Friday, August 9, 2013

Afraid to Drink

Thoughts from Thunder Mountain
["Huachuca" - A Chiricahua Apache word meaning "thunder."]

Afraid to Drink

It has been said, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink." This is usually meant to express the thought that one can point a person or group of people to a correct and beneficial course of action, but you can't force them to actually carry it out. This is true enough, and has been demonstrated frequently throughout history.

But do you know why a horse sometimes refuses to drink? The answer is - fear. That's right, fear. I have a couple of horse experts in my congregation out here in the West, near the old Cavalry post of Fort Huachuca, and they tell me that this is very true. You see, they reminded me that horses are "prey" animals, they must always be aware of their surroundings and on guard against being eaten! So, when they come upon an unfamiliar water hole they are sometimes very afraid. Perhaps it's the movement of the water, or the reflected light from the surface that scares them. Sometimes it can simply be their own reflection that they're afraid of! That's right, they're afraid of themselves! How silly, huh!?!

OK, what does this have to do with Intrepid Lutherans? I bet you can guess. For three years now we have been trying to lead Pastors and laypeople of the WELS who object to the Church Growth elements of our synod to stand up and speak out against these traits: entertainment worship, sermons plagiarized from Arminian preachers, "felt-needs" based outreach programs, and much more. We have provided plenty of information and documentation regarding these matters. We - mostly Mr. Lindee; thank you, Douglas - have even pointed out how much of this trend comes from anti-Christian and anti-Biblical Post-modernism. I personally don't believe anyone can seriously deny that these things aren't taking place in the WELS. Yet, there hasn't exactly been a great rush by confessional Pastors and laypeople to publicly and passionately attack these trends. Why not?

I can only conclude that the reason is - fear. Yes, fear; fear of being "eaten!" Fear of laypeople being preyed upon by their pastors, and fear of pastors being preyed upon by their leaders; and in the case of Pastors, especially fear of being "blackballed" from Call Lists for the rest of their ministries. Perhaps it is time, my friends, to stop being "prey," and instead become "predators!" Can we put away our fear; can we trust in our Lord; can we follow the example of Luther and the Reformers, and confront the opponents of confessional Lutheranism? I certainly hope so. Just do it!

 Deo Vindice!

Pastor Spencer 

 

28 comments:

AP said...

There are in fact wolves out there, as has been clearly demonstrated in the very recent past.

But what are people really afraid of though? I know any number of confessional people in WELS who just are not willing to in any way accept the fact that maybe, just maybe, Holy Mother Synod might be wrong about something. I'm not sure that some people are afraid of losing their calls or being preyed upon in some other way, as much a they are afraid to admit that the WELS might not be as pure as they have always believed it was.

A.P.

Pastor Spencer said...

Prof. Palmer,

Point well taken. Many simply cannot tolerate the fact that our church body is a fallible human organization, full of sinful human beings, and therefore can, does, and will make mistakes. As the famous saying from that movie goes, they ". . . can't handle the truth!" Now, as to why THIS is, that is somewhat of a mystery to me.

Thanks for your comment.

Daniel Baker said...

I think the problem may be a lack of direction. It is easy to sit around nodding our heads in agreement about Confessional issues. But intellectual assent doesn't translate into visible support. However, when a tangible cause based on our intellectual assent is put forward, it always has the potential to muster support. Take, for example, when IL sponsored that memorial against ToG at the 2011 convention. It garnered a fair amount of support! People are looking for something like that to rally around.

In contrast, when all we do is talk, enthusiasm wanes. God bless it - and heaven knows we don't know what's going on behind the scenes - but a lot of the time IL seems like a lot of talk with little action. And when one of you, the intrepid Pr. Rydecki, actually did take some action, he was summarily thrown out of the synod with little to no vocal support - and even some castigation! - from fellow IL pastors.

I for one have done my part. I regularly talk about "Confessional Lutheran" issues with my pastor and the pastors that I work for by way of the organ. But even then, the talking only does so much. I would happily rally behind some project or cause if there was one. If there is any hope for even a remnant of the synod (and I grow more and more skeptical every day), it's going to be because we decide to put our money where our mouth is and apply what we believe concerning the truth of God's word in a tangible way. There is strength in numbers. We need to find *something* to rally behind, and then get to rallying! Otherwise, IL is just going to fizzle out of existence, and the few holdout confessionals along with it.

Anonymous said...

I would second Mr. Baker's comment.

