WELS President Schroeder Openly States His Satisfaction with Harrison Election, Earns “Intrepid Lutheran” Status, by Pr. Rossow

The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) has a n unofficial BJS type blog called “The Intrepid Lutheran.”  They recently posted the November newsletter article of their synod president Mark Schroeder. In it he says this about LCMS president Matt Harrison:

On another front, the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) elected a new synod president last July. Many pastors and laypeople in the Missouri Synod were increasingly concerned about the direction of their synod and were convinced that new leadership was needed. President Matthew Harrison is known for his commitment to the Lutheran Confessions and for his desire to unify the LCMS on the basis of the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions.

President Schroeder articulates a very clear and straight-forward critique of the unacceptable “American Evangelical” practices that have made their way into confessional Lutheran church bodies such as the LCMS and the WELS. Again, we quote from his newsletter article.

These major changes and events in American Lutheranism present an interesting challenge and opportunity for WELS. Now, perhaps more than ever, it is vital for our synod to clearly articulate our identity as a confessional Lutheran church body. We need to speak with a scriptural voice—one that bases its teachings on the clear Word of God, proclaims faithfully both law and gospel, and relies firmly in the means of grace for results. We need to speak with a distinctly Lutheran voice, a voice that cannot be mistaken for a watered-down, generic, evangelical Christianity that emphasizes sanctification over justification, favors praise over law-gospel proclamation, and responds to the felt needs of the consumer culture rather than the desperate spiritual needs of sinful people. We need to speak with a united voice, demonstrating that we are committed to walking together in both doctrine and practice. We need to speak with a historic voice, connecting our synod’s teachings and practices with the clear statements of the Lutheran reformers and with the Christian church extending back to the apostles.

President Schroeder is providing clear confessional leadership for the WELS. He has a a few years head start on President Harrison. We look forward to similarly clear critiques in the months and years to come from our own LCMS leader.

You can read the entire article from the “Intrepid Lutheran” here.

By the way, I first learned of the intrepid Lutheran character of President Schroeder via Issues, Etc.and Pastor Wilken’s interviews of him. That’s just one more good reason to listen to Issues.

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

WELS President Schroeder Openly States His Satisfaction with Harrison Election, Earns “Intrepid Lutheran” Status, by Pr. Rossow — 46 Comments

  1. Great article & hats off to President Schoeder!!!! Intrepid Lutherans is a great reference site. If ya look at their article,
    WELS President Schroeder Reaches Out w/Offer of Banjo/Guitar Summit (Pst. Rossow)
    9/2/2010

    The article is great, but Intrepid, didn’t vote on the song, they voted a yea or nay, in the comments section. Only one, near as I figured, questioning vote. All were yea/yep.
    Ironically, Thrivent was mentioned, hmmm….go figure.
    So, with the BJS even coming in Feb, w/many WELS here at BJS, since President Harrison will be there on Friday night…maybe, President Schoeder can be extended an invitation to attend, with his guitar? If LCMS & WELS kids, can meet on a sports field, informal non Synodical event, and as BJS is not a Synodical entity, (Confessional Lutherans, are both WELS & LCMS)…
    Why can’t our Presidents, as the invitation has already been extended to do so informally?!

  2. @Dutch #1

    Dutch, fellowship principals being what they are, perhaps the discussion and meetings can be attended by WELS that are part of the commission on Inter-Church Relations. However, until there is official unity between synods, there is always the possibility of giving some people a false impression of agreement in all doctrinal and practice.

    Sorry to be a killjoy; this in no way to say we should not dialogue. Both Presidents Schroeder and Harrison have met and talked privately, thus the friendly words recorded on the Intrepid Lutheran website and elsewhere. There is a report by Prof. James Pope who was the WELS observer to the LCMS convention in July. You can see it here on the WELS website .

  3. I just finished yesterday listening to Dr. Kurt Marquart’s paper at the 2003 Symposia in Fort Wayne. In that paper, Dr. Marquart stated that both the WELS and LCMS understanding of fellowship had become very individualistic since the early 20th century. That also any future talks with the WELS, should start over at Arcticle 7 of the Augsburg Confession. Also note that Dr. Marquart was much harder on the LCMS, because of it’s toleration of liberal, progressive thought on the scriptures that led up to seminex. That being said, I believe Dr. Marquart really nails the issues that now seperate us, and the need to start talks beginning with Article 7 in the Augburg Confession.

