format of liturgical orders” sounds very close to one of Jacob Spener’s complaints about the divine service (see pages two through four of Pless’ paper) out of which Spener turns the focus away from what is going on in the divine service for us into focusing upon what we are doing with the gifts given to us in the divine service. This is a shift away from the objective means of grace to a subjective analysis of our own works. The question shouldn’t be how frequently should anyone gather together for corporate worship, but rather “Why do we gather together for corporate worship?” If you answer as I do, for the forgiveness of sins, then the question over frequency evaporates, since the obvious answer is “as often as I can!”

    It wasn’t a complaint, Jim. I don’t agree with Spener, and I personally don’t put faith in anything I do as an effort to somehow please God. My phrase (and I stated earlier that I’m not good with words) ‘centuries old format of liturgical orders’ was only a way of speaking of the God-given way to worship him. We call it Page 5, or Page 15, or Matins, or Divine Service I (II, or III). Luther called it the Mass. What words would you use to categorize proper worship formats and structure against improper man-centered worship?

    Moving on, here’s another rub. I agree that we gather together for corporate worship to receive the forgiveness of sins. Your position is that you would attend such worship as often as possible. I would agree. That raises another question.

    Folks are raising a ruckus that CSL canceled three or four chapel services in an academic quarter in order to assemble in small groups. Why not raise a bigger ruckus that one chapel service daily isn’t enough? Why not complain that the Lord’s Supper is being offered only once each week? Why wouldn’t confessional Lutherans and seminarians clamor for both seminaries to offer faculty, staff and students an hourly chapel opportunity to include the Lord’s Supper at each and every chapel service?

    If it is appropriate to criticize a seminary for canceling three or four chapel services in an academic quarter (which is, what, three months long?), then why stop there? Why am I not reading a huge outcry against both seminaries for offering chapel only daily (not hourly), and an outcry that chapel with Holy Communion only once each week is unacceptable. Worship is about receiving the means of grace for the forgiveness of sins, and we should as redeemed, sanctified children of God desire to receive this forgiveness of sins as often as possible, right?

    This is one of the conundrums that I find myself wrestling with. How frequent is frequent enough? And if my church, or a student’s seminary, is not offering the opportunity to worship as frequently as I’d like or need, then what should I/they do?

    Chapel once each day, it seems, is not enough if we can complain that chapel services are being canceled and there are fewer now than there were a year ago.

    Chapel with Holy Communion once per week is not enough if we attend chapel to receive the means of grace and the forgiveness of sins.

    Perhaps the solution is for both seminaries to have an hourly schedule of chapel services with Holy Communion. That way students could attend more than once per day and as often as they believe they need.

  8. @John Clark #108

    Hi John,

    I have read your posting above and I think you raise some interesting points for discussion with your questions, but I am sorry to say that I don’t have time to engage your points, but I did want to take time to acknowledge your response. Thank you for the dialogue.

  9. @John Clark #78


    I re-read your comment and I am thoroughly confused. I don’t mean to prod at someone who doesn’t want to continue discussions with me, but it seems that the subject you will not continue with me is the anonymity issue. With that in mind, I will continue.

    I don’t understand how you are comfortable making the accusation that I have taken certain discussions off-topic and moved them onto myself, and then after I asked you to prove your accusation you said it’s not your place to say whether I’m right or wrong? Perhaps I misunderstood your point. I ask again, can you substantiate accusation (in light of my words to you at the bottom comment 76)? I don’t doubt that you can, but I don’t personally see it.

    Also, I added to the discussion that was raised by others to agree with them and continue the subject. It seems that you suggest that even though I strongly disagree with something, I shouldn’t speak to it again (even when brought in by others) because I have spoken against it in the past. And to clarify, I did not take your words as an attack.

    And finally, a question came to my mind after seeing your words to me:

    “Proclaim the pure Gospel of Jesus and God’s law to those who have called you into the office of public ministry (which isn’t the group of people gathered here).”

