All Things to All Men (and Women)

In the spirit of President Kieschnick’s latest diatribe against our grandfather’s church, I thought I would make list of all the things that I am going to do in the name of missions and reaching lost souls to be all things to all men, in order that I might save some. Here it is:

  1. Sleep with a prostitute.
  2. Gamble.
  3. Plagiarize.
  4. Change my sexual preference.
  5. Get publicly intoxicated (but, of course, I won’t be able to smoke inside–thanks IL).
  6. Hug a tree and worship mother earth.
  7. Wear a Burka.

There, seven is a good number. Any other ideas?

Seriously, it just dawned on me tonight that in our Synod you can get away with just about anything, so long as it is done in the spirit of winning lost souls. I can conduct worship however I want, dress however I want, teach whatever I want, pray with whomever I want on live National T.V., and take communion with whomever I want, so long as I show that I was trying to do missions, or save souls. I think we should go around at District Conferences swearing profusely and using the “F” word around our supervisors, and when they ask why, just say that we are trying to identify with the locals in order that we might “save some.” Surely that was what St. Paul meant when he said, “I have become all things to all men in order that I might save some.”

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About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
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12 Responses to All Things to All Men (and Women)

  1. Dan @ Necessary Roughness says:

    Got a link to said diatribe?

  2. Pastor Beisel says:

    I should have added that you can say or do anything as long as you show that you are “mission-minded” and “compassionate.”

    I couldn’t find a link to it. Sorry–it was an insert in the Distor…I mean, Reporter.

  3. Father Hollywood says:

    Thank you, Paul! We have turned American culture (the youth culture and multiculturalism) into a CULTure.

    I read a couple of articles to my Sunday morning Bible class this past Sunday (before starting our study on Philippians) – one about a coffee house run by an LCMS church – and the reviewer was DELIGHTED to find that the “evangelism” she “feared” was “nowhere to be found” and that it is “all about good feelings and positive energy,” and “what could be better than that?”

    Another article was about Ablaze!(tm) in which the LCMS pastor was excited that he would be ditching vestments and adding a band to be “more in tune with what people are hearing today.” In the article, Kieschnick (identified as “the movement’s national president” – which tempted me to say something which I didn’t) promised that “the Lutheran churches… will look very different in the next few decades” promising worshipers other than “just old white guys.”

    Along those lines, my district sends out a newsletter called “The Parish Paper” which is a publication of the Disciples of Christ (aka the Campbellites, an 1830s restorationist sect) in which we are told seven times in two pages that we must “attract and retain the age 18 to 44 adults in our community.”

    That’s the problem with bean-counters and marketing gurus – they are clueless that real ministry involves older people, sick people, hurting people – even people on their deathbeds – not the demographic that makes a winning marketing strategy. Any real pastor knows this from his day to day work.

    What works for the shareholders of Pepsico is not necessarily what works for the Lord’s Church.

    We increasingly worship at the altar of the American Youth CULTure. Instead of bringing people to repentance (metanoia), a “change of mind”, we are seeing the Church have a change of mind” to match the world.

    This is a gross reversal of when St. Paul opens his letters by writing to the “saints” (hagiois literally: “the separated ones”) as in Phil. 1:2. The LCMS hierarchy envisions a church that is indistinguishable from any other assembly of people – where pastors look like entertainers, and parishioners look like they’re attending a basketball game – all the while believing the myth that style and substance are unrelated. Unbelievable!

    Instead of winning the world to us, the world is winning us to itself.

    Maybe it isn’t our grandfather’s church after all – especially since very few grandfathers fall in the Most Important Demographic of 18-44 years old around which the world revolves.

    Sorry to rant, Paul, but you have hit a nerve. Thank you!

  4. Anonymous says:

    As a seminarian at CSL… I shudder with every reference to the coffee house that the good Father refers to. The “supervisor” is our worst professor and one that is NOT held in high esteem by the majority of students and dare say it… by most of the faculty. He, along with this so called “ministry” is an embarrassment for our synod. He taints the good and faithful professors of our seminary such as Nagel and Feuerhahn.