  4. Perry,
    I know what your saying. However, this article is about Intrepid, not Synod. Intrepid, is not a Synodical entity, just as BJS isn’t. Otherwise, you & I, wouldn’t be posting, or reading here at BJS. Neither would the WELS Pastors that do come. Neither would President Schroeder. But…we do, and it a wonderous thing!!!! Think on those, who wished & prayed or it, who never got to see it!!!!!
    Confessional isn’t Synodical, it’s Lutheran…it’s what is right & it’s getting so much harder to do.

    Perry, if the damage, and great it was, that occurred, when I was in diapers, is going to even be looked at or reviewed, it must begin SOMEWHERE, why not w/a guitar & a banjo? In the presence, of lambs from both accords? The offer, as I remember, came from us, our President, WELS, did it not? Perry, we are both refugees in LCMS, wouldn’t it be great to know, just once…see it just once…that the why’s were not in vain?! It’s why there even is a BJS & Intrepid. Oh to see them both, doing that, would be prayers of so many, for decades, answered. Just with a banjo & guitar, and a wee bit o chat. It used to be so, once, or so I’m told…long ago, there was a time…

    Our boys attend a WELS School. We left LCMS, in 2009. Before that, my boys attended an LCMS school. Ironically, the LCMS they used to attend, played the WELS school they attend now. The kids enjoyed “fellowship” together, it was ‘INFORMAL’, so is the event on Friday. If the President of WELS, can say what he did, extend the suggestion he did, and our LCMS/WELS kids already are, how can I not support my President’s suggestion? He needs it, they both do. That comes from people like you & I.
    I believe in what WELS President is doing & saying, he was once in the same seat as President Harrison is now. I don’t envy either, their seats. But, if I can support them, in any way, I will do so. I cannot ignore, what the President of my Synod said or suggested, there may very well be a reason for it, & considering Seminex & the history behind the severing, if P.S., is reaching out, it is the least I can do. He would not have said it or done it, otherwise. These two men, need all the prayers yes, but also, actual encouragement they can get….look at what they are both up against?! It’s why Intrepid & BJS exist!!!!

    Being a “Confessional” anything, pick any Denom, is becoming rather rare & most upopular & difficult. I would love to see this, what is the worst that could happen? A poorly picked bluegrass song? A non Synodical dialogue, that afterwards says, “ain’t time yet?”. Intrepid & BJS, welcome both LCMS & WELS, both do. Confessional Lutheran, is not a Synodical it is a Lutheran thing.
    You & I are, President Harrison & President Schroder are. Perry, we have our CEO Ministries, our Grace in Action (TCN/PLI offshoot), WELS is holding those at bay, to an extent. LCMS wasn’t, it’s why my family left. Showing up, on a Friday, to test waters, to have informal fun, with counterparts, of the two biggest Confessional Lutheran bodies, is a bad idea why? Theological informal discussion is not verboden. What do ya think we’re doing now?!
    If rock bottom is where ya are, the only direction is “UP”. Our President extended it, it is wrong not to support him in the doing. A hand extended, should never be left hanging…the only hand, not when were talking about what we are.

    If it’s in any way formal, that is when the problems come. This wouldn’t be.

  5. A field of wheat, unwinnowed, is good for none & nothing. If ya look at every Protestant Denom, there are small, Confessional groups. Looks like Winnowing, to me. Look at ELCA, LCMS, & WELS. Confessional in all, so small but there…winnowing.
    President Harrison’s comparison of the train cars. Winnowing.

    If you didn’t do select the seed planted, own the field, know how furrows plowed this season, or do the winnowing, you won’t know nor could you, what is chaff & wheat.