    I assure you that I regularly proclaim the Gospel to those who have called me. I find that I am not overstepping my call by reading, commenting, and asking questions here. Likewise, as you know, I am not the only pastor who comments here. I have observed that while I comment here off and on, there are other pastors who spend more time commenting than I do. Do your words apply to all pastors here?

  10. John Clark,
    Wow, your posts in #’s 78, 86, & 108, were ab fab & gave many, I wager, much to think on. If it weren’t for BJS, & what has been posted since 1/2009, I’d/mine would know nothing of any of this. You actually, hit on one of the many reasons, we departed. Do remember, all, my family, both sides, Godparents, etc, still reside w/in LCMS walls. My family, do ask us, to forward articles posted here, which regard interests each member may have. After viewing exchanges here past & present, none of our family, are willing to post. I respect them for their choice, & have never understood why they would value mine, in the slightest. But, one reason we left was in fact, we have a child who has expressed interest in becoming a holder of the Divine Office. Knowing, many in our family, have attended LCMS universities, this was & became a great concern. None, I mean none, of them, would encourage their children to attend. LCMS, made the rounds, of many an apologetic site. See Kimball or Bell, we do live in WI.

    I would have thought, for Sem students, that Matins & Vespers, would be a daily occurence. I wish it were possible for me to have the opportunity to attend such. The one thing, I am most confident in saying, is that Sem students, should have much, MUCH, more chapel ops, than those they, will shepherd. I have not seen this info, prior to your post, today. This is why BJS is so important. Not simply, for the articles written, but for the posts. Not always, but just once in a while.

    John, how often is enough? Great question. Is there anything that can be deemed too much? I think not, but that comes from a sheep, who sits in a pew. WELS & LCMS, have similar issues, if ya visit sites, other than BJS. Matins & Vespers, are my favorites, how lovely, to begin or end one’s day.

    For laity, we are, so to speak, at the mercy, of those who shepherd us. How ironic, that those who will, whether WELS or LCMS, have just the same & equal ops, their sheep have, in the best of circumstances.
    Thank you for bringing this all, to the attention of us here, at BJS. Such a shame, a true shame. Truthfully though, who has the best chance or change? Those who attend & see the value of what has once been, or those who have no voice, choice, or value-in the eyes of whom?
    I wish it were so, but as it is, it is not. But, I must say, it should so very much be! Both for those who will shepherd, and for those who must depend on a shepherd. I’ve attended a “Matins or Vespers” type, abroad, outside the Lutheran denom. How I wish, both for myself & those who choose to Serve, would have the same ops, tourists have, abroad. See Frommer’s. No small wonder, so many question, intents. Begs the questions, does it not?
    Thanks bunches, you said a mouthfull, that most, have no answer for.
    Blessings to you John C,
    Dutch S.

  11. Pastor Gilbert,
    It was never, nor has ever been endevored, by me, to besmudge, anyone’s character. My intent, with your post here, in this article, Pastor Gilbert, was to call into question your intent. One’s intent, is quite different than character. If one looks at the articles, listed on the BJS Homepage, your comments, are under only one, one article, at present. Your name is not found on: Manic Monday, 9.5 Things, Justification” It’s What Holds.., Last Chance.., G.S.O.W.-Carl B’s, Fame, Traveloge, G.S.-Wild Boar, Luther 101, Reference & Posting of the sweet 95…can anyone find your name or posting, prior to 11/2, on any article, apart from this present one? No.
    Intents, whether obvious or thinly veiled, are still rather telling. I & many remember, the Carmel article (August I believe), & your entrities, to contact prior to post, & entrity, prior to posting & subsequent posts on said article, near I memory serves, begins there.
    If I am guilty of anything, I am guilty, of questioning your intent & reference to that situation.

