Hey Fivetwo, There’s No “Me” in SacraMEnt (Well, Close Enough)

Visiting those who are sick and facing death is part of my job as a pastor, and, frankly, I’m woefully inadequate. Thanks be to God, I’ve spent very little time in the valley of the shadow of death personally. I haven’t shared the experiences of sickness and death that many of my parishioners are going through when I call on them in the ICU. When I enter their hospital rooms, I feel naked.

All I can do is listen to how sin and death whispers its lies to the sick and their families. I grieve with them even though I have not experienced their pain myself. All I can offer is to read Scripture, announce the forgiveness that God has ordained me to give, and walk out.

In other words, the only thing for me to do is to do the vocation of a pastor.

Knowing I have done all that God has given me to do, I am still haunted by my inadequacy and failure. “You should have said this. You could have done this. You haven’t really helped those poor saps. You have given no real hope or comfort.”

Yet, I find that God does stuff, He does work, through me and my vocation. I return to the hospital room to hear, “Oh thank goodness you’re here.” Or, “I don’t know how we could go through all this without you. You are such a help.” In those moments, I look over my shoulder figuring they must be speaking someone behind me. Some doctor with the miracle drug to make the cancer go away. Some hero with mystical powers to give a dying heart new strength. Some wizard who has braved that deathly valley who can lead the way out.

luke-1710But no. The family is speaking to me, a mere man. Check that: They are speaking to an instrument. They are speaking to me, the pastor, whose vocation it is to be the voice of God delivering God’s Word to God’s people. They are speaking of what Jesus has done through His slave. And sure, they are seeing God at work through the pastoral vocation. They see my good works (soiled with sin) and giving glory to my Father who is in heaven.

But then all this Fivetwo garbage comes along and kills the Biblical doctrine of vocation. Bill Woolsey states, “[Jesus’] presence in us is how the world experiences Him in real time. We’re His sacraments, His life-giving reality to our families and communities.”

C'mon ManIn the words of the great Chris Carter, “C’mon man!”

This language is confusing at best (and heretical at worst) language. It makes vocation into a sacrament. But why? Is it to make us carrying out our vocations feel more important? Is it to compel people to be more vocationally minded? Or is it a tool of Satan to arouse our desire to be like God?

Now I know, “living out your vocation” doesn’t sound as cool or important as being a “sacramental entrepreneur.” But you are not the “life-giving reality” to anyone. By making vocation something more than it is (if that is what he is doing), Woolsey is destroying what God has made it to be.

Shame on him.

Ironically, Fivetwo prophetically tweets about what will happen to them.

FiveTwo Movement

About Pastor Sam Wellumson

Rev. Sam Wellumson is pastor at Christ the King Free Lutheran Church of East Grand Forks, MN. He completed his undergraduate degree at University of Northwestern St. Paul, MN and his M.Div. from the Association Free Lutheran Theological Seminary in Plymouth, MN. Sam also currently serves as the Vice-chair for the AFLC’s Board of Publications & Parish Education. Sam and his wife, Sarah, have four children.

Comments

Hey Fivetwo, There’s No “Me” in SacraMEnt (Well, Close Enough) — 23 Comments

  1. “No movement lasts longer than a season if Jesus is not leading.”

    Hold them to this. When FiveTwo has gone the way of Ablaze! their own words will condemn them: Jesus wasn’t leading.

  2. @Randy #3

    The comments below the article indicate it was plagiarized.  This is so weird.  Seems like the crazy train has indeed left the station.  “…but deliver us from evil. Amen”

  3. @Pastor David L. Prentice Jr. #6

    Hard to say, Pastor Prentice. But it appears that the words posted weren’t his anyway. Odd things happen at FiveTwo. They play Highway to Hell in the service and comments (theirs and others) disappear into thin air. Must be a full moon in FiveTwo-ville.

  4. @Randy #9

    The comments below the article indicated it was clearly plagiarized from another source without attribution. This is indeed weird. “…but deliver us from evil. Amen.”

  5. @John Rixe #9
    OK, that is just wrong. Like it or not, as pastor of my little Church, no articles appear for public consumption without my oversight or adding my name. OK, some sneak out with good intent, and I remind “I am the public figure for the flock.” I say, “please let me know next time.”

