Quietly coming to a town near you…

020806-F-7823A-004This post is strictly for my confessional Lutheran brothers and sisters.

I’ve spent some time researching and writing about a network called FiveTwo. If you are a confessional Lutheran within the LCMS, I encourage you to make your acquaintance with the FiveTwo Network and its founder, LCMS Pastor, Bill Woolsey. My encouragement to familiarize yourself with this pastor and his network is a lesson in discernment. You see, whether you realize it or not, FiveTwo is a church planting network and though it’s not directly funded by our synod, it’s leadership is overwhelmingly comprised of rostered LCMS pastors and their sights are firmly set on transforming our synod. I could write of the vast issues I see within FiveTwo, but for anything to get accomplished we, the confessionals, must take ownership of our synod by educating ourselves about the clear and present dangers within this movement.

Therefore, I earnestly encourage you to…

1. Visit www.fivetwo.com and peruse what is being taught. I recommend the following posts…

a. Seven marks that say you’re a sacramental entrepreneur

b. Five keys to releasing the sacramental Jesus in others

c. Why our preaching should be more like a sitcom

2. Watch FiveTwo Network’s Vice President, Mark Junkans, video on communion and compare it to scripture and the LCMS confessional position.

3. Listen to Lutheran Public Radio’s Issue’s Etc. and their segment devoted to FiveTwo…

If you are as concerned as I am about FiveTwo implanting roots in your district, then I wholeheartedly encourage you to…

1. Talk to your pastor about your concerns by making him aware of FiveTwo and its teachings.

2. Email, write and/or call your local District President about your concerns. If you do not know who your DP is, click this link to find out. Our Synodical leadership needs to know what is going on and hear our concerns.

3. Spread the word. Talk to your elders and fellow church members about this topic. Share this post with them.

4. Pray for our our synod, our pastors, and our leaders to uphold the integrity of our confessions.

As we find ourselves in the midst of reformation week, let us be reminded that Martin Luther wasn’t trying to innovate, but instead pointed away from trivial innovations of his day. His focus was firmly set on the pure doctrine that had driven the true church throughout the centuries. Let us, in like form, discern these modern attempts at innovation and rest in our confessions which are a treasured result of the blood, sweat and tears born from the laborers of the Reformation.


Comments

Quietly coming to a town near you… — 35 Comments

  1. I think it is imperative for the laymen and women to muster up the courage to confront them, and all false teachers and preachers, with the truth. Engaging them, in love, and with the intent to regain them, by responding to their posts, writing them emails, letters and even phone calls. District Conventions are also upon us and what better way of publicly discussing these matters than with resolutions, etc.

    Kiley

  2. OK, I looked over the first three parts, some semantic logic problems, they do talk differently. I do not like the preaching discussion, we can debate content style.

    Now the Communion video, in their lingo “what up with that?” Passed a bottle around, etc. To me, they make a mockery of the Holy Meal.

    I know you guys busted me on using an installed DEACON of the Church at Faith to deliver the Holy Meal to a shutin in an emergency (as they prepare to die is one example); we reverently carry His Body and Blood from His Altar and in fact, only once now. I have a member closing in on heaven.

    Yet this video is talking about a party like atmosphere concerning communion. And who administers it anyway?

    Oh, this needs to be nipped in the bud fast.

  3. It is troubling to see how some Christian pastors and churches cannot simply preach the gospel message without resorting to silly titles, slogans, confusing and ambiguous themes, and entertainment…..often departing from the message, spirit, and intent of God’s word. Some pastors want to draw people by using such devices, often setting up elaborate techniques borrowed from worldly commercial advertisers, and thus garnering speaking engagements and financial profits from local churches searching for the “latest thing” to keep the congregation amused. I believe Paul warned us about such activities, because folks during his time were similar to our day. I also find it annoying that so many pastors feel the need to write “self help” books around the gospel message, one book after another, plugging their tapes, DVD’s, and speaking tours. The Christian needs good Bible teaching and some solid references, but the Bible is our exclusive text.

  4. Dear fellow Confessional Lutherans,

    There was a very interesting interview on 52 Sacramental Entrepreneurs on Issues, Etc. with Chris Rosebrough that is worth a listen to catch up on this and the problems it creates within the LCMS as in many ways goes contrary to the teaching in our Lutheran Confessions.

    http://issuesetc.org/2014/10/22/3-sacramental-entrepreneurs-and-the-fivetwo-network-pr-chris-rosebrough-102214/

    I’m always confused as to why the LCMS has such issues with pastors going “rogue” and wanting to transform our synod instead of just move on. Even the Mormons have a more consistent way of believing and worshiping.

