Pastor Moves His Church into the 1980s!

Katy, TX–Pr. Bill Woolsey, favoring suits styled like those of Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubbs, expressed his contempt for the stagnation of his own church body, the LC-MS:

“The mainline, historical, sacramental church – a small slice of which I belong [sic.] – has been stumbling to the bottom since the 1960s,” wrote Woolsey.

The problem is clear. Woolsey says, “most of the mainline churches in my denomination spoke a language long gone.” Not wanting to be out-of-date, he embraced a New terminology of “sacramental entrepreneurship:” a term that was already in use in the 90s with regard to Franscois Michelin; and was shaped by “theological entrepreneurs” among the Emergents like Mark Driscoll, Rob Bell, John Franke, Tony Jones and Doug Pagitt. Their terminology was in turn  leveraged from Bill Drayton‘s use of “social entrepreneurs” back the 1980s.

In order to keep things fresh with a sense of newness Woolsey founded a community with an utterly new and original name of “CrossPoint Community Church” in the late 1990s. It should not be confused with any of the following, which just by coincidence, happen to share the same name (without the “e” at the end):

Woolsey stated: “My desire in starting CrossPoint was to create a congregation that not only spoke the language of the local lost person but also loved that person so much we could not help but speak their language and love their music and adopt as many of their values as possible.”

In order to be as original as possible in adopting values of the lost persons, Woolsey has imitated Perry Noble’s use of secular rock music with idolatrous themes to open his community church services.  The following list from Woolsey’s church was collected by a reader named Randy (thanks) showing the focus on the 80s era.

Originality and Newness is the greatest good, but was impaired by doctrine in the past. Woolsey wrote: “We have become so focused on doing doctrine right that we shirk doing new.”

So Woolsey’s worship services are innovative and original, even Contemporvant:

Compare:


Imperfect People Wk 7 (Bill Woolsey) from crosspt media on Vimeo.

At least keeping focused on doctrine won’t be an issue keeping Woolsey from moving into the 1980s Emergent movement. We’re glad someone is trying to keep up with the times.

About Pastor Joseph Abrahamson

Pastor Joseph Abrahamson serves Faith Ev. Lutheran Church, Clara City, Minnesota (E.L.S.). He and his wife, Mary, have 10 children. Pastor Abrahamson is a graduate of Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary, and of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department of Hebrew and Semitic Studies. He has served on the Faculty/Staff at Bethany Lutheran College teaching Religion, Linguistics, Archaeology, and Self-Defense; and was on Staff at the University of Wisconsin as an Information Processing Consultant (Computer Geek) while doing graduate work in Semitics. Pastor Abrahamson served Clearwater Lutheran Parish (ELS) from 2001 to April 2015.

Comments

Pastor Moves His Church into the 1980s! — 77 Comments

  1. @Martin R. Noland #42
    Dear Pastor,
    Doesn’t this sort of thing clearly violate AP XV (51 quoted below, but it really violates the whole section because these folks are putting their human traditions forward as “necessary” to reach the demographic de jour)?

    “And nevertheless we teach that in these matters the use of liberty is to be so controlled that the inexperienced may not be offended, and, on account of the abuse of liberty, may not become more hostile to the true doctrine of the Gospel, or that without a reasonable cause nothing in customary rites be changed, but that, in order to cherish harmony, such old customs be observed as can be observed without sin or without great inconvenience.”

    If a pastor violates his confessional prescription, his DP should start the process, however arduous, of removing him from the office he is abusing. The DP’s biggest concern should be the sheep who are being led away from Jesus. If a DP refuses to fulfil the duties of his office, the SP should start the process, however arduous, of removing him from the office he is neglecting, again for the sake of our Lord’s flock.

    Pax Christi+,
    -Matt Mills

  2. I wonder if he plans to pay back all that support money he got from the Texas Dist. to get that church to where it is today, given by all those congregations which he disdains? Is the check in the mail already as we speak?

  3. “I think these “new” churches come out of the 70’s. They are Partridge Family churches.”

    Please don’t insult one of my favorite 1970’s TV shows by associating it with the mythological rainbow treasure of the so-called church growth movement. Just like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow which the contemporary worship churches and their ilk claim to have found-it ain’t there!

    My response to Pastor Woolsey in his vain attempt to find the Ancient of Days while smoking his bong of “newness”:

    Thus says the Lord:

    “Stand in the ways and see,
    And ask for the old paths, where the good way is,
    And walk in it;
    Then you will find rest for your souls.
    But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ Jeremiah 6:16(NKJV)

    Woolsey wrote: “We have become so focused on doing doctrine right that we shirk doing new.”