  6. “No movement lasts longer than a season if Jesus is not leading.”

    Well, they even have that wrong. The measure of whether or not a “movement” is lead by Jesus is not if it withstands the test of time. Rather, the surest test is whether or not the “movement” is firmly grounded in the Word of God.

  7. “No movement lasts longer than a season if Jesus is not leading.”

    This a patently false prophecy, if indeed it is a prophecy at all. We’re still paying the price for the teaching of H/C at CSL in the 50’s and 60’s. Church Growth in all its manifestations and mutations is still going strong in the LCMS. Metho-Bapto-Pentecostal preaching is still very common–and it’s only getting worse.

    Outside the LCMS, one only has to look at Islam for a “movement” that is still around. Pelagianism still holds sway in major portions of the Christian Church.

    Sorry, Pr. Woolsey. You got it wrong.

  8. And speaking of Sacraments, I just found this review on Yelp from a woman that attended Woolsey’s Crosspoint Church:

    Reviews

    Angie C.04/16/11

    “Love this place of worship! Lutheran known as Catholic-Lite as some of my friends call it here you get some traditional cermonies such as communion but in a current setting. Pastor Matt is AWESOME” emphasis added.

    I have my doubts that the pastors at Crosspoint are properly instructing, catechizing, and examining the laity since Angie refers to the Lord’s Supper as that old “traditional ceremony called communion.” Who am I kidding. Woolsey has shown a wholesale disregard for the Office of Holy Ministry anyway.

  9. After observing all kinds of departures from the Confessions (if only the Small Catechism), and patent disregard for the LCMS Constitution (especially Article VI “Conditions of Membership”), over the years, I have to wonder what these men were thinking when they made their ordination vows, and their installation vows. No accusations, no pointing of fingers, but it gives me pause. Dispute resolution process notwithstanding, you’d think that at least some of our DP’s would be very concerned, and would be taking appropriate action, employing the second use of the Law with vigor.

    Circuit visitors and district VP’s are not ignorant of most of these aberrations, either. Where are they? What are they doing, fer cryin’ out loud?

    End of rant.

  10. @Joe Strieter #16

    Joe,

    Ranting with you a bit……………..

    I just thought of this after reading your last post. Dispute resolution would almost assume that one enters the Office of Holy Ministry with pure Doctrine and Practice as their marching orders from the beginning. Therefore, we all logically profess that any DRP exists to bring a brother back to the faith, practice, and teaching/preaching that he was called to do. Yet, how can any such process, especially the current DRP, be expected to bring a brother back when he was never there in the first place? In other words, I think a sizable number of heterodox pastors are being created, or at least not corrected, at seminary.

    How can the DRP be expected to fix what the seminaries couldn’t/didn’t? We’re allowing poison in from the start, quickly followed by the endless stream of Matthew 18 mandates for public acts. The “system” is allowing heterodox pastors to serve in the Office of Holy Ministry from the start, and the circuit brothers and laity are told to fix it themselves.

    Perhaps we need a Matthew 18 Intervention Booth set up outside the seminaries (particularly one of them) to identify and address error at that point.

  11. @Randy #17

    Yeah, that’s my feeling. It seems like today’s primary focus is “Can’t we all just get along?” instead of “What is truth?” I argue you can’t have mercy without justice, Gospel without Law. The other cliches: Gospel Reduction, Gospel assumed is Gospel denied….I think the LCMS has gotten a bit too much man-made rules, and not discerning the Biblical teachings.

  12. John Rixe :
    @Randy #6
    The article has been restored with proper attribution
    http://www.fivetwo.com/preaching-the-gospel-rant

    That is more of a half attribution, or a weak attribution, if anything. He still doesn’t give full credit to the writer from whom he outright plagiarized his earlier article. Of course, when he was caught in his sin, he took down his article. This latest attempt is one at just trying to save face. He should issue a public apology for not fully attributing the article to the writer to begin with, and he ought to include a byline in which he gives full credit to the original author.

  13. Hey, haven’t we seen all of this with Mark Driscoll? Whatever happened to him? (nudge, nudge…wink,wink…)

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