    Now, look at the comment in # 59. If those who remember the article, regarding your charge, was there any question or reason to not take away the fact you referred to that situation, as to your intent of asking, for an answer in this post # 59? I may be rather thick as a plank, but I can read. Such is the venue, of the Net. I read more than just the volatile posts, I do comment on a few articles here. I see your name, on but a few.
    I haven’t seen your name on any present, but this one, Pastor. Again, it was not my aim or goal, to question your character, but your intent.

  12. @Dutch #112
    @helen #77


    Here is how I see you calling my character into question, and not my intent:

    “You, I have yet to see [respect] from, regarding most you speak to here.”

    You further this by reminding me that I am a pastor and you are a lay person. This has nothing to do with what articles I comment on. This has everything to do with your accusation that I do not demonstrate respect when I offer disagreements with the practices at this website. I am very much want to understand why you have reached this conclusion. Please provide evidence for your claim, or withdraw it.

    Regarding your false assumption of which articles I may have referenced, I encourage you and helen to examine the articles that deal with real people, real churches, real Synodical entities, and from what I can gather, did not offer the same “spirit of brotherly fraternity” offered to Dr. Dale Meyer and CSL, as listed below:

    “Number of Concordia Signatures on Ayers Petition is Growing,” dated November 3, 2008

    “Sneak Peak at Kieschnick’s New Book Cover!,” dated December 5, 2009

    “The LCMS in Her Own Words – Comfort Dog Installed as Staff Member in Northern Illinois Parish,” dated January 13, 2010

    There was another article published here on March 10, 2010 (if I remember the date correctly) which was based on comment 23 under the article “LCMS Youth Gathering Praise Music Now Comes with a Theological Disclaimer,” dated March 6, 2010. This article was removed without any explanation, correction, retraction, or apology to the pastors named in it.

    “Whether you are a Nerd, Into Yoga or are Straight and want to be a Gay Ally, there’s a Club for You at Concordia, Portland,” dated September 6, 2010

    “St. Louis Seminary Replaces Chapel Tomorrow with Small Groups,” dated September 27, 2010

    “Concordia Seminary May be Dropping Chapel Services but Bethany Naperville is Adding More,” dated October 8, 2010

    “Shock and Sadness as St. Louis Sem Continues to Promote Pietism’s Chief Tactic – Small Groups Set to Replace Chapel Service Tomorrow,” dated October 11, 2010

    “Unsettling Beliefs in the Faculty at Concordia, Mequon Says Former Adjunct Professor,” dated October 24, 2010

    If my characterization of these articles or the context behind them can be further explained, I will be sure to offer corrections to my words. I welcome you to note that a number of these articles were published months, if not years, before the article that you accuse me of using as the sole basis for my concerns was published.

    Please stop drawing false associations with my name, the church I currently serve, and my criticism of what I find to be irresponsible practices at this website. I want to note that what I have listed is only a handful of articles, and that this site, despite its problems, has much to offer the LCMS and the Lutheran faith.

  13. @Rev. Jack Gilbert #110

    I’m glad you understand that I will not be the one to scratch open the scab of online anonymity/pseudonymity, Rev. Gilbert.

    I don’t understand how you are comfortable making the accusation that I have taken certain discussions off-topic and moved them onto myself, and then after I asked you to prove your accusation you said it’s not your place to say whether I’m right or wrong? Perhaps I misunderstood your point. I ask again, can you substantiate accusation (in light of my words to you at the bottom comment 76)? I don’t doubt that you can, but I don’t personally see it.

    Okay, I’ll play (but only for a bit as I firmly believe we won’t come to a mutually satisfactory resolution and this will devolve into more “You said/I said/You said, now defend yourself.”).

    As substantiation, I offer up this very thread. The topic introduced under the heading is Rev. Rossow’s trip to St. Louis and his concerns regarding CSL’s use of small groups and contemporary worship. Now, down toward the bottom of the thread, several of us are being called upon to discuss your character, your intent, your past statements, your concerns, your opinions, etc. (or conversely defend our interpretation of those items) which touch – at best – only tangentially on the issue of CSL’s use of small groups and contemporary worship. The thread has become, for lack of a better phrase, about you. And it is not the first time this has happened.

