Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Welcome Ichabod Referrals...glad to have you!

Welcome Ichabod Readers. You might want to note the replies I posted to Ichabod down below as I'm sure Greg must have technical difficulties on his site and my posts don't seem to show up. ;-)

The Sermon noted in Ichabod today is available as a PDF here. I think in several ways you'll find the "Secret Shopper's" analysis lacking.

Great Faith Needs Feeding

You can also listen to the podcast here.

Great Faith Needs Feeding - Podcast

Here is the service Folder for that Sunday

July 5th Victory Service Folder

If you are new to Victory of the Lamb I'd suggest going to the website and checking it out first to set expectations. Here is the page to start with

New To Victory..

Here are two posts I made to Ichabod but they were deleted by Greg. I'm only guessing that he deleted them because after listening and reading the Sermons, it didn't jibe well with "secret Shopper's" analysis of the sermon. Transparency really bothers Greg because it goes against his preconceived notion that there is a secret conspiracy. The two deleted posts are below.

*****************************Post #1

Tim Niedfeldt has left a new comment on the post "WELS Members Visit Victory of the Movie Screen:Ano...":

Maybe I can help the "secret shopper" analyze where they went wrong in their visit. I think it was when he said he was looking for more liturgical and his friend said "It's kind of contemporary, but..."

The next point would be that he passed a WELS church 3 miles back. There are in fact 4 WELS churches within approximately 3 miles. We are in fact spaced out like this to fill this gap where no church was. All those other churches are liturgical and two of them mind-numbingly so. I think St. Paul's, Franklin or St. Jacobi, Greenfield would be perfect for you.

I'm thinking if you had gone to the website first you might have known you'd be greeted by Pastor Ben. That it's a casual environment, that we invite you to bring your coffee in to church, that if your kids are squirrely that's ok. You'd also know that Communion is offered every other week. Apparently you are amongst the 20% of people who do not check out a church's website before visiting or I'm pretty sure you would have not bothered to come.

What you could find out from me is that membership is about 85 members with about 40 of those from other WELS congregations. The rest were unchurched or under churched. We have about 120 - 130 worshiping each week. There are about 10-15 people in Adult instruction at any given time.

Here are the links to the mentioned Sermon as a pdf


here is the podcast of it.


I can't think of a better website to post them than where they are most needed. I urge you to actually read the sermon or listen to it. I think the analysis of the "secret shopper" was a bit thin.

A note to the "secret shopper". If someone says. "hey, you should try the 6:00pm service at St. Marcus Sunday nights...It's kinda contemporary, but..." Don't bother going. I don't think "kinda contemporary" is your thing.


PS. I will post the link to the service folder for that week as well. It has the songs, readings and order of worship in it and such. I will have to visit a different computer to retrieve that for you. I will post it on my blog as well as here in a little bit.

************************** Post #2

Tim Niedfeldt has left a new comment on the post "WELS Members Visit Victory of the Movie Screen:Ano...":

Here is the link to the service folder for July 5th.


************************** Post #3 I just posted this on a new but related thread...We'll see if Greg can muster the courage to post the comment.

Well, I don't hold out much hope that this will be published as the last two posts were deleted, but I'll give it a shot. I assume that posting the actual sermons and service folder must have been too conflicting to the review.

No one would see that I used the term secret shopper on this site because it was all deleted. However, I used the term because the visitor was church shopping...oh I mean selective fellowshipping. I use the term secret because:

1.) He came to the church looking to find a more liturgical church. He heard about a contemporary church and went there hoping to find what he wanted in a church.(really?? I don't think you need a degree from an Ivy League school to figure that probably isn't going to happen)

2.) He was shocked to not find it that way. (Who would've thought?)

3.) He then decided to write a review for Ichabod on the Church experience. (As if he was an Ichabod reader and had high expectations that VotL would be different than portrayed by Greg?)

I would submit this was just an Ichabod secret shopper mission for a review because so far no one in the Ichabod network has been there. It has nothing to do with marketing. I would work up some other angle on that particular term. I look forward to your creativity.

I would disagree in that I think your frustration really resides in the differences between what you think Lutheranism is and what it actually is. Ichabod's and/or your straight and narrow is so narrow as to exclude most Lutherans. Add in the SJO doctrinal errors and there is very little room for good Lutheranism at all.

