Friday, October 17, 2014

Then You’ll Have a Clean Room

From Steadfast Lutherans
October 16th, 2014
Post by T. R. Halvorson
When I was a kid, my next door neighbor was my best friend. He was a good kid. He excelled at sports and did well in school. But when his mother told him to clean up his room, he asked, “Why?” His mother said, “I’ll give you a dollar.” It was a lot of money. So he cleaned his room and she gave him the dollar.
Like an idiot, I tried that at home. Dad told me to clean up my room. I asked, “Why?” He said, “Because then you’ll have a clean room.” “Well, yeah,” I thought, “but that doesn’t say anything.” Though I could not follow his answer, I cleaned my room. There was no dollar.
Later, I heard my friend’s mother telling him to do his homework. He asked, “Why?” She told him he’d get five dollars for every B and ten dollars for every A on his report card. He did his homework. He got nothing but As, Bs, and one S in a Satisfactory or Unsatisfactory mark. He was rolling in dough.Koraaga_Repairing_Net
Still the idiot, when my Dad told me to do my homework, I imitated my friend and asked, “Why?” Dad said, “Because you’ll learn something.” At first I still was back at that, “Well, yeah …” reaction.
As I put the two instances together, it came to me. Dad believed in intrinsic motivation. He believed in doing things for their own worth, not for some side reason. He believed in upfront, straight ahead appeals. Clean your room to have a clean room. Do your homework to learn something.
The church should act like my Dad. It should use upfront, straight ahead appeals based on intrinsic motivation. “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved.” Acts 16:31. “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin.” Acts 2:38
It’s great to feed the hungry, treat the sick, visit the imprisoned, <read the rest at Steadfast Lutherans>

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Wiki14 5/2 Cribbing From Social Entrepreneurs

FiveTwoTwoKaty, TX–Bill Woolsey’s Five Two explains Sacramental Entrepreneurship in an article titled 7 Marks That Say You’re A Sacramental Entrepreneur. The title is reminiscent of Martin Luther’s Seven Marks of the Church–which Luther drew from clear Scripture. One would expect that if being a Sacramental Entrepreneur is something that God desires it should be found in God’s Word.
But the sources for this idea come from a different arena. In the article Woolsey states:
You have to get out and do some new.
Biblically speaking, the Church needs to regain its apostolic focus.
So we’re looking for the apostolic folk who want to start sacramental communities of all sizes and shapes, generations and geographies.
We call that guy a sacramental entrepreneur.