    Ya first have to winnow, chaff from wheat, to know the difference between them. Once THAT is finished, then separating wheat for bread (sustance for life) & wheat for fermentation (beer is great, but ya can’t live on it) is done. But it must be done, to winnow, and finish that, before ya can even look at the harvest, to see what is fruitfull & what is not. Not every grain of wheat, is used for bread, when it first gets to the mill. If you gauge by an unknowing eye, you loose more fruit than ya gain.
    Then….many go hungry. Not in an inclusive sense, chaff is easy to spot, little bits of chaff, take time, but ya pick them out soon enough. Then, you are left w/ usable wheat.
    Intrepid & BJS, LCMS & WELS, are being winnowed, I refuse to be a stop in that. Who would? But, if others can see what I can’t, know what I don’t, and offer what has been, who am I, not to encourage dialogue? That I won’t do, I don’t do it here, I won’t do it, between WELS & LCMS.

  6. Call him intrepid, but he’s still not confessional as long as he supports the WELS errors.

  7. Larry,
    What errors, are you calling attention to?
    Errors, like inviting Leonard Sweet? Oh, that’s a WELS/LCMS combined error. Like TCN/Grace in Action? Oh, that is a shared error.
    If SWD District President Willie & Pastor Mark Jeske, can cavort, why can’t their Presidents?
    The misjudgements in SWD, for LCMS & South Wisconsin, are THEOLOGIAL FELLOWSHIPS, who are we to say a banjo & guitar are worse?
    One is informal, on the other hand, the other is what…..exactly?

  8. Blesssings Rev. Rydecki,
    Blessing & Peace to you today. Could you offer some peace here, in this?

    If it helps (which I’m not selfish enough to think it would) but, a one day belated
    birthday gift, would be lovely for me, (was yesterday). I’ve seen your comments on Intrepid, and here at BJS. It, if ya could, would be the best birthday present I got!
    I got my wedding ring, cleaned & re-given in a horse drawn carriage, by bended knee, for my present from the one I am tied w/in marriage. I’m the lesser half, trust me.

    I think a hand in invitation extended, even informally, trumps my dear & sweet one’s, on bended knee, re-asking, even though, I’ve been for 13 years. WELS & LCMS, have been “tied” for longer, I think. Besides, a banjo/guitar session, is less in effort & less in cost, but in this…
    much more love than even my beloved did/has/shown for me.

  9. @Rev. Paul Rydecki #10

    I don’t have the link off hand, but it can be found at the Fort Wayne Seminary Media site. Once there, set your search for Marquart and audio. It was under “Fellowship under the Synodical Conference”. I’ll try later on, and get a direct link.

  10. @Michael Mapus #13

    Thanks! I look forward to listening to it.

    @Carl Vehse #14

    Also, thanks.

    @Dutch #11

    Blessings and peace to you as well, and a very happy belated birthday! I always enjoy reading your comments here. (Sorry my reply is a bit tardy. Got to church this morning and found we had a break in last night. Nothing too serious, thankfully.)

    The first step toward peace is for everybody to get rid of all animosity, arrogance, anger and bitterness. No boasts of superiority or history or heritage or scholarship. No more walking around with a chip on our shoulders. In short, repentance is the prescription for both synods, and Christ-like humility in our dealings with one another.

    In my opinion, WELS rightly marked and avoided Missouri 50 years ago. But although the situation has changed since then, both synods seem too content to go their merry (and separate) ways. Each looks down its nose at the other as being “something short of confessional.” In my opinion, we should not write each other off so easily, for we share a common commitment to the inspired Scriptures and to their interpretation in the Lutheran Confessions (unlike our relationship with the ELCA – or any (other) non-Lutheran church body in the world). We should be in constant dialogue with one another. We should never stop mourning over our broken fellowship, and should never stop speaking to one another and listening to one another. Where must we – for conscience’ sake – take a stand on Scripture? And where should we – without violating Scripture – allow for differences in approach and language? We ought not be so content with the status quo. A synod convention should not go by without a report on the sincere efforts that were made to restore that which was lost. Nor should such efforts be relegated to a few members of an inter-church relations committee.

    Heaven knows each synod has its own internal problems to deal with. Such is life in the visible Church. But separatism is not the answer. Christ will surely return before our internal problems are all solved. Ignoring one another until then cannot be a God-pleasing solution.