Lee Liermann

Pastor Spencer said...

Daniel,

I believe you are correct in your assessment. Both the editors and also signers and readers are somewhat divided in what direction to focus our attention. Should it be worship, outreach, administration, doctrine (justification, etc...), translations, or other issues? I myself believe that the liturgy and the "worship wars" should be our main focus, because that's where the "rubber hits the road" for most pew-sitters. But others believe their causes are just as important, if not more so. It just so happens that there are a lot of "fronts" in this war - way more than even just two! Where do we attack with our very limited resources, and how, and when? But you're right, unless and until we focus on something and make that the point of attack, our effectiveness will be very limited.

Thanks for the comment!

Bryan Lidtke said...

Pastor Spencer,

I agree with you about the "worship wars." I have found the articles about them on IL to be very helpful when explaining the problems with sectarian worship. I would love to see more about it in future IL posts!

Peter Prange said...

Dear Steve:

You write, "Many simply cannot tolerate the fact that our church body is a fallible human organization, full of sinful human beings, and therefore can, does, and will make mistakes."

In my estimation, you have for many years seemed to be a victim of this very thinking, unable to "tolerate the fact that our church body is a fallible human organization, full of sinful human beings, and therefore can, does, and will make mistakes." Would following your solutions for "correction" suddenly make the WELS, its pastors, and its congregations pure, infallible human beings and human organizations? You seem to suggest that your way of addressing any issues that arise among us synodically and/or individually is the ONLY way of handling those issues, and if people don't subscribe your solutions they are somehow disinterested or unfaithful to the Savior and his Word; that yours is the only solution.

And you wonder why more folks aren't willing to "sign on"? Perhaps a moment or two looking in the mirror would give you your answer.

Godly repentance must always begin with me (Matthew 7:1-5), even as we "make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3). Let me assure you that the WELS, its pastors, and its people will never be perfect, at least not as long as I'm still alive and among you, "for I know my transgressions and my sin is always before me" (Psalm 51:3)

Grace and peace,
Peter Prange

Pastor Spencer said...

Peter,

Thank you for your comments.

I may be wrong, but I don't think I've ever said that "my way" is the "only" way that problems in the WELS should be or need to be addressed. If I have, please know that I most certainly did not mean that to be the case.

When I and other students at Bethany noticed some unscriptural practices taking place back in the early 70s, we first went to the college leadership. When that didn't produce much, we went to WLS men supervising the then-"Mequon Program," which included O.J. Naumann, and things changed. There was no need to go further. When Prof. Hartwig's false teaching was rejected by two districts and the combined CPs of the synod in 1980 and '81, I naturally expected some discipline to take place. When it didn't, I went to the Pres. of DMLC first, then to the Pres. of the WLS, and finally to Pres. Mischke. I was promised action, although none ever took place. I brought the matter up time and again in circuit meetings, conferences, and convention, and still nothing was ever done. I learned that sometimes the "normal channels" don't always function. These are just two of dozen of examples I could give. I am certainly not opposed to following procedure, and have done so in nearly every instance when I have had concerns.

So, no I don't always think we MUST bring everything out into the open. And yes, I am fully aware that I am not perfect and make mistakes too. I've been called on them, and have repented and recanted when necessary.

I think you miss my point, however. It is not that everyone has to speak up and speak out, but that those that would otherwise do so, are afraid to due to fear of reprisals. In short, that speaking out publicly is "A" tool that could be used, along with meetings and conferences, but is not being used as often as it might due to these fears. That there is a "chill" in our circles that, in my opinion, comes from the almost unbridled power of the DPs over the Call process. Perhaps I am wrong here, but this is what I have been told on numerous occasions.

I have been "blackballed" more than once, and had DPs actually say those very words to my face - and not because of false doctrine or practice, but because I spoke out against problems. So, I know personally that this does indeed happen.

I do not say that every WELS Pastor and layman must sign on to IL or must speak up and speak out all the time. I'm only saying that there may be times when such is called for, but that even then, it seldom happens because of fear of "being eaten." That's all I meant, nothing more.

Thanks, as always, for your concern.

Deo Vindice!

Rev. Paul A. Rydecki said...