    Also, I added to the discussion that was raised by others to agree with them and continue the subject. It seems that you suggest that even though I strongly disagree with something, I shouldn’t speak to it again (even when brought in by others) because I have spoken against it in the past. And to clarify, I did not take your words as an attack.

    I am relieved to hear you did not read a personal attack into my words. Feel free to disagree all you like, but please stick to the main topic of discussion. Alternatively, if you have a different bone to pick then submit an article to BJS that starts a discussion about that issue. Or go back to where an aggravating issue was introduced but left resolved, and continue to debate it there. Mixing issues within a thread is distracting at best, and bloody frustrating at worst, at least to folks like me. I’m not as smart as you, nor as gifted with multitasking. It is very difficult to keep my brain on the matter at hand with tangential issues being forced back into play.

    And finally, a question came to my mind after seeing your words to me:
    “Proclaim the pure Gospel of Jesus and God’s law to those who have called you into the office of public ministry (which isn’t the group of people gathered here).”
    I assure you that I regularly proclaim the Gospel to those who have called me. I find that I am not overstepping my call by reading, commenting, and asking questions here. Likewise, as you know, I am not the only pastor who comments here. I have observed that while I comment here off and on, there are other pastors who spend more time commenting than I do. Do your words apply to all pastors here?

    Yes. Keep the main thing the main thing. Blogging and online discussions are entertainment and relaxation. They are not the main work to which pastors are called, nor the primary vocation for the rest of us.

  14. Maybe it’s time for a little levity.

    “So what do you call it when Jesus tells Zaccheus to come down from the tree, but the crowd gathers around to keep this tax collector exactly where they think he belongs?”

    “Some all group ‘im in his tree.”

    (Say it really fast, and maybe it will make some sense.)

    Work with me here, folks. I’m not offering a commentary on the topic at hand, nor am I trying to make any theological point. I’m just thinking that maybe it’s time to smile at ourselves (and, maybe, at each other).

  15. I just want to say that L. Jay has said some really helpful things. I have not had time to respond but appreciate the manner in which he has offered correction and even agree with some of it.

    Oh, and I got it even before saying it fast – but I did try that too! LOL!

    Hey – L. Jay, I am assuming this the L. Jay who is Flo’s brother?


  16. @John Clark #114


    Thank you for your patience and your reply. I have two disagreements with your response, and the first pertains to your using this thread as substantiation for your point. You appear to be overlooking the reality that accusations were raised against me! How are people to respond when accusations are raised against them?

    Obviously, I find it appropriate for any individual to further explain and defend his/her actions when accusations that offer no evidence are brought. I see no problem with asking someone who has made an accusation against a fellow brother or sister in Christ to provide support for the claims made. If someone is accused (especially when the accusation offers what appears to be nothing more than personal speculation), I think a response is to be expected!

    Commenters here have injected my character and motives into this thread with respect to why they think I write here. I have done what I can to show that their accusations are either confused or wrong. As I see it, the only thing I have done to make this thread “about me” is my contributing to it with my own name. I expressed my agreement with two commenters above, and others saw my name and made accusations against me and false assumptions about my intent as a result.

    My second disagreement with your response is your saying that you’re not as smart as I am, because there’s no real way to know that and no reason to talk in such a way!

  17. @Rev. Jack Gilbert #117
    Brother Gilbert,

    Years ago I met another pastor who had it in his being that he would argue at the drop of a hat,especially when someone would say anything about himself. [this pastor] Soon people just quit listening to him because he always returned to the same subjects all the time.

    I can certainly appreciate the hurt you must have had when you felt attacked along with your congregation. But in all honesty, I quit reading your posts because it seems that you go back to the subject of your congregation being discussed and yourself being discussed. It is so far in the past that I am not really sure who said what–when!