    I am very encouraged by President Schroeder’s publicly expressed dedication to confessional Lutheranism, and his openness to dialogue with President Harrison. I know that some will frown even on an informal, non-worship-setting banjo/guitar session between the two of them. I wouldn’t frown on it at all, but would consider it a sign (especially if publicly stated by them) that they are serious about our synods knocking the chip off our respective shoulders and getting back to seriously studying the Scriptures together. If fundamental agreement does not exist or cannot be attained, we will at least have made it a priority to seek unity rather than to concede to a permanent disunity.

    I’ve informed Pres. Schroeder, Dutch, of this post on BJS, so I’m pretty sure he’ll be reading through the comments as they come.

  11. Dear Pastor Rydecki,
    Thank you so very much for your words!!!! Wouldn’t it be wonderful! Hopefully, what I’ve said isn’t bad or wrong, or spoken out of turn for WELS or for my former well missed Church, LCMS. I would hate to think that I have.
    Having said that though….I really hope I see both of them (& many more from BJS) Friday night in Naperville. Besides…I haven’t heard bluegrass in ages, miss that too. lol

  12. #14

    How wonderful to hear Marquart’s voice again. He was not only a great teacher but also a wonderfully Pastoral man with a impish sense of humor. We will see him once again over there.

    l

  13. I’ve never heard Professor Marquart before. Wow, those of you, who were blest to know him, were blest indeed. This speech, should be tagged w/many, very many articles here at BJS. Always tagged. How lovely.

  14. Dutch, Prof. Marquart was a disciple of the great Herman Sasse. He reflects many of Sasse’s ideas in his teaching. Those of us who had Marquart as an instructor at Fort Wayne cherish every moment we had with him. I also highly recommend his book on Church & Ministry. It’s not a CPH publication, but I believe that they carry it.

  15. Can I ask a question?
    If dialogue, is occurring privately, why is it private? Shouldn’t we all all at least, know it’s occurring? If the errors committed,
    (depending on whether your a Theological Hatfield or Theological McCoy) why would we continue to continue the errors?

    If Professor Marquart, were still here, and knew of this “dialogue” and extended hand, what would he say, today, knowing all in LCMS, & all in WELS?

  16. @Dutch #22
    I just found this today, never having known of its existence before. Apparently, there was a free conference held back in 1993 at which Rev. Marquart and Rev. Brug were the presenters. I haven’t found Rev. Marquart’s presentation, but here is Brug’s response. I’ve only had time to skim it. It seems to be focused on the area of church and ministry.

    I was only in college at the time, so maybe this free conference was widely publicized and I just didn’t hear about it. Then again, maybe it came and went and nothing more came of it. From what I skimmed so far of Brug’s presentation and from what I’ve experienced personally, there tends to be a lot of talking past one another, characterizing the other side’s position wrongly and then deriding that characterization.

    Anyway, I’m not recommending that this thread become the discussion. Nor do I dare to imagine how Professor Marquart would respond to your question, Dutch. I didn’t have the privilege of knowing him. But I do have a lot of respect for Professor Brug, who was one of my professors.

  17. Thanks Rev. Rydecki.
    It just seems to me, since 2006-2007, alot of things that none of these men (WELS or LCMS), would have thought would happen, have. And have slid downhill, so quickly. The same type programs, same type evangelical mish mosh, same issues with Worship & Practice, fellowship, etc. I understand part of the breakup, not all but part was over ALC (?), well didn’t that morph into ELCA, & look at that now.
    With the ignorant and untrained eyes, it looks like the WELS & LCMS are more same general page, than they were back in the ’50’s.
    Maybe, just maybe, the 40 years in the desert, that the Children of Israel spent, had it’s counterpart w/us all.

    Maybe, what do I know? My parents were still single (WELS) in ’61 & I was in diapers w/Seminex (LCMS). Hey, I’m a revisit hybrid, whaddya know.

  18. I just listened to Marquart’s speech at the 2003 symposium. Great stuff, including the 18 theses referenced above from Sihler. I wish I could have heard him in person. A few memorable quotes:

    Addressing the idea that traditional Lutheran worship is German: “This is hideously wrong.”