Another case in point:

Back in October of 2011, a pastor from the AZ-CA District of the WELS, during the discussion period of an exegetical paper on Rom. 3:21-26, dared to ask if the presenter was certain that the "all" who are said to be justified must, in context, refer to all people who have ever lived, whether they believe in Christ or not, or whether the "all" is not defined rather clearly in Rom. 3:22 as "all who believe." This pastor's doctrine was immediately (as in, on the floor of the conference) called into question for daring to disturb the "settled" doctrine of the WELS regarding Objective Justification. He was required to "apologize" to the conference for unsettling them with his questions.

That resulted in several hours of "alone time" between this pastor and the district president over the next days and months. This pastor pleaded with his brothers in the district, and with the presidium, that the issue be studied on a district-wide, open basis. His request was repeatedly denied. He was told that he had no right to question "settled doctrine," and if it were studied, it could only be studied with the understanding that it be studied to demonstrate how the WELS position is right. He was told that studying the doctrine may cause people to start to question it who otherwise are not questioning it, and therefore, studying the doctrine would be harmful to the synod.

Within 11 months of this conference, this pastor was branded a heretic in front of his congregation, and within 12 months, he was suspended, in spite of promises made to the congregation that the presidium would "continue to study the issue with" their pastor.

How willing is any pastor in the district now to ask questions at a conference, much less to speak out directly to a perceived problem or to disagree with a district president? Yes, there is plenty of fear out there--fear of the WELS leadership. But not nearly enough fear of God.

Jon said...

Pastor Spencer,
Maybe there is a larger reason why some things get addressed like in the 70's and while other things do not... Acts 5:38-39

"..if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

Maybe in the 70's there wasn't a pastor who questioned\rejected objective justification as scripture and the WELS teaches ...

... or maybe there wasn't a pastor then who puts being a shepherd of congregation on the same level as the sacraments (which by default is elevating himself to such parity)...

I know of former WELS pastors who once came to a different understanding than what the WELS held to, had enough respect for the flock of gathering sheep to step down instead of breaking the spirit of unity.

Joel Dusek said...

An excellent article, Rev. Fr. Spencer!

Fear is often debilitating: fear of reprisal, being wrong, losing friends, losing fellowship, etc. That fear must be overcome, but the situation doesn't always involve heated conflict. I would encourage those who see a problem but are afraid to confront it to know that the Lord sometimes speaks in a still small voice, not always in a fire, wind, or quake. I was initially fearful of standing up and questioning my WELS pastor, and the Synod, but was confident in the Lord that I could do so. I did, with due respect, and eventually determined just to leave the WELS. I am fortunate to live in an area where there are multiple Lutheran churches and I was able to find one that is confessional and orthodox. Confronting, or even leaving, the WELS is not as hard as it seems. One has to be prepared for consequences, but they are not insurmountable. Push through them and stand firm and know that all things work together for the good of those who love God.

It is one thing to hold academic debates with no purpose, but when the purpose is confronting error, information is ammunition. Having that information can increase confidence and help overcome the fear. Sites such as IL are wonderful resources for solid theological information. In fact IL, along with Brothers of John the Steadfast, bookofconcord.org, were instrumental in my decisions. I appreciate the apologetics and polemics of this site, and would like to see more articles on wide-ranging Lutheran and Christian topics.

Spenglergeist!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to respond to Pastor Spencer's article and Mr. Dusek's assertion that "confronting, or even leaving, the WELS is not as hard as it seems."

This might be true for a layman, but it's not for a pastor. Let me explain...

I currently serve as a WELS pastor. A few years ago, several very vocal members of my congregation began pushing for contemporary worship. I explained my concerns with contemporary worship and opposed it in the congregation. These members then went behind my and back and issued a complaint with the District President. The DP then sat me down and explained to me, with a thinly-veiled threat, that I should "start exploring other options" for employment. He also let me know that he had already contacted the other DPs about this, implying that my name was on the blacklist.

So here I am in limbo, without many options. Should I continue to tough it out here? That's what I have been doing, but it's nearly impossible to preach or teach with authority when my members know they can run to the DP if I ever dare to say something they don't like. Should I wait for a call? Not going to happen--the blacklist is a very real thing. Resign and leave the WELS? Not as easy as Mr. Dusek thinks, especially when there's a large family to feed and my MLC and WLS diplomas aren't worth the fancy paper they're printed on--not in the real world anyway. Be brave and take a stand and sign my name onto the Intrepid Lutherans website? Why? I'm not even sure what IL stands for these days or what concrete goals it has. Signing my name would have a minimal impact on the synod, but a devastating impact on me and my family, as it would be the only excuse my DP would need to send me packing.