Woolsey’s 7 Marks

So what are the “Marks” of this feature of his idea of church?
  1. I’m burdened for Jesus’ lost people.
  2. I’m tired of the status quo.  I am frustrated by problems that go unresolved and practices that need reforming.  Today is the day to start moving the ball down the field.
  3. I see “beyond” today.  I can see what the future would be like if we move beyond today’s changeable reality.  And while that future might move through pain, it is full of hope.
  4. I multiply growth.  More people, more groups, more impact, more cities, more whatever.  Somehow when God has me touch things, they increase.  Especially disciples.
  5. I see obstacles as opportunities.  Change is a resource.  Rules are made to be rewritten.  Not God’s rules, but man’s rules, of which there are an abundance.
  6. I attract like-minded, new-start people.  People tend to say “yes” to my invitations to follow, and we tend to have a good amount of unanimity in the journey.
  7. I start things without anyone telling me I should.  I’m talking clubs, ministries, groups, businesses….  Everywhere I go, I’m the guy or gal that launches new initiatives.  It just seems natural.  This characteristic is probably the most telling of your SE-ness.  And if this is really strong in you, years later those initiatives are still happening.
While one is able to understand point 1 as  a Biblical love for lost sinners, points 2-7 fit more closely with Ashoka, Stanford Social Innovation Review, and Tom Watson of Forbes.
Watson’s Article “Are You A Social Entrepreneur” offers this list of five qualities (what Pr. Woolsey might call “marks”)
  1. Are you willing to bootstrap? Be willing to do it yourself.
  2. Can you look down the road? Stay patient, take the long view.
  3. Is failure an option? Prepare to fail, and grow from the experience.
  4. Do you know your limitations? Understand your talents … and limitations.
  5. Can you build a team? Be prepared to build a team.
Woolsey’s “most telling” charactaristic is #7, which corresponds directly to Watson’s point 1. Woolsey’s #3 matches Watsons #2. Woolsey’s #5 and #6 relate to Watson’s #5. Woolseys #5 corresponds to Watsons #3.
I am not certain that Woolsey was using Watson’s article. Rather, Watson and Woolsey are both based on a Social Entrepreneurship paradigm that derives from the work of Bill Drayton in the 1980s and following. Drayton worked together with others to establish Ashoka.
The Stanford Social Innovation Review describes the qualities of Social Entrepreneurship in the following way:
  1. The entrepreneur is attracted to [a] suboptimal equilibrium, seeing embedded in it an opportunity to provide a new solution, product, service, or process.
    [Woolsey's: I'm burdened for Jesus' lost people.]
  2. The entrepreneur is inspired to alter the unpleasant equilibrium.
    [Woolsey's: I'm tired of the status quo]
  3. The entrepreneur thinks creatively and develops a new solution that dramatically breaks with the existing one.
    [Woolsey's: I see obstacles as opportunities...Rules are made to be rewritten]
  4. Once inspired by the opportunity and in possession of a creative solution, the entrepreneur takes direct action. Rather than waiting for someone else to intervene or trying to convince somebody else to solve the problem, the entrepreneur takes direct action by creating a new product or service and the venture to advance it.
    [Woolsey's: I start things without anyone telling me I should]
  5. Entrepreneurs demonstrate courage throughout the process of innovation, bearing the burden of risk and staring failure squarely if not repeatedly in the face. This often requires entrepreneurs to take big risks and do things that others think are unwise, or even undoable.
    [Woolsey's: Relating again to "I see obstacles as opportunities"]
  6. [F]orging a new, stable equilibrium that releases trapped potential or alleviates the suffering of the targeted group, and through imitation and the creation of a stable ecosystem around the new equilibrium ensuring a better future for the targeted group and even society at large.
    [Woolsey's: Can you look down the road? and Can you build a team?]
The degree to which particular points overlap in meaning between Woolsey and Walton and SSIR could be refined and expanded. But there is a distinction that should be made between Woolsey and these other sources. The other sources admit that they come from the socio-philosophical presuppositions of Social Entrepreneurship. Woolsey appears to be presenting these ideas as if they are newly minted. There may be proper attribution of these ideas elsewhere in his writings, but his “7 Marks” post makes no clear attributions.  Woolsey’s presentation also implies, without explicitly claiming, that his “marks” are able to show us an “apostolic’ originality in our way of doing what-ever-it-is that he is doing under the name of Sacramental Entrepreneurship
If this is so, then we wonder, why?
Woolsey’s 4th point “I multiply growth” and his explanation are particularly troubling when one understands Paul’s response to the debate about ministry and growth in the Corinthian congregation:
Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.Now he who plants and he who waters are one, and each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor.
For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. 11 For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (I Corinthians 3)

Luther’s 7 Marks

Finally, the use of the term “7 Marks” is itself a disturbing issue. Confessional Lutheranism, that is Biblical Christianity, uses the term “marks” with reference to the Church of Christ in a particular way. Woolsey’s “marks” stand in stark contrast with Luther’s use and the use of the term “marks” of the Church in historical Lutheran theology.
Luther wrote On the Councils and the Church in 1539. It is found in volume 41 of the American Edition. In the third part of this work Luther describes “seven marks of the Church” through which a person can recognize the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church
  1. The Word of God is in use by the people and is an effective mean of grace
  2. Baptism is used as Christ instituted and through which the regeneration of the sinners is worked
  3. The flock gather around the Lord’s Supper to receive the true body and blood of Christ for their forgiveness
  4. The Office of the Keys is exercised publicly as well as privately.
  5. Pastors/Ministers are called to administer the Word and Sacrament in accordance with the qualifications in Paul’s epistles.
  6. Public assembly for the administration of Word and Sacrament, prayer, praise, and giving of thanks to God.
  7. The suffering they endure because they confess the name of Christ as God and Savior from sin, bearing Christ’s Cross.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

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)

Originality and Newness being the greatest desire 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:


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. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Comfort in Christ

" 'In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.'...