    “Genuine Christian witness does not proceed from pragmatism.”

    “Church fellowship is a litmus test of how we regard the whole truth.”

    “It shows how seriously we take our beliefs, whether we really have divine truth or only uncertain human notions which we’re therefore not prepared to back with decisive action. Thus the final examination in any and every doctrine which determines whether we pass or fail must deal with fellowship. The devil knows very well that by robbing the church of the true doctrine of fellowship he is removing not merely one doctrine but every doctrine. It is clear that this issue, far from being secondary or peripheral, actually goes to the very heart of Christianity since it is an index of how seriously we take, not this or that aspect of our religion, but the whole thing.”

    Quoting Luther: “He who believes his doctrine to be true cannot stand in the same stable with those who deny and contradict it.”

  19. Quoting Luther: “He who believes his doctrine to be true cannot stand in the same stable with those who deny and contradict it.”

    What does this mean? In particular, regarding fellowship with those outside of the existing fellowship who claim to be Lutheran but deny or contradict Lutheran doctrine, and fellowship with those inside of the existing church fellowship who do the same thing.

    IOW, how does the doctrine of fellowship differ in application to those outside the fellowship and those inside the fellowship? Does the doctrine of fellowship contain a narrow sense and a broad sense?

  20. Carl,
    Ummm….maybe I’m wrong here, but what ya wrote, looks like a calling into question of ties w/ELCA. Kinda hard not to, I should think. Not intending to be red herring, just saying an observation, no need to comment at all on ELCA.

    The severing, split individual families, not just the Synodical ones, mine & my husbands. Did it cause grief & issues yes. Was peace achieved, yes, an uneasy one, but Peace, is never easy. It is between 2 sinners, that is the definition of uneasy. lol

    Ya know, when I was questioned, by the now retired Pastor, of our WELS Congregation, I had specific questions I needed answers for. I was going back to what my entire family left. Prayer/Fellowship was a biggie for me, as it should be, so was BJS. Oddly enough, he knew about BJS. It was an okay, so were some, not all, but some of the prayer/fellowship questions I had. None, none of which were any different than I learned in LCMS or at home. Isn’t that odd? Knowing who, what, & where, were the gauges I was told to use. Was taught the exact same, in LCMS, growing up. At home & from the Pulpit.

    Do I still see them, yep. Do I still give thanks, at all times & places, if I’m with them, yep. When family events occur, that I need to be in Church w/them, do I go, yep.
    I heard lots of things, about “if you go to WELS, you won’t be able to……..w/us, was it true, nope. Hence my questions, prior to joining. And, they must have been passible answers, acceptable answers, I & our family did not have to attend the 6-8 week course prior to membership.
    I give that credit, to those who trained & taught me growing up, & BJS. And said so, at the time. So, if I can be welcomed into WELS, knowing full well & in detail what I believe & the questions asked & answers given, by me….why cannot it not be the same in LCMS, WELS, with our Presidents, even just for one night? It’s not easy, but it’s easy to do.

    Confessional Lutheran is a small lifeboat, many from WELS & LCMS are sitting in that little boat together, why don’t they see it or acknowledge it? The thing about 2 people sitting in a lifeboat, & each paddling in opposite directions, even though their aim is the same, they don’t go anywhere, and if your future is in question, they’ll both die, from thirst, when the shore was in full view. They both have the same problems, fight the same issues, elected Presidents for the same reasons, that should be a clue, I think. Let past errors & mistakes be repented, and then reconcile.
    Many in LCMS & WELS, have paid penance, for errors done, before they ever drew a breath on this earth. Why continue it, with another generation, when the shore is in full view? Rubies are very rare now, so are Confessional Lutherans, your blest if you find one, let alone, see 2.

  21. My questions in #26 did not mention the E_CA, nor are the questions specifically aimed at the E_CA, since I do not believe the LCMS would seriously consider being “in the same stable” of fellowship with that organization as it exists today. My questions were directed more generally toward other Lutheran denominations with which the LCMS has some significant amount of common doctrinal ground but is not in fellowship with them because of some specific doctrinal points.