    May I be so bold as to suggest that you stop bringing up the previous discussion and simply discuss what the current topic is. I think it would be most helpful in your getting over what was said to and about you and your congregation. And I think you should be able to discuss any current topic without rehearsing again this topic about you and your congregation.


  18. @Rev. Roger D. Sterle #118

    Rev. Sterle,

    My question is this: Why did the administrators agree to exercise this “spirit of brotherly fraternity” with Dr. Meyer and CSL and not other pastors, congregations, or Synodical entities in the past? This question may be invalid, and yet I would benefit from such an explanation. Because you explained that you no longer read my comments (which is perfectly fine!), I encourage you to review comment 113 and see that I am not referring to one event but rather a string of events. The “hurt” you refer to is not limited to that situation! Ironically, I voiced this concern before the congregation I serve was discussed here.

    Also, while I can see your basis for thinking that I “have it in my being to argue at the drop of a hat”, all you have seen here is written word and my desire to defend those whose names are being discussed without their knowledge. Certainly there is more to you than what you write here! When people raise accusations with no solid evidence against you, do you try to explain yourself or let the accusations stand? By the way, I don’t deny that the evidence exists, but I don’t see it myself, and haven’t been shown it by others yet.

    I do thank you for your concern, and I am aware of the effect even my name has at this website. Others see my name, my comments, and falsely assume that I am talking about that event. I disagree with the assumptions made and note that in this thread, I submitted one comment (number 59) and have been accused of various things and offered no evidence to support the accusations as a result.

  19. Pastor Gilbert,
    Helen, in her post 77, did not remotely, imply, suggest, or directly point what I have towards you.

    Your issue, regard implications, is with me, not Helen. Deal with me and my own words to you. Do not lump in anyone, regarding your engagement in words, with me.
    This is you & me, not Helen.
    Address who you will specifically, not generally, as it may be easy, but not profitable to your stand.
    Helen is Helen, Dutch is Dutch, deal with us, by our own words & posts. We do so, with you. This is simple respect & acknowledgement. One cannot repent, when lumped with another, nor can one defend themselves, when lumped with another.

  20. @Rev. Jack Gilbert #113
    Please stop drawing false associations with my name, the church I currently serve, and my criticism of what I find to be irresponsible practices at this website.

    Once again Rev. Gilbert you omit facts which are important to keep in the context. The congregation you serve, Carmel Lutheran Church, unrepentantly uses Beth Moore studies. Indeed, you defend the use of the materials of a false teacher. What is irresponsible and sinful, Rev. Gilbert, is that you continue to harp on the issue of BJS warning others of the public practices of the congregation you serve without your making it clear as to why your congregation was reported on to begin with. Please stop omitting facts as you disparage the practices of BJS.

  21. @122 Jim Pierce

    Just to be nit-picky 🙂

    from https://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=12137

    comment #16: “Currently, there are no Beth Moore materials of any kind being officially used at Carmel Lutheran.”

    Let’s at least strive be accurate with what we charge others of. Apparently it should be “used,” not “uses.” (told you it was being nit-picky)

    And seeking to be fair to Pastor Gilbert:
    I understand there is a bit of history with him on this site, though it took place some time before I began frequenting here as a reader. However, in this “particular” thread, he did not mention anything relating to his church or situation. Others first read it into his comments, leading to him responding to that assertion. Now, might his comments be shaped in part by that prior situation? Sure.

    But even if you assume they absolutely are (essentially calling him a liar when he says it is unrelated to that issue), I don’t think that takes away the validity of his questions/concerns regarding anonymous commenting or desiring to see the authors of this blog to seek contact with people before posting things that involve them. Just because he has a personal connection to it does not make it an invalid request or concern. Now, being relatively new here, I’m not sure if the issue of Matthew 18 and posts concerning people/churches and their teachings and practices has ever been discussed. Perhaps it isn’t seen as being applicable. But isn’t it at least a discussion worth having on a theological blog? (If it has, could someone kindly point me to where and when that discussion took place?)

