Monday, October 11, 2010

Decided to Stay in WELS

"I swear my loyalty to Holy Mother Synod, for She cannot err. She is infallible in all her pronouncements on faith and morals."

I have decided to stay in WELS.

    • Gregory L. Jackson ‎"Each time I think I'm out, they pull me back in!" The Godfather.
      October 5 at 6:30am · 

Yes, Dr. Jackson, they made me an offer I couldn't refuse... just kidding.


  1. if one can ask, what made you decide to stay? it's obvious you feel strongly about the matter.

  2. Hi Kurt, I decided to stay to see if I could possibly have a positive impact for Confessional Lutheranism in WELS.

  3. Or in other words: Mark, avoid (if but for a season, or perhaps some hours), and then re-embrace ... on the basis of personal talents which are deemed the stuff of a revolutionary tinder-box. I like it!

    That may be the problem. It's appealing to the ego of the despairing Elijah (who was, it appears, ignorant of some 7000 faithful Confessionals genuflecting towards the LORD; not that Elijah didn't have significant royal distractions breathing down his neck), and it sees the will of God through a highly self-Windexed glass. "He wants me to stay, for purposes of positive impact." Actually, He may have a chariot of fire waiting, to remove the wildly-clad Tishbite.

    My boy, your posts are edifying and worthy of the peeks. But what is the measuring-stick for determining a person's "positive impact" on a synod? How does one convincingly establish that one's efforts were a key ingredient to the success of the sought-after mission (should it happen)?

    I think a bit more elaboration as to the prompt which changed the mind would be a salutary thing. Hope you agree. Cheers!

  4. Dr. Anderson, thank you for taking the time to peruse my little blog! You seem like a person of strong rhetorical talent and wit.

    I think you mistake "brilliance" on a supposed strategy I had in mind for deciding to leave WELS and then deciding to stay. It was more of a function of my aptitude for not thinking things through fully or carefully and being rash. Do I think WELS is messed up? Sure do.

    Part of my decision to stay was due in part on advice from Dr. Greg Jackson in an e-mail he sent me, "You can wait and decide about WELS. The importance is applying the Word, not the exact organization you are a member of (unless it's Rome or ELCA or something like that)."

    Does that answer your question?

  5. Yes, it certainly does.

    I can empathize with your struggles, so honestly and painfully expressed. I shared my own concerns about the WELS' circumstances, to a couple of dear clerics at the recent Gottesdienst Central gathering. Their response to my anguish wasn't completely surprising; it was actually something I feared would come. They said that, as a matter of conscience, it would be an appropriate and understandable action to depart. That I expected. But then they asked me to ponder the following: 1) "Are you being fed (with Word and Sacrament)?" I nodded my head, in the affirmative (you fill in the emotion, as an exercise; you see, my congregation together with its synod has its problems, but the pastor is faithful, solidly confessional and officiates the Holy Supper every Sunday service and high Festival occasion), and 2) "Are you fully convinced that the dear Lord has not placed you where you are, for a purpose?" Uh oh.

    It's like being hit by the pitcher. Departing the batter's box may lead to an award of sorts, but you'll possibly be left with a bruise, and a lifetime of wonder. If I had ducked the errant throw and remained battling, could I have belted one into the bleachers?

    Stay strong and courageous, whatever you decide. Your blog strengthens and nourishes hope to continue. God have mercy on us all!