    My questions ask for an explanation on the meaning of this compared to some differences in specific doctrinal points despite other common doctrinal ground of those who have been recognized to be in fellowship.

  22. Okay, I was just pointed to an, ummm….error in the above article.

    Pastor Rossow, ya live just under the border…it’s Wisconsin, not Wisconosin. Yeesh, it’s hard enough for people to spell! lol

    (( typo fixed by moderator ))

  23. But Carl, the E_CA, is in what you say, and none of us here at BJS know why. I remember the archives, from that time, in MN. That was one of the sticking points, long ago, wasn’t it? Benefit of doubt was given then, and now look at it now. They have departed everything the Solas themselves are, let alone what the Solas & Doctrines say & stand for.
    And that is better & more fruitfull, than a public venue, w/Presidents from WELS & LCMS?
    If the most important are denied, decried, or ignored, and small sticking points, are the issues on the other, doesn’t that prove what you said above, to be true of LCMS & WELS?
    Why look at dust bunnies in corners or under couches, when there is an elephant in the middle of the room, that no one believes is there?

  24. Dutch, since this thread started off with a connection between WELS and LCMS, my questions in #26 can be focused on those two church organizations. For example, back in 1868, both the WELS and LCMS agreed to Walther’s Fifteen Theses on Open Questions.

    One of these theses distinguished between primary fundamental articles of faith, secondary fundamental articles of faith, and non-fundamental doctrines. Do both groups still hold to those theses today? If so, in which category does the doctrine of fellowship fit in? Or the doctrine of church and ministry?

  25. Pastor Rossow,
    Too funny. We got together & bought enough cheesehead wedge/hats for our friends from Bayern. They have way too many pictures, of them wearing them, over there.
    But hey, it’s funny & they love us to bits, so I guess it’s okay….just as long as they don’t wear them here. lol

  26. Carl,
    Ya know I love chatting w/you here, but I have a favor to ask.
    You & I, near as I can figure, are laity. You may hold the Office, I think it’s obvious why I don’t. But, only 4 holders of the Office have commented. Few actually had much to say.
    Let’s hold our peace here, you & I, well….mostly I, until more of them post.
    After all, if anything is to come of anything, it will by them, not us laity.

  27. As far as I know, WELS still holds to Walther’s theses on open questions, and to Sihler’s theses on church fellowship.

    Whenever I read Brug on Walther, I notice him pointing to Walther’s teaching on church and ministry as the paradigm for the WELS position on this. This is not to say there haven’t occurred aberrations or deviations or wrong wording on the issue over the ages. But if we can find fundamental agreement around Walther’s theses (and Sihler’s theses – not to put these above Scripture, mind you, but as an explanation of our confession of Scripture), then I think this is sufficient for church fellowship.

    Carl, good questions. I’m not sure about categories of doctrine. The doctrine of church fellowship itself seems quite overarching and essential, as Marquart pointed out, since it reveals one’s attitude toward the whole truth. And some applications of it seem quite simple. Some applications may be left as calls for sound Christian judgment that ought not be dictated from afar. Marquart says it’s not always wrong to pray with my Methodist mother-in-law at the dinner table, and I completely agree with him. But there may be times – especially if my mother-in-law presumes to “educate” our family on the virtues of female pastors – that I ought not give her the impression by praying with her that her false beliefs are less than reprehensible.

    If we are fully committed to the Scriptures and the Confessions, then I think most of these discussions can be had among brothers – not as some sort of adversaries. The WELS was warning our brothers in the LCMS for more than a decade before the split of the Synodical Conference, but at the time, the LCMS’s commitment to the Confessions was in question because of its persistence in crossing the lines of church fellowship with a synod (ALC) that was not fully committed to the Scriptures or the Confessions. I’m under the impression that things have changed in the LCMS, no?

    What if some in our fellowship(s) are no longer fully committed to the Scriptures or the Confessions? Then it seems to me we have more agreement with those of another denomination who are committed to them than we have with those of our own denomination who are not committed to them. And yet, denominational lines still, at present, dictate that those who agree with one another across denominational lines are not in fellowship with one another, while those who disagree with one another within the denomination are in fellowship with one another.