    Blech.

    Disgruntled seminarian.

  5. Anonymous says:

    #8……If you possess the correct doctrine for reaching lost souls, go forth and form your own synod, to help lessen the amount of complaining in the world.

  6. Pastor Beisel says:

    Ah, there it is–I was waiting for this kind of reply: put up or shut up. That is what you are saying. Don’t criticize, don’t expose anyone’s errors, keep it zipped or get out. So does this mean that our Synod is beyond reform? Does it mean that our leaders are above correction? Apparently so.

  7. Father Hollywood says:

    Paul:

    “Anonymous” has revealed the Great Unspoken Truth in the LCMS. Our Synod is a country club.

    It has a uniform (golf shirt and khakis), secret words (Ablaze!(tm), missional, adiaphora, etc.), and even the good old “synodical handshake” (that creepy huggy-handshake thing the bureaucrats do). We have political campaigns, slogans, and presidential elections. We have conventions and “blue ribbon commissions.” Heck, we even have a “first lady” these days. Our top dogs get to take cruises and junkets and enjoy six-figure salaries. We have arrived, my friend, as we even have a corporate HQ called “The International Center.” We got a good gig going here.

    But you are treating synod as though it is supposed to be something churchly and not like the “good old boys” club. You, Paul, are using the punch bowl for personal bladder relief.

    Hence the frowny-face “advice” from our anonymous friend: shut up, put on your khakis, be a good “synod man” – or “get the hell out of *our* (not your stodgy old grandfather’s) club, in the prayshus nayim of jay-sus” of course.

    One thing the uebersynodists can do is sound saccharinely pious. They can sport a sweet smile on their faces and a beaming beatific look of compassion for “the lost” all the while as they give you the finger. I’ll grant them that.

  8. Pastor Beisel says:

    Dear disgruntled CSL seminarian: My heart goes out to you. It’s good to know that there are some brethren at CSL that are not wowed by this stuff. Be strong. Read Ezekiel. Don’t be afraid to voice your opinions. “For so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

  9. Anonymous says:

    Father Hollywood is so right about the secret words which let everybody know who is in the club.

    Below are some phrases from recent SMP article in the reporter. This guy must be nervous about getting kicked out of the club because he was dropping the secret words in every sentence.

    “ministry context,”

    “mission-driven and mission-focused”

    “I am very encouraged….by the reaction ….. from the…Council of Presidents,”

    “we look forward to… the raising-up and equipping of specific ministry pastors.”

    Bad Ice

  10. Anonymous says:

    I hate the word “missional”. I didn’t hear it until the new millennium. It is a phrase that will soon go into the pile with “seeker” and “meta church”

    It is not a code word but I chafe every time someone asks “How many do you worship?” How about 3 in 1.

    Bad Ice

  11. Jim Roemke says:

    It always amazes me when people say, “Hey, you Lutheran! If you really want to be Lutheran, why don’t you LEAVE the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod??” Why aren’t the neo-evangelical, crypto-Baptist/Calvinist/generic Protestants, ever told to leave? Why are churches in the LCMS who take Lutheran out of their signage and stationary, who teach women to preach, who let any Tom, Dick, Methodist or Episcopalian take the Holy Supper, who openly deny that most basic handbook of Christian Doctrine, the Small Catechism, who openly question and denounce the Confessions, who drag the name of Christ through the mud by mixing it with prayers to heathen, pagan gods, ever told to just leave if they hate being Lutheran so much?? Nope, it’s always the guys who desperately desire to remain Lutheran and to hang on to our catholic faith that are told to leave. Now, what on earth is evangelistic about that?

  12. Pastor Beisel says:

    Aaaa—MEN! Very nicely put Jim. I wish I knew the answer. It boils down to this: those of us who desperately wish to retain our Lutheran doctrine and liturgical heritage are looked at as being less-than-Lutheran, whereas the people you describe are somehow seen as embodying what it means to be Lutheran.

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