So, am I a coward? I suppose so. But perhaps IL should spend more time fighting against the abuses of power taking place all over the synod, and less time laying guilt trips on already-besieged pastors.

(For obvious reasons, I am submitting this anonymously and have no idea if it will be posted or not. I hope it is--I know I'm not the only WELS pastor in this position.)

Anonymous said...

So....Pastor Prange, the above is why so many are unwilling to sign on to IL. Does this sound like a healthy situation in the WELS? Please don't try to tell me these are only isolated incidents. I know better than that personally. So, what do you suggest now?

Scott E. Jungen

Daniel Baker said...

I feel sorry for Pastor Anonymous. But what is the point of being an undershepherd in his paradigm? If he doesn't want to protect the sheep from the wolves by taking them to safer pastures, or if he's going to let the sheep walk all over him and go wherever they want, what's the point of his job? Just to collect a pay check? What sort of recompense will the Shepherd have for such an undershepherd when He returns?

I don't mean to be cynical, because I'm not a pastor, let alone a husband or father, so I can't begin to understand what it's like being in a situation like so many doctrinally faithful WELS pastors find themselves in. But I do know what the Scriptures say. God takes care of the grass of the field and knows when the sparrow falls. Will He not take care of His faithful undershepherds who stand up for the truth of His Word?

Rev. Paul A. Rydecki said...

I sympathize with Anonymous Pastor, and I certainly don't think anyone should feel guilty for not attaching one's signature to IL's belief statements.

As one who has left the WELS and lived to tell about it, I agree with Daniel that fidelity to Christ and to one's flock has to come before thoughts of financial security. God can provide bread from the heavens, and He will if He has to to feed His children, if we will just trust Him, as Luther rightly points out.

I didn't know whether or not I would have few or many left in my congregation after I was suspended. I was prepared to apply at Walmart and attend to a handful of the faithful who remained in whatever time I had left after providing for my family. The Lord was very gracious to us and preserved a larger group of dedicated believers, so that I haven't had to apply at Walmart, yet.

But I know many faithful pastors who put everything on the line for Christ, and now have tent ministries, and will for the foreseeable future. Such is the state of orthodoxy in these latter days. We can no longer expect the "glory" of guaranteed salaries and benefits, or the cushion of synodical aid. It's time for those who hold the Office of the apostles to expect the blessed cross that the apostles bore, and to bear it joyfully, and to trust in Him who is always trustworthy.

Pastor Spencer said...

Dear Pastor whomever,

Please rest assured that my intent was not to lay a guilt trip on anyone. I was only making an observation. An observation that you have very adroitly given credence to, whether you intended to or not.

I am very well aware of many in your same situation - some here in my own district; many elsewhere - who cannot be who they really want to and should be out of fear of the consequences, either from their own members or their leaders.

As to what to do; here's what I would advise: first, is your CP aware of the situation, and what is his stand? Does he support you, as he should, or does he support the DP, whose "right arm" he is supposed to be? If he supports you, then band with him and fight the fight. If he supports the DP, then the next question is - are there other Pastors in your circuit, conference, or district, who agree with you? If there are, then band with them and confront your CP and DP. If not, and you are truly on your own, then seek out good laymen who may see the problems that you do and unite with them. Try to educate your flock on the dangers you see in contempto-worship, and all the trappings that go with it.

I sympathize with your plight. After all, I am still in the WELS. I'm sure there are many who feel that I am a coward for staying. So be it. I have never been overly concerned with what others think about me - that should be obvious from my history! The point is, "conscience doth make cowards of us all." The great Bard said that - a wonderful judge of character the man was, second only to Father Martin. I think you do protest too much, my friend. If you are afraid to leave the WELS because of very natural and normal concerns, ok, that is understandable. Does that make you a "belly-server?" I don't think so, and I would never call you such, and I would object to any who call you that. Every man's heart and mind is his own. If the Reformation taught us anything, it taught us that. As far as I can remember, Luther's mentor and "conscience," Staupitz, never left the Roman church, and I don't recall Martin giving him grief for this. We can only do what we can do; every man is given a certain amount of courage. It may be, in fact, that to stay in an organization is indeed more brave than to leave it! In this sense, every man is indeed an island, alone unto himself. He must face himself and his God on his own terms and with his life and choices completely naked. No one, much less myself, has any right to judge him.