    I guess I do know why: the devil sure likes to deceive us and divide us. He’s really working hard on us LCMSers…

  5. I’m just finishing up the Issues interview with Pr. Rosebrough. This is scary stuff. In fact, I don’t know where to begin–there’s so much that is wrong with 5-2. My first reaction, however, is that Jonathan is 100% correct. Among the congregations/pastors that will be attracted to this bogosity in every district are (1) The RIM folks, (2) the Jesus First followers, (3) the LCMS-Willowcreek wannabes, and (4) left-overs from the Seminex crowd. This is no small number of pastors/congregations. I’ll have more to say later, but here’s a few “nuggets” of 5/2 bogosity:

    1. Emphasis on “New” (Pr. Woolsey stressed that). Who cares about the “old” or “current” disciples? After all, The Great Commission is all about NEW disciples only. Sound familiar? Paul Borden’s TCN all over again, just same old wolf dressed in today’s fashion (Emergent Double-speak). If the “old” disciples (“alligators and bosses” to quote Borden), they can just leave.
    2. “Everyone a Minister,” once again has reared its ugly head. As one professor at Fort Wayne said, “Oscar Feucht has a lot to answer for.” This false teaching has wreaked inestimable havoc in the LCMS. It continues to poison the Synod. Woolsey calls traditional pastor “oppressors.” Get it?
    3. Emphasis on externals. If someone has “good” preaching techniques–that is, knows how to give a good motivational speech, he/she can be a minister. As Pr. Rosebrough says, “No need to send him to the seminary, just get him into the pulpit. And her, too.
    4. Devaluation of the Sacraments. You’ve read the stuff. You know what I mean.
    5. Dismissive attitude toward doctrine–that’s part of the “oppressor” epithet (see #2).
    6. Like Borden’s TCN, 5/2 turns the church upside down, the laity become functionaries under the thumb of the Pastor-CEO, and the Holy Ministry becomes a managerial fiefdom.
    7. Deliberately vague, fuzzy, obfuscatory, meaningless, subjective gobbley-gook God-talk. Designed to shake the beliefs of us pew-sitters (and perhaps even a few DP’s).

    There’s more, but as I said, this stuff is dangerous. Pr. Rosebrough (and others) are right–this is indeed a rival synod. At first, I thought BJS was going a bit overboard with so many threads about 5/2. No longer–keep it up.

  6. @Joe Strieter #6
    I listened too, and I was hoping not to think too bad of a fellow brother, but the road being traveled is not a good one. My question, how did it get this bad so fast? Or was 5/2 lurking and now just blossomed?

    I truly wonder what Synod at top has to say? Anyone know if they have discussed this officially?

  7. Not a Lutheran quote, but Spurgeon’s words to a similar crisis in the Baptist church (The Down-grade controversy) apply soundly here concerning the 5/2 movement: “Under colour of begging the friendship of the servant, there are those about who aim at robbing the Master.”

  8. @Pastor David L. Prentice Jr. #7
    My understanding is 5/2 is not new. They have been around for a while, but they only recently came onto people’s radar when they took their annual “wiki” conference to social media this year.

    I have called the synod office. I was assured this is “not LCMS sanctioned”. So far I have not seen anything addressed officially. I was merely told that we have synodical processes in place that must be followed. i.e. we are to contact Pr. Woolsey and the Texas DP. When I asked how this would work when synodical supervisors not only condone this, but are active participants in it, I was simply told that is just the downside to our current structure/processes.

    My understanding is this isn’t anything new, and it’s not that it got bad fast, but that it’s been getting bad over time and with no oversight/correction we are where we are now.

  9. @Vanessa #9
    Thank you Vanessa, and do enjoy that hot beverage. Coffee or tea (perhaps hot chocolate)?

    But interesting, they may not be sanctioned by LCMS proper, but they are on the Texas Website as a Mission strategy. To me, this means, “sanctioned.” But, they can debate word meaning.

  10. @Vanessa #9
    I understand the process for dealing with a pastor or pastors involves the pastor’s DP. But how about the process for dealing with an organization? I see no reason why the hetrodoxy of the organization cannot be dealt with at the Synodical level.

  11. @Pastor David L. Prentice Jr. #10
    But interesting, they may not be sanctioned by LCMS proper, but they are on the Texas Website as a Mission strategy. To me, this means, “sanctioned.” But, they can debate word meaning.

    It’s the “same old same old” and Texas has been diseased with it for more than 40 years.