    Dear Pastor Woolsey, We have no command in Scripture to be focused on the “new” which inevitably becomes old. We have an explicit command in Scripture to be focused on the Christian doctrine of God’s Word, which never passes away for the sake of our eternal souls:

    “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” 1 Timothy 4:16(NKJV)

    I will keep you in my prayers. And He never changes. Perhaps our “worship” should reflect that more closely.

  4. @Randy #37
    The only thing I can say about this, fellow Pastors that know will demand action for him to change. DPs, even the SP must speak and correct him. Of course, if this is all substantiated. I myself, never been there; I lean on fellow brothers to call him out, if a call out is needed.

  5. @Scott Diekmann #40
    You are so correct on Olsteen, I often comment on him in a sermon, because I see his public presence and know what he says. This Olsteen dude is just so wrong.

    Now as many state, Crosspoint may be so wrong, but I do not know him, never been there; I rely on others to comment. You all are doing so nicely.

  6. @Alan L. #3
    I didn’t mean to insult the Partridge Family. It was one of my favorite TV shows as a kid. These new churches do have a lot in common with this show, though. They have garage bands, they are suburban, they have business managers like Reuben Kincaid running them, and they sing pop songs about love and being happy.

    Maybe you would appreciate it more if I said these new churches returning to the 60’s and 70’s are Bewitched churches.

  7. “Maybe you would appreciate it more if I said these new churches returning to the 60’s and 70’s are Bewitched churches.” Amen brother! I used to belong to one and I will vouch for it.
    For the sermon, they would have us turn to our neighbor and get to know him and her. Definitely people focused, not Christ-crucified focused. Wish I could twitch my nose and change all these congregations into something confessional Lutherans would recognize.

  8. @Pastor Tim Rossow #8
    Glad we could offer some levity. Sometimes we just have to laugh at the mess we’re in.
    When the gurus of “new” come around the church we have to take them seriously, but we still need to have a good laugh once and a while.

    I actually can’t figure out a lot of what these new church leaders are talking about. They seem to be trying to speak in some modern new way, but I don’t know their new language well and it is so boring to me that I don’t care. Maybe my head has been buried in the sand since the 80’s and I’ll never understand Mr. Roboto’s language. Nevertheless, Scripture and the Lutheran Confessions still speak to me.

  9. @Pastor David L. Prentice Jr. #5
    Pastor Prentice. I suggest that you visit their website, and listen to a couple of their sermons. As far as I can tell, the Gospel gets treated as information. It’s all about “Christian,” and not about Christ. As posted elsewhere on BJS, I’ve listened to a couple of their 30-minutes sermons, and got barely one Chris Roseborough type “nugget.” I expect that you will find a similar experience.

  10. @Pastor David L. Prentice Jr. #29

    Pr. Prentice,

    I notice in their doctrinal posting, a reference to the great wax nose of “Luther’s teachings” which are quickly summarized without any references to the Confessions. In my experience with such churches, their glaring omission of any mention of the Confessions is what speaks loudest– since that would present the clear and objective means by which Scripture could be rightly applied in their midst.

    It also occurs to me, that the reference to being a member of the LCMS is more aggressive than it may superficially appear– it is a declaration that their aberrations are a tolerable expression of the common faith and practice of the Synod, and therefore whatever they do and say has the tacit imprimatur of the Synod.

    And as to your other concern about steering people away from erring LCMS churches, I have no trepidation about that at all. I do it all the time. Institutional loyalty does not trump fidelity to Christ and His Word.

  11. @Brad #15
    The only comment is back to the last comment, steering people away. Be sure, be very sure, extra sure, because as some have told me, “you do not want to sin against a fellow pastor and His Church.”

    By steering people away from a fellow Church, a place where the Synod says the Sacraments are rightly proclaimed and handled, be sure.

  12. @Pastor David L. Prentice Jr. #14
    Here’s my take on the two sermons I watched and listened to. I’d be interested in your take:

    1. LISTENED TO “PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS” FROM “FIVE BAD GOALS” SERIES. 8/24/14. JESUS CAN GET YOU HAPPINESS. “FOLLOW JESUS” AS LAW. LOTS OF “JESUS TALK,” BUT ABSOLUTELY NO GOSPEL! NOT EVEN A CHRIS ROSEBROUGH “GOSPEL NUGGET.” GAVE IT “2” out of “10” possible.