'Furthermore, if you know that and believe this, then you will also go on to recognize that I am in you and you are in Me. Then you will realize that I am your Savior. You will acknowledge Me in the capacity in which the Father sent Me, and you will prove and show by this that you are in Me, namely, thus: that whatever you are, your failings and shortcomings, your sins, your damnation, your death, are all in Me. That is its proper place. And now I am in the Father; and what is in Me is also in the Father, whether it is called death or life, sin or righteousness. But whatever is in Me must necessarily be perfect righteousness, life, and salvation.

'By faith you also come to be in Me with your death, sin, and every trouble. If you are sinful in yourselves, you are justified in Me; if you feel death in you, you have life in Me; if you have strife in you, you have peace in Me; if you stand condemned on your own account, you are blessed and saved in Me.' For, my dear man, where am I if I am a Christian? Nowhere else than where Christ is. But where else is He but in heaven, in eternal life, joy, and bliss? And He, of course, will not be condemned to death as a sinner any longer. Since no sin can accuse Him, no devil can damn Him, no death can consume Him, no hell can devour Him, I must remain undamned and undevoured; for I am in Him. 'Consequently, sin, death, and every trouble in you are gone. For all this I destroy in Myself.' It cannot abide in Him, since He is and remains in the Father. And it can have no power in us either, because we are in Him."

Martin Luther
Luther's Works, AE 24:141,
Sermons on the Gospel of St. John,
John 14:20

Monday, September 22, 2014

Modern Charismatic: What Spirit is Really Speaking Through Them?

Pr. Chris Rosebrough of Kongsvinger Lutheran Church, Oslo, MN provided a very useful review of the chaos and misdirection among Charismatic Christian preachers today.

What you will notice in the first three sections of the program is that some of these preachers sound like they have lost rationality or are possessed by demons. Behind what they are saying is the fact that they look to their hearts and imaginations to find out what they think is God's will and have abandoned Scripture as the only sure voice of God.

In the final section Pr. Rosebrough presents a sermon by Phil Johnson that presents a very good Biblical examination of the false teaching in the modern Charismatic movement. The preacher, Phil Johnson, is not Lutheran and does not fully and properly direct the listeners back to the Means of Grace in Word and Sacrament. But he does have a sound enough understanding of Sin and Grace and the authority of Scripture to make his presentation of great value to the listener.

September 19, 2014

Outbreak of a Spiritual Disease

Click Here to Download this episode
Program segments:
• Heidi Baker on Soaking in God's Glory
• More Open Mic "Prophecies"
• Carol Arnott Also Has Charismatic Tourettes
• Good Sermon by Phil Johnson: Did God Promise Health and Wealth?

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Catechism Series, part 10

Steadfast Throwdown

AbrahamsonPr. Joe Abrahamson continues his series on Luther’s Small Catechism. This time we discuss the Sacrament of the Altar. What is the Sacrament? What does it deliver? Who receives this sacrament worthily? What should Christians do when they visit another congregation in their fellowship? Should pastors ever not allow someone to commune? If so, why and how do they handle that?

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Holy Ghost Move Is A Fraud

 The Holy Ghost movie is getting a lot of promotion in mainstream American Christianity. But the movie is filled with false doctrine and the fraudulent tricks of con-artists. These cons, tricks, and false doctrine are credited to the Holy Spirit.

Simple cons used include Cold Reading, Warm Reading, and Leg Growing. All demonstrable frauds.

False theology including a denial of Deuteronomy 18:19ff where God says that if a person speaks prophecy and it does not happen that person is a false prophet, he or she should not be trusted. But the HG movie contradicts this saying that it takes practice to get things right. This goes hand-in-hand with the practice of cold reading.

Jesus said in Matthew 24:
23 “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.
26 “Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
For a Biblically sound review of the movie please listen to Chris Rosebrough's program Fighting for the Faith. The following is from Pr. Rosebrough's website:

Debunking the Holy Ghost Movie

Listen to Chris Rosebrough debunk the Holy Ghost Movie, by clicking the play button:

Click Here to Download this episode
Program segments:
• Debunking the false miracles and false theology of Wanderlust Productions' Holy Ghost Movie

After listening to this episode of Fighting for the Faith, see how these so-called miracles are actually performed:
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