    There were people here who wanted to organize the “Seminex” seminary in Texas, because they think they “deserve” a seminary but [obviously] don’t care what is/would be taught there. [The Pastor who was courageous enough to amend a district resolution intended to subsidize “seminex” students, and persuasive enough to get the amendment passed, was ostracized by his “brothers” in the Austin area for years.]
    This is the home of “I’m no theologian” Kieschnick; does any more have to be said? Except that there are more like him… too many more. Power and money, they understand. Faith and doctrine, “not so much”.

    Junkans spouting “Haters!” at anyone who wants to quote Scripture to him is nothing new here either. As a tribe, they are as vindictive as a “gay rights” mob. “Our way, or out of business!”

  12. Jonathan,

    Great article and nice picture of the “Stink Bug” over the land of sand.

    Vanessa :<
    “I was told they were working on how to address it, but didn’t want to rush it.”

    Vanessa,

    In other words, these men wouldn’t rush to help a drowning man. It’s the same old political song & dance. The KP is a prime example. I sent my concern to the synod today as well. Haven’t heard back yet, but IF I do I know it’ll be the same as what you received. Keep taking the fight to ’em!

  13. @Randy #14
    Randy – They can easily discard/delete emails or letters – it’s harder for them to ignore a phone call. Our conversation lasted nearly an hour, and I came away with the overall feeling that there was little desire to do anything. A lot of diplomatic words and politics being played with seemingly little concern for the souls at stake. Whether or not that’s how they feel, I cannot say, but it certainly didn’t leave me with much confidence.

  14. > how did it get this bad so fast?

    Planted, fed and watered by the Kieschnick administration, which was voted in three times.

  15. Are the sins of holding back and trying to somehow finesse all of this possibly as bad as the sins of being crude and brutal with all-out war on this stuff? The creeping discouragement – over years and decades of tolerating deliberate errors in teaching and practice – drains us of energy and hope.

  16. mbw :
    > how did it get this bad so fast?
    Planted, fed and watered by the Kieschnick administration, which was voted in three times.

    It goes back far beyond the Kieschnick years, past the Bohlman years, back to the 40’s and 50’s. It’s been brewing for a long time, and except for the days of the Seminex crisis, nobody has had the intestinal fortitude to confront this stuff. We need warriors like Walter Dissen, Alvin Briel, Karl Barth, and Paul Zimmerman, and the others who saw things clearly and dealt with the problem.

  17. Wow… I have to wonder what the point of having a synod is, if this kind of thing prospers publicly without public rebuke by those whose vocation it is to do so.

    Makes me wonder, if we had Docetists, Arians, Antinomians, Pelagians, or any other kind of rank heretic running about under the banner of being on the LCMS roster, whether they would have any public rebuke, either. Just gotta defend the institution… play nice… so nobody plays the 8th Commandment or Pharisee card on the poor sap who stands up for Biblical doctrine.

    Also makes me hope the Roman Catholics were at least a little bit right about the saints coming back every once in a while to slap people upside their heads. It would be nice to think that Walther, Chemnitz, and Luther might visit the synod administration, and dance on their heads for a while…

  18. @mbw #16
    Planted, fed and watered by the Kieschnick administration, which was voted in three times.

    And before that, GK was DP in Texas. (Texas Confessional Lutherans say that they tried to tell all y’all what you were getting, but nobody believed them.) 🙁

  19. Helen – Herman Otten told everybody about GK way back in the nineties. Then as now, if you want real news and want it sooner than twenty years late, you have to evaluate each statement for yourself. The synod should do what KFUO does, and bring in every frenemy to do his/her own show.

  20. @mbw #21
    Helen – Herman Otten told everybody about GK way back in the nineties.

    “Way back in the 90’s”, those Texans were regular readers of Christian News. But Otten didn’t enlighten them about GK. (People didn’t listen to Otten either, did they?)

  21. There’s something going on here that just occurred to me. I’m willing to bet that these men did not get “radicalized” after graduation. My guess is that they had a lot of this in their heads before they even got there. The influences of the culture cannot be chalked up to post-graduation pollution. From what I’ve observed first-hand, the Seminary education and ordination got them “in the door.” I know of one pastor who claimed that his Seminary training was equivalent to “getting in the union.” It’s mostly conjecture, of course, and I can’t prove any of it. I think it’s all evidence of poor catechesis and the resulting lack of theological integrity.

  22. @Joe Strieter #25

    The choice of seminary is certainly important– young people will be shaped a great deal by what they encounter there.