    2. LISTENED TO “PRODIGAL SON” FROM “JESUS FICTION” SERIES (4/06/14). SERMON WAS JUST OVER 30 MINUTES LONG. DID A GREAT JOB WITH THE PARABLE, AND EVEN HAD A COUPLE OF “GOSPEL NUGGETS,” AND I WAS QUITE IMPRESSED, UNTIL THE LAST COUPLE OF MINUTES WHEN HE TURNED THE GOSPEL INTO “THE WAY TO SHOW THE RIGHT LOVE OF THE FATHER IS TO RECEIVE IT FIRST OURSELVES,” AND “WHEN WE LET THE FATHER DO THAT, IT CHANGES HOW WE START LOVING OTHER PEOPLE.” CALLS IT THE “GOSPEL RISK”– OMETHING WE HAVE TO DO. 30 MINUTES OF PRETTY GOOD EXEGESIS RUINED BY TWO
    MINUTES OF GOSPEL AS LAW. NO REAL PROCLAMATION, EITHER,
    JUST A COUPLE OF “NUGGETS.” GAVE IT A “2”
    “JESUS TALK” IS NOT THE GOSPEL!

  13. @Pastor David L. Prentice Jr. #16

    Most certainly, Pr. Prentice. I have friends in Roman, Orthodox, Baptist, and non-denominational churches. I try to treat them fairly and charitably, even though I don’t recommend people go their churches, when a Confessional Lutheran congregation is available.

    When an LCMS congregation has left the Scriptures and the Confessions, whether the Synod has gotten around to dealing with them or not (which has been repeatedly demonstrated, it does not,) then I warn people away from them for the same doctrinal reasons I warn people from other erring congregations.

    But I must say, at least an honest Baptist, Roman, Methodist, etc., understands the process of critique and recommendation, because they return the favor to me. It is only those who are dishonest in their doctrinal convictions, attempting to maintain outward associations for disingenuous ends (like turning Confessional Lutherans into Enthusiasts,) that seem to resist objective critique and actionable conclusions/recommendations.

    Peace to you.

  14. Dear Pastor Prentice, you say you will not publish a critique of a fellow pastor publicly. How would you warn the sheep about wolves such as Joel Osteen, who publicly teaches name it claim it, and is a fellow pastor? How would you warn the sheep about pastors in the LCMS who publicly practice open Communion or say that God speaks to them directly? I can certainly understand your desire to be fair and careful about the way it is done, but it seems that there are times the sheep need to be told who is under the confessional Lutheran Halloween costume. And I would think it should be done in a humble manner recognizing that we as confessional Lutherans are subject to fall into the same sin of false teaching except but by the grace of God. In fact, we have plenty ourselves to dump of the foot of the cross, receiving its’ benefits in Absolution, Word and Sacrament. What say ye?

    Blessings in Christ

  15. @Pastor David L. Prentice Jr. #19

    Us lay-folk have the privilege of judging doctrine as Walther says. So I feel free to critique sermons. I understand your reasons for not doing so. I am interested in at least your reaction to my “critique” of those sermons, however.

  16. @Alan L. #20
    Joel is not of the LCMS denomination, that is not a fair comparison. I constantly pick him out and say “run”. I say run from the ELCA, flee the Mormons, etc.

    There is truly only one church (not Church) I can fairly say is the proper one that brings it all. And that is my Church. So I could say, “look to a Church like ours.” And I would help you find one like my, no our Church.

    Of course, you will say “conceited Prentice.” But I will remind you that as I look in the mirror every day, I see a man that can always do better, and I still exhort every day the Holy Spirit to guide me and the flock I care for.

    Back to the “call a fellow pastor out.”

    At this moment in time, I can call out so called COWO types, or even so called confessional men that preside at a Church that does not truly share the Gospel, they do lip service.

    With that said, I do hope the DPs and SPs do “get it all together”, because the attacks of “the Satan” are getting worse.

    We need TEAM LCMS and all pastors on board.

  17. The sermon in the OP is just all about him. Bill Woolsey preaches Bill Woolsey. Got it.

    Do these casual-style, man-centered, self-centered preachers read the sermons in Acts, or the Epistles and think, “I sound nothing at all like these preachers. Oh well! Gotta do it ‘new’!”

  18. @Joe Strieter #10
    Elders not needed? how interesting. can’t imagine not having elders that interact with the pastor. Study the confessions with him and have respectful input of our worship with him. Where is the checks and balances to insure that our worship and doctrine remains true? Is the congregation to follow without question in blissful ignorance?

  19. I would like to offer my apologies. I realized that I did not make my point clear in regard to elders. It has been my limited observation that District Presidents and other officials are reluctant to get involved if there is no complaint from the congregation or it’s Elders. We should respectfully confront what we feel is false doctrine or behavior, and scripture is clear on how to go about this. Questions from our peers should always be asked and answered respectfully, and we should always stand firm in our beliefs and responsibilities. Remembering always that we are in the service and debt of our Lord and Savior. Grace and Peace to all.

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