All that being said, my friend, the best way to deal with fear is to face it head on, and master it, with the help of the Holy Spirit, fortified with the Means of Grace. I myself bow to no man in the battles I have fought and what I have made my dear spouse and family suffer as a consequence of my nearly constant warfare over the past 35 years. If someone wants to call me a coward, let them. I know different. I only hope you can look yourself in the mirror and say the same. I pray we can both go to our graves in peace, knowing we did the best we could, and that, in Christ, it was enough!

Deo Vindice!

Pastor Spencer said...

Oh, "Jon" - let us know who you are, and we will publish your comment. If you are a WELS Pastor, you should not remain unknown, as I'm sure your words will be appreciated by most in the synod.

Joel Dusek said...

Pastor Anonymous,

I also sympathize with your plight, and affirm what Mr. Baker and Revs. Rydecki and Spencer have said. Although I write from the standpoint of a layman, my family has had direct personal experiences similar to yours. Stand firm on what is right, and let the Lord handle the rest.

Jon said...

Pastor Spencer,
Some comments that you've spoken here seem to be one out of less than charitable ... and that is one of the disturbing factors (IMHO) that contributes to the dislike and hesitancy to "sign on" of forums like this and this one in particular.

God said:
Luke 6:22
"Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man."

1 Peter 3:14
"But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. 'Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.' ”

If I may ....
I don't how you intend to balance "go[ing] to your grave in peace" while "I myself bow to no man in the battles I have fought" ...

I believe there is a difference between waging "battles" and the scriptural spirit of "standing firm". Let the "battle" be the Lord's doing ... and understand that those of us who are like the noble character (the Bereans) will be guided and will have the discernment to see who is telling the truth.

Jon Rehborg

Peter Prange said...

Mr. Jungen:

You ask: "What do you suggest now?"

I really can't suggest anything with regard to the "Pastor Anonymous'" situation on account of two factors:

1) His comments are anonymous, something I thought the administrators of this blogs were forbidding (Rules of Engagement, Nos. 1 & 2).

2) Even Assuming that "Pastor Anonymous" is, in fact, a WELS pastor, I've learned as a pastor and father myself that there are always two sides to a story, and we've only heard one side (Deuteronomy 19:15).

And, again, let me restate the real point of my original comments. I will stipulate that the people and pastors of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (including me) are not perfect. They are sinners, and they sin. That can never really be the issue or an issue that separates us, otherwise we would have to flee ourselves. What separates is not sin but impenitence, and proving impenitence is a much "higher bar."

On top of this all, I still find Ephesians 4:3 in my Bible. Those words are just as divinely-inspired as every other word in the Holy Scripture.

Grace and peace,
Pastor Peter Prange

Pastor Spencer said...

Jon and Rev. Prange,

Thanks for your comments - really.

Obviously, we see the problems and solutions differently. That's ok. I do not condemn you for wanting to work within the system that we have, or even if you don't see the problems as all that important or necessary to be dealt with.

My point is very simple; let me restate it - There are many who see things as I do, but who, for many and varied reasons choose not to speak out about them. Some of those reasons in some cases have to do with fear of retribution. All I'm saying is a.) such possible retribution is misplaced, and b.) eventually, this fear could - note "could" - compromise the preaching of law and Gospel.

If you and others do not see IL as a means to address the issues facing WELS these days, fine and good. Your comments, however, are still always welcome.

As for allowing the pastor to remain unknown - that was my choice. To me the reason is obvious. Also, that's what a "moderator" does. Sometimes, if we see a comment might move the discussion along, we will even break (gasp!) one of our own rules.

Again, thanks for the feed-back.

Peter Prange said...

Yes, it seems, you're willing to break your own rules as long as it plays to your agenda.

Physician, heal thyself.

Grace and peace,
Peter

Rev. Paul A. Rydecki said...

It was likewise my decision to post the anonymous comment. Pastor Prange, you are able to use your name without fear of repercussions from the leadership, because you are supporting the leadership. However, many who have tried to correct the leadership have been threatened for it. I know this, not only because it happened in my case, but because whole pastor/teacher conferences have been warned not to have their name associated with Intrepid Lutherans. So if we are occasionally willing to suspend a "rule" (that we made for the sake of honest communication) in order to protect a man's livelihood while allowing his very relevant questions to be aired, well, you are right. That plays to our agenda, and we find no need of healing ourselves of it.

I would correct a comment that was made earlier: "What separates is not sin but impenitence." In the context of synodical fellowship, impenitence is not what separates. A disunified confession is what separates, and that disunified confession is as evident in worship practices as anywhere. Or perhaps one could say that impenitence over teaching/permitting/tolerating false doctrine is what separates.