    But there is also a spiritual war that every pastor must face. I’ve become convinced it is really a 2nd Commandment issue (which of course, always rolls up to the 1st Commandment.) When a pastor takes his oath before God and His people that he will keep the confession of the faith as he has received it, He has invoked Almighty God to help him do this very thing. Our pastors swear that they both do and will believe, teach, and confess according to the Word of God, and its proper exposition in the Book of Concord.

    Be they in seminary with better or worse instructors, or in the parish with better or worse companions, the devil and the sinful flesh will constantly call a pastor away from his good confession– away from his oath before God and His people. He will be tempted to vandalize the name of the Living God whom He swore to represent, and violate his vows of fidelity to His Word.

    For all the BS we hear about the 8th Commandment these days, I think it is time we hear a bit more about not taking the Lord’s Name in vain… and calling the pastors who have, to repentance, no matter how they have found themselves embroiled in this most grievous and damnable sin.

    And, I still think, that to make the point more… emphatically… we should make every pastor who graduates from our seminaries or comes in via colloquy, have UAC branded quite painfully upon their chest. I bet that would separate the men from the boys…

  23. @Joe Strieter #25
    Hmmm,

    As a DELTO cohort graduate of St. Louis, and long time attendee of Fort Wayne at the GSI and other conferences for continued education, I would vouch that both seminaries are wonderful places of learning that produce good men, and yes, some men at both turn out to be a little less than proper as time goes on.

    Both seminaries have good and dedicated faculty, I have met with many. Yes, perhaps some as academics do “test the waters” of areas that test our confessional nature.

    Yes, once you graduate and are ordained, you can stay in touch, continue to grow with extra class work, conferences at Seminary, etc.; or as some do, “go lone wolf.”

    And yes, in business terms, we pastors are in a union of sorts, the union of called and ordained servants of the Word, and we have stewards, etc. But, the ultimate steward of this union (yes, God), does wield a very powerful hand for those pastors that cause the flock to stray.

  24. Pastor David L. Prentice Jr. :
    Just an FYI – I sent a note to Pastor Woolsey concerning the communion video. Of course, my discussions with him will be in private, brother to brother.

    Thank you for this. I appreciate your effort, and support you keeping it confidential. If only we had more discussions like this across our synod; if Koinania would actually do this. Agreeing to disagree and sweeping it under the rug will only let the cancer fester and metastasize.

  25. Sorry to be somewhat off-topic, but the picture of the F-117 is a great analogy.

    -It started out a big secret designed to infiltrate without being seen
    -It was called one thing “stealth fighter” but it was really something else
    -it used recycled systems from older tech
    -looked really cool at first like it could do anything, but in reality quite limited
    -once folks got wise to it, it could be detected and shot down
    -it’s so early 90s
    -one got shot down, but the pilot was later rescued. the rest got away (seminex stretch?)

    The analogy falls apart, though, because the F-117 was actually both useful and cool at one time. The F-IVE2 never was.

  26. RE Randy: Well, the F-117 picture can certainly apply to LCMS leadership – their ability to avoid detection is quite remarkable.

    Me: …more like Wonder Woman’s invisible jet.

  27. Everything that is wrong with FiveTwo is on their website. “We really wanted to go for the Old Testament and New Testament trifecta.” (a type of bet on threes. Also the name of a company that helps companies ‘unlock their true potential through the conceptualization and implementation of visionary business IT solutions.’ an interesting homology) If organizers refer the Trinity then why not say so. Or would that smack of a direct comparison between FiveTwo and the triune God?

    The “high-powered vision guru” behind FiveTwo: Will Mancini. http://www.willmancini.com/about Not quite complete bio. We all like to put our best foot forward, but he’s worn a few more shoes than he likes to highlight in his bio. “I live in Houston, Texas with my wife Romina and my three children, Jacob (20), Joel (16) and Abigail (14).” ( idyllic?) He lives in League City ; he and Romina married 2010. He’s worked at many places (used to be called a job hopper) and affiliated with many churches (used to be called a church shopper). Is he creating his own version of applying the Bible?

    “After 24 hours of praying and dreaming and cigar smoking…” What a combination – a new trifecta?

    The group name “careened out from the doctored brain of Scott Rische…” Who is he? Dr. Scott Rische, at the time he was Senior Pastor of First Lutheran, El Cajon, CA and is now Director of Pastoral Leadership Institute-International , still LCMS rostered but no registered church position; graduate of CSSL 1988 and Bakke Graduate University (accredited online graduate school for leaders who are ‘seeking to aid the social transformation’ of urban areas.) Rische majored in ‘Church Multiplication Movement.’