    Isn’t this messed up? (in the jargon of advanced theologians)

  28. Thank you, Rev. Rydecki, for your clarification about the lack of clarity in the practice of church fellowship.

    And I do think there are some in the WELS and LCMS who are closer in doctrinal agreement with each other than some in the LCMS.

  29. Rev. Rydecki,

    Your explanation was helpful in clearly describing the lack of clarity in the consistent application for intra- and inter-fellowship practices.

  30. Back to the first response – President Schroeder should attend the Steadfast Conference. How would it be different than his appearance on Issues, Etc?

    If he can’t because it would cause synodical scandal, that is just pathetic. If there are any prayers, he would just have to lead them for the time he was there. From what I understand that should be “legal”.

    Oh wait, I better be careful maybe I’ll get kicked off the Board of Elders at the WELS congregation to which I belong for doing the Steadfast Lutherans commercials and writting for steadfastlutherans.org….. it would never happen. 🙂

  31. I’d say the only chance that President Schroeder might attend would be if he received a personal invitation from one of the event organizers…

    I’d attend myself, but it’s a long drive from New Mexico.

  32. @Jon Townsend #39

    If an invitation were extended and no fellowship principals were encroached upon, I would say any WELS member might attend a symposium or conference of confessional Lutherans meeting to discuss topics on American Lutheranism. I doubt any of us WELS members are in danger of being “disciplined” for our BJS participation.

  33. Good grief, Perry, I do hope not. Otherwise, I’m a rather large pot of hot water…
    The last Pastor (WELS) I had, as I said above, said it was quite alright, maybe that is just for me. I can only make it Friday night anyway.
    Babysitters are rather difficult for a whole weekend, one night, that’s do-able & there is the crabby benji to think about.

    I do hope, an invitation if it hasn’t been extended, is rather forthcoming, it seems the right thing to do. He does visit BJS, or so I’m told.
    Blessings
    Dutch