And no one doubts, Pastor Prange, that Ephesians 4:3 is, as you say, still in your Bible. But the only "unity of the Spirit" that exists is the unity around His Word, and the only "bond of peace" that exists is the bond of peace forged by a common confession of the truth of Christ.

What we have been asserting all along at Intrepid Lutherans is that this unity is already non-existent for the WELS as a whole, and to pretend to "keep" what does not exist is an exercise in hypocrisy. We were initially fighting to restore unity in the WELS around the Book of Concord of 1580. But I am now keenly aware that the WELS will not tolerate such a movement, much less be reformed by it.

Peter Prange said...

Dear Paul:

My last comment on this matter; lots going on.

You argue that a "disunified confession is what separates." But can any one person's confession (much less an entire congregation or church body's confession) be so pure in word and action as to negate any possibility that it would be in need of correction? You seem to suggest that such a possibility exists, which will eventually land you on a dogmatic island, where the only people with whom you can have Christian fellowship are those who say it exactly the way you say it and do it the way you do it(formalism). Your understanding and your conscience become the judge rather than the Word of God, and Pharisaism soon follows.

The Scriptures clearly teach that not a simple disunity in confession separates (think of the mess that the Corinthian congregation was!) but a persistent adherence to false doctrine and/or life (impenitence). If my brother or sister in Christ fall into words and actions that are contrary to the Word of God, they remain my brother and sister in Christ until they prove they are unwilling to be corrected on the basis of God's Word (impenitence). And, yes, I understand that cuts both ways. I must be willing to be corrected by God's Word, too, and am thankful when others correct me in a patient and loving way.

You also argue that I can post here free from fear of reprisal from the so-called leadership "because you are supporting the leadership." I don't believe I've made any comments here that "support the leadership." I've clearly confessed what I believe about the WELS: every member and pastor in WELS congregations (and our WELS leaders) are sinners and they sin, including me. Ours is not the Church Triumphant; ours is the Church Militant. I make every attempt not to support any "leadership" where I am convinced by the Word of God that such leadership is leading in a different direction than the Good Shepherd (John 10:27,28). I make every effort, by God's grace, to follow the Savior's leadership, and so often I fail at that, too! Kyrie eleison!

Grace and peace,
Peter

Donald Tilbury said...

They have every right to be afraid. You stand up in the synod and they will beat you senseless until they cry out "heretic".

I was a vicar until I resigned due to a bishop who asked me to do something illegal. I said no, that's when he bashed my good name to seminary. I'm no longer allowed back, the reason "consider the Ten Commandments and 1 Timothy 3."

When I asked for specifics, that's when they referred me back to the Ten Commandments and 1 Timothy 3.

Since we have no appeal board at the seminary, there is no one to bring an appeal in front of.

Gregory Jackson said...

Donald, count yourself blessed to be rid of that Synagogue of Satan in Mequon. They did you a favor.

ralph luedtke said...

have we checked into the pages of evidence of sin sent to leaders in LCMS-all ignored to date on Scripture/doctrine and practice

Myron Hinrikus said...

I am a WELS member who just happened on this web site because i was googling the name of Gregory L. Jackson and ended up here. I am reading The book he wrote called Liberalism. I happend to see it n my Pastors office as I was waiting for my husband to conclude a Christmas service practice with the pastor and children..The book interrested me as liberaism seems to have taken so much of a hold in our nation and I wondered how it effected churches. Many years ago my Dad took our family out of the ALC church because of blatant false doctrine. we went to LCMS. A couple years later we moved and as Dad"s brother shared with him the doctrines of the WELS we joined there where I was a member until I married a LCMS Man...we were members there until guess what???false and loose doctine became very evident and we took instructions from the WELS. I will be the first to say I for one at this time in my life do not really want to be involved in rocking any boats as far as church membership is involved. We belong to a very small church that just seems to be getting smaller because recently about 7 families left because of a fellowship problem they had . God Bless our dear Pastor for clinging to God's word.

As I blundered through this web site I was hoping you would be willing to answer 2 questions for me..Is there disagreement on the doctrine of objective justification in the WELS? or is it just a matter concerning one incident? also please tell me what Intrepid Lutherans are and what their objective is..I have never heard of the term before. I am new to the computer so I apologise for my blunders . Thankyou Rachel Hinrikus myronrachelhinrikus@gmail.com

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