    Organizers launched a network that “brought ‘personal’ and ‘how’ together for those front-line harvesters in the US and around the world.” Focus on “front-line harvesters.” Perhaps snagged from, ““Our mission is to initiate and facilitate a Global Evangelism Movement by raising up and mobilizing an army of front-line harvesters who effectively minister the Gospel in power and miracles to the unreached masses, and as a result – win a BILLION SOULS to Christ.” John Smithwick, of John Smithwick Ministries International (see: http://globalventures.tv/about/founders/)

    Their goal in 2009? “Grow FiveTwo from the nine of us to a local presence in all 29 metro areas in the US and in five international locations by 2017.”

    In 2010 they were dissatisfied with their “impact” and shifted from planting churches and “expanded the tent” to reach more churches – to give them the “how-to.”

    In 2011 they went social with a WikiConference; coined “sacramental entrepreneurs” in 2013 (the year after Woolsey pulled the plug on his own church plant, ostensibly because they wanted to go their own direction. What are sacramental entrepreneurs? Men and women who have a deep love for the mysterious work of Jesus in the sacraments AND realize that because He’s really present in them, they are the presence of Jesus — His sacraments — in their communities (http://www.fivetwo.com/sacramental-entrepreneurship)

    Another shift this year with a “legacy vision: FiveTwo exists to launch 10,000 Sacramental Entrepreneurs who start 1,000,000 sacramental communities by 2044.”

    It’s almost 2015. How have they done? Look at their map and you decide. http://www.fivetwo.com/findlocal/

    And finally – the Board of Directors (presented in order on their website)
    1. Mark Junkans – Founder/Executive Director LINC Houston; (http://markjunkans.com/)
    2. Nate Schaus – Lead Pastor Summit Community Church, Phoenix (LCMS); Concordia Seminary Saint Louis, 2000; Summit is “Bible-based Christian church that believes God is present in the lives of people today” … use multi-media and visual arts to worship in the music and communication style of today… (their website)
    3. Vince Parks – Executive Pastor Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Houston; BOD Chair LINC Houston (LCMS); Network Navigator with Auxano (see Mancini above)
    4. Will Mancini – “guru” (see above)
    5. Rob Goodwin – Senior Pastor Grace Lutheran Church, Menomonee Falls, WI, Concordia Seminary Saint Louis 2007 (where I could not find even ONE reference to LCMS)
    6. Laurie Wilkinson – member of Zion Lutheran Church, Navarino, WI (ELCA) and director for church relations for Thrivent Financial
    7. Bill Woolsey – “I recently got a chance to talk with Pastor and Leader, Bill Woolsey and spend some time asking him several questions about leadership, engaging culture, and what he describes as “sacramental entrepreneurs.” As a church worker, I am greatly encouraged by Bill’s desire to reach lost people with the message of the Gospel and his desire to do it in a way that is also distinctly Lutheran.” RJ Grunewald, St. Louis seminarian, in an interview with Woolsey (http://www.rjgrune.com/bill-woolsey/)
    (Goodwin & Woolsey are among those who signed a letter May 2014 to President Harrison, et al, accusing Pastor Todd Wilken of sin because he asked why Concordia Seminary allowed an additional statement of promises from newly called men in addition to their ordination vows.)

    I read with interest Steadfast Lutherans post by Pastor David Juhl, November 30th, 2012: //steadfastlutherans.org/?p=24951 and equally of interest some of the commentary that followed. In particular, Martin R. Noland quoted

    “Today Missouri stands in grave danger of being affected by this amorphous, emotional, non-credal, undefinable, increasingly neo-Anabaptistic movement which now permeates American culture. …”

    Could Robert Preus’ statement (1973 annual meeting in New Orleans resolution declaring heresy taught at Concordia Seminary-St. Louis) apply to FiveTwo?

  28. @Joyce Zachman #34

    Another shift this year with a “legacy vision: FiveTwo exists to launch 10,000 Sacramental Entrepreneurs who start 1,000,000 sacramental communities by 2044.”

    “Ablaze” by any other name… and as likely to happen. Same cast of characters behind the scenes, if not in front, I’d guess. You’ve “outed” PLI; the rest can’t be far away.

    Same overblown ambition and big words (projects to be supported by other people’s money; Thrivent’s in it!), same probable result. [By this analysis, they’ve changed course almost every year! And achieved… a lot of column inches on BJS!!!]
    Are we their best advertising??????

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