John Lowey “one who crossed the Tiber (the right way)” writes
I have to say that I love your journal, and I find myself agreeing with you all on every point you make (a Wels pastor I spoke to said that scares him). My question is this: I am torn between 2 options; joining a "normal" church, with the hopes of "enlightening" others as to Lutheranism's truly catholic, evangelical background; perhaps trying to stop the spread of Reformed ideas. Or my other choice is joining a Wels church where the pastor leans heavily toward your points of view, and is already catechizing his people in the right direction. Please let me know what you think. Thank you!
8MM So you agree that the “mass is the heart and life of the church?” That is a scary thought for many in Wisconsin. As one who was abnormally born and is now a Lutheran I suspect a “normal” Wisconsin Synod church could drive you back over the Tiber, or, one hopes, to a truly evangelical catholic congregation. If you have found one where it is true that the pastor “leans heavily” towards the views we have expressed, great and stick it out, but I suspect he won’t be Wisconsin Synod too long. And as I am discovering, that ain’t all that scary. (JWB)
Troy Thede writes:
I have recently had the pleasure of reading some of your past issues of the Motley Magpie. Thank you for your work and courage in battling for true confessional worship. I had a few thoughts in regard to the push for contemporary Worship services now hitting our WELS pastors.
As the writers of the Magpie have pointed out, motive is everything. In the case of Contemporary worship it is to appeal to the masses and increase membership in the Church. The thinking among these contemporizors is that the less ceremonial/formal, the less foreign will be the experience of the unchurched. But the Bride of Christ has been purchased and won from all things binding us not only to hell but also to things pertaining to this world and even to immediate times. Our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we wait for our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. As Balaam prophesied of Israel; “I see a people who live apart and do not consider themselves one of the Nations.” One of the visuals that overwhelmed the Queen of Sheba was the daily sacrifices at the temple of the Living God. We are aliens and strangers here, and our worship should reflect that we are not apart of this world. It should be an utterly unique experience for the unchurched. We should not be running away from the alien nature God has given to us. Sorry for my ramblings.
8MM Sorry?! If only more, especially those in positions of leadership in your and other Lutheran church bodies, would "ramble" the way you did. Your instincts are right on, the profane ought not to intrude upon the sacred, or as another said; should the world shape the church’s liturgy or should the church’s liturgy shape the world? The misunderstanding and misuse of Paul’s “all things to all men,” of course, is the rubric by which all sorts of nonsense has been ushered into the church. Mystery is lost, reverence is lost, humility is lost, the lost are lost (JWB).
As we noted in our first issue, the Magpie is but a poor and pale imitation of several confessional journals out there. Two of the best well worth your subscription dollars are Gottesdienst and The Bride of Christ. If you confess that AC V defines the Office of the Holy Ministry and AC VII the Church liturgically and if you have never used a pulpit puppet then you’ll love these journals:
c/o St. Paul’s Lutheran Church
109 S. Elm Street, Kewanee, IL 61443
The Bride of Christ (248) 628-5155
c/o St. Augustine’s House
P.O. Box 125, Oxford, MI 48371
(Editor’s note. Sadly The Bride of Christ has passed from this veil of tears and is no longer being published, and we are poorer for that sad fact. Gottesdienst, however, is still going strong.) §
It’s hard to believe three years have passed so quickly! I was blessed to have been even a small part of this marvelous endeavor. I am amazed at the intelligence, love, devotion and bravery of the men who wrote these articles. I don’t pretend to understand it all, but I understood enough. Through all the years of the church, there have been men who showed this bravery, knowing full well there would be a price to pay.
I am proud of the journal and its’ writers, especially my pastor, Reverend Father John W. Berg, who has greatly enriched my worship experience at Hope. Our congregation is thankful to receive the Lord’s Supper at each of our worship services. We want that! I need it more as I grow older—to be reminded what a wretched sinner I am and what a price our Savior paid for our salvation!
I thank all the editors for the heart and soul they put into their articles. I thank my Pastor for surrounding himself with such intelligent, brave and devoted men. §
Pastor Berg, who is no fool, would surely look like one without the help of faithful servants such as Christine. (She however, is not to blame for the scurrilous content of this rag!)