  34. Fellow Lutherans!
    Nothing has made my life more difficult, even miserable than the split between the WELS and the LC – MS. An ancestor of mine helped ruin Lutheranism in Europe the same way the U.S. Military does today. Johann Reitz II was very much part of the defeat of Napoleon by the British and the Van Bletcher who wanted to unite the German speaking people. He then allowed for Jews, Catholics and Protestants, forcing Lutherans and the Reformed groups into one category which requires compromise that flies in the face of Scripture.
    My ancestors stuck together and married from within their own group and ended up in Wisconsin and part of what is now the WELS. When they were discovered by C.F.W. Walther and his LC- MS people they eyed one another making sure that once in America, they had returned to orthodox Lutheranism and discarded all aspects of the Reformed.
    Then we got at least four synods together working without competition, helping wherever all with a mutual goal. When my parents moved to southern Wisconsin they were sent from the WELS to a LC–MS church by their minister.
    About that time, however; not the people but the leaders of the LC – MS began to give in to their itching ears. Separation of church and state is not only a concept associated with the U.S. but prior to that was a concept taught by Luther — not withstanding the Scandinavian areas, to a great extent the ancestral home of the ELCA.
    So how are chaplains, in uniform and getting a monthly check from Uncle Sam a display of the separation of church and state?
    Then came the lunch and other school programs the government offered to get us sucked into dependance upon welfare. As my doctor cousin says of his patients who are disabled — “After three months they become addicted to their government checks.” And with free money comes mandatory advice.
    Then, what the heck, how can the Boy Scouts harm us — they do a good deed each day and they allow actively gay individuals to be their leaders.
    And as long as we keep altar and pulpit fellowship alive, it won’t hurt anyone if we become a little lax about prayer fellowship.
    “If we are going to error, let’s error on the side of grace and mercy rather than on the side of law and judgment,” became everyone’s motto.
    Everything in moderation we said. How would your wife take it if you only cheated on her ever so slightly?
    I was confirmed in 1959 by people who have now become leaders of the LC — MS.
    In 1969 they decided the church had been wrong for nearly 2,000 years and perhaps it was OK if women began voting and holding some offices.
    Well, it was like the camel you allowed to stick its head in your tent.
    We now have women distributing communion to youngsters as young as 11 who know about as much about Lutheranism as the average Methodist.
    A great many LC–MS are more concerned about being Christians than Lutherans.
    I would be proud to be a Lutheran Christian above all since I would know that I and my church were orthodox, following the Bible and fighting false doctrine at every turn were I still in the WELS.
    Now, I have to explain to my ELCA friends why I have any concrete beliefs at all while almost being ashamed to show my face amongst by WELS family. I can’t take communion with my relatives, I can’t take communion at the church my ancestors founded 150 years ago, I can’t sing at the funerals of my close relatives.
    Worse yet, I have led my own children down the alternate-plan-b path. My son is not only an attorney but a lay assistant to his pastor, a member of the men’s chorus, a member of the brass ensemble, a reader, an usher and choir director — all at the wrong church.
    My daughter lives in a community where she, her brother, her mother, her husband and yours truly can not bring ourselves to attend communion at the LC — MS church.
    Instead they belong to a congregation which is more than a two-hour drive away.
    I have two things to say about the ELCA’s decision to allow gay clergy.
    One, I found out the laity does not in the ELCA.
    Secondly, when that decision was made the LC–MS president gave everyone a perfect lesson in hypocracy when he sent a letter to each LC — MS congregation to be read the following Sunday where in in complained about the ELCA’s moving to the left — away from the teachings of the Bible.
    And just what has the LC–MS done? Mark my words, whatever the ELCA does, the LC–MS copies with 25 years.
    Look at what the LC — MS taught in 1930 and what the WELS and a few other conservative synods taught in 1930 and look at what was in Bible printed that year. For the most part it all matches!
    Now, let’s do the same in 2010. We find the WELS and a few other conservative synods and the King James Bible still match but someone has substituted a new Bible (and failed to send me a memo) into the LC — MS and now, compared to when I was a kid, almost anything goes.
    At the risk of losing long-time, well-loved friends who were my teachers in the late 1950s, I have asked them — “We’re you lying to me then or are you lying to me now?”
    How simple can it be? The Bible does not change, we follow the Bible, in 1968 it was wrong for women to vote at a congregational meeting, in 1969 someone read “The Feminine Mystique” and all of a sudden voting was OK.
    Now we have the Bible and the WELS on one side and the LC — MS and the feminine movement on the other.
    This attitude screws up their thinking from one end to the other. The body is no longer owned by God with Christians simply taking care of it but rather a woman now owns her own body and can make life and death decisions for herself. It is her body and the life within her is her’s to do with what wishes.
    If she get’s PG as the result of rape, it is OK to kill the child because there is no way God could have been in charge of that conception.
    When Nation came to King David the king realized he had unintentionally done wrong and repented.
    If a king can do that why can’t a synod do the same thing?

  35. @Timothy Raymond Matas #43
    Then, what the heck, how can the Boy Scouts harm us — they do a good deed each day and they allow actively gay individuals to be their leaders.

    Can you document that? Because, last I heard, they were in court because they would not have gay leadership.

    [I’ll be checking with my son (Eagle Scout) and my grandson (Eagle Scout) meanwhile.]

  36. Timothy,
    Errors, and there have been many, on both sides, are there. They are there for history to see. I’m also a WELS/LCMS/WELS hybrid, I prefer refugee. This isn’t at all as it should be, but it is. The idea, was given by WELS to LCMS. Whether or not, those here at BJS, or elsewhere in LCMS, choose to leave that hand hanging, or engage in tit for tat, is going to be what it is. I know, I heard it all, in gory detail, prior to departing LCMS for WELS. The live 200 miles away, they have better options, than I do. We were already driving 40 min HWY. We needed a school. Before you mention “gay”, I think it best that both Synods, look at their own planks, before they look at other’s specks. Once the plank or spec, is removed ya need a few weeks for that to heal, and then time to re train your eyes to focus. Same here, for both Synods. I just find it weird it’s WELS coming & LCMS balking.

  37. It is great to have two SP’s that are both commited to the Word of God as defined by our Lutheran confessions.

    I am very happy in the WELS, but I pray also for SP Harrison every day.

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