    If you disagree with his statements on those issues, by all means disagree and say why you do. But I’m not sure how he’s expected to be able to comment on anything if he is immediately accused of having a chip on his shoulder/seeking to make everything about him. Unless he just isn’t welcome here, in which case he should be informed of that.

    In the interest of full disclosure: I attended seminary with Pastor Gilbert, attended his wedding, and consider him to be a dear friend. In my dealings with him, I have found him to be a man of sincerity, as well as a man of his word. And the questions he has raised here, even if they do strike a personal nerve for him in regard to this site, are very much like the things he has cared about for years.

  22. @Rev. Jeremy Latzke #123

    No, Rev. Latzke. Rev. Gilbert continues to lambast BJS for what he believes are irresponsible practices and including BJS reporting over Carmel Lutheran which he serves. Rev. Gilbert doesn’t fully disclose the reasons why Caramel was reported about by BJS. That omission is wrong and sinful. We should not excuse Rev. Gilbert’s behavior in this case. I have no doubt he is a sincere man, but he is also quite wrong in this case.

  23. @Rev. Jeremy Latzke #123

    I would also like to add, and to also be nit-picky, that Rev. Gilbert sees nothing wrong with using Beth Moore and the senior pastor of his church has never publicly retracted their public promotion of Beth Moore on his congregation’s website. So, while they may not be using Beth Moore at this time, their is certainly no reason to believe that they would not in the future, or believe that they understand that it is wrong to use her materials.

  24. @125 Jim Pierce

    Brother Jim, the only part of your point I was taking issue with was the word “uses.” They “used” them. They are not currently “using” them. To say they are is bearing false witness. Is it the most egregious and vile of false testimonies? No. But it is still a false statement, in the literal sense of the word. That’s all I was attempting to say in a lighthearted way. (In regard to your last statement, are we now in the business of holding people guilty of sins that they MIGHT commit at some point in the future? I understand your concern, but I think we need to be careful of how we state and work at addressing those kinds of concerns.)

    Now, what DID happen is a different animal. But the use that DID go on and any issues relating to the need of repentance were not being addressed or questioned in my statement. I didn’t at all intend to dismiss your entire point in regard to the larger issue you raised. If you felt that I did, that was a failure on my part.

    I also don’t believe I ever said Pastor Gilbert was without any fault. Again, if I gave that impression, that was my failing.

    My primary point was actually meant to be more general than in response to you specifically. And that was that while there may be a personal past driving some of his criticisms, I don’t believe that automatically makes the concerns themselves invalid or without merit. (For example: Political pundits are often insanely biased and misleading with what they present, but can still raise questions worth serious discussion.)

  25. @Dutch #121


    You speak of repentance. Do you repent of the matters I brought before you directly in my comment to you? I quoted your words and asked you to back them up or retract them. You continually ignore this, and I don’t understand why.

    In another portion of that comment, I asked you and helen to reconsider your quick assumptions regarding what I may be referencing when I speak to the irresponsible practice of listing the names of real people, congregations, or Synodical entities without at least attempting to let them know about it.

    Of course I know that you and helen are two different people. That’s why I addressed both of you as two different people.

    @Jim Pierce #122


    You and I have discussed this in the past. You see it necessary that I notify the readers here of things they may not agree with with respect to the congregation I currently serve. (Remember that whole Nathaniel Hawthorne thing?) If I was actually referencing this church, I might even agree with you. Please review the articles listed in comment 113 and realize that this matter transcends one article that was written here and started long before it was published. I have spoken out against it since December of 2009.

    I asked some questions and presented an argument (comment 59). Readers falsely assume they know my motives. You have shown me to be guilty of this against you in the past, and yet you have nothing to say to those that do it to me now. How disappointing. In this case, I have provided evidence to counter their false claims, and yet they do not respond to this. That’s pretty much why I’m still reading here, and it has been in vain so far.

    However, I see that you are again interested in being the one who brings the name of the congregation I serve at the forefront of the discussion.

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