I understand you cannot fathom that the Gospel is proclaimed in Word and Sacrament in a contemporary setting. That little box you sit in is fine but it is a self-imposed box. I won't try to convince you otherwise because your buy-in to contemporary Lutheranism is not required for you or for me.

I won't sit around fretting too much about being kicked out. Just ask Greg. The WELS is infected with us..who's going to kick us out. Muahahahahaha!!



Cheryl Louise Johnson said...

That is interesting that your posts were deleted 'cuz I saw them there and read them this afternoon! After checking out your blog I went there to see what you were talking about. I also clicked the link and listened to the whole sermon to try figure out what the person that visited your church was talking about and I have no clue.

Secret Shopper said...

No Tim, But thanks for showing your C&C credentials about the 8th commandment ("do as I say, not as I do").

I said why I attended VotL--It was close, I had a friend there, and I wanted to check it out (rather than just take the Ichabod stand)

One of the beautiful parts of fellowship is being able to PARTICIPATE at whatever WELS church you go to. Our church body used to have that, we no longer do.

I shouldn't have to check the website of a WELS church to see if they're suitable...they're WELS, its in the yearbook, I should be be greeted by a church service, not a performance. NO ONE was audibly or confidently singing along, people clapped after some of the hymns.

I Smell Smoke said...


I posted a response to Greg Jackson on his blog but it was not posted. I am hoping that I can post it here for anyone that might visit from there. First of all, a brief background on me. I live in an area where there are no WELS churches in fact church itself is on the decline. I have to get down to the basics of Christianity 101 on the simplest level with people and find the arguments of HOW church must be to be irrelivent. When I go online in search of help, I come across blogs like his that are mind numbing, that argue adiaphora "in the name of Christ" and I find it highly offensive and harmful to those of us without the benefit of any type of church. Here is the post I tried making:

" Every time I come here, I leave offended and hurt, even though I am not fighting in this battle. I get vile chills when I read at times, because I feel like I am facing Satan himself and not fellow Christians; this site is filled with hatred. Maybe the hurt I leave with is that of feeling a bit singed. Not sure why I, or anyone, comes back, must be our sinful nature and lust for controversy.

About the comment of having children in church being disrespectful to God, "Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14

Brett, quit using the Lord's name in vain. Just because you state it (in Christ's name), does not make it so. "

....Be careful, however, that the exercise of your freedom does not become a stumbling block to the weak. (1 Corinthians 8:8-9)

LutherRocks said...

Well things are certainly heating up since RealIchabod came along. I think GJ is feeling the heat. I'm glad someone with the command of solid Christian theology has finally taken him on toe to toe and is exposing him. (Egads, what a frightening image.)

Well we are infamous once again on Ickybod as Beavis and Butthead. We must be winning if he has to resort to such low levels. At least he is making an idiot of himself for all to see without our help! I seem to remember someone busting you a while back for surfer Jesus and rock and roll Jesus complete with the hand signs and yet it's OK for him to post Beavis and Butthead. Go figure.

Keep up the great work and stay the course.


Tim Niedfeldt said...

To Secret Shopper,

Addressing the 8th commandment comment...I'm not sure what that is in reference too, but I could care less what people say in the blogosphere. You will never hear me whip out the 8th commandment card. My theory is that if you can't stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Don't be a wuss and lob the 8th commandment cop out. I never go crying home to mommy because mean Ol' Greg picked on me and I know for certain Greg doesn't either.

You might want to hone your estimating skills as well as sermon listening skills. The official count was 78 people on the 4th of July weekend. We have been below 100 only two times since January 1st. Memorial day weekend and July 4th weekend. Want to make a guess about Labor Day weekend? I have a nice Excel Spreadsheet with all the attendance numbers and pretty charts and graphs. All us C&C'ers have our charts and graphs to make sure we stay on track for all those numbers we have to generate. Overall average attendance for 2009 is 117 per week. However that does not reflect that every month for 18 months our average attendance is higher than the month before.

Thats a very defining paragraph about your expectations for a WELS church. It shows exactly why you were disappointed. We are quite open that Victory is not there to be a standard WELS congregation looking to provide a WELS uniformity of worship. Any WELS person looking for what you are looking for will be disappointed. To them we say, "You might want to check out other WELS churches in the area." There is nothing wrong with that. That uniformity you desire does not have to exist and its not a requirement of Lutheranism or the WELS.


Secret Shopper said...

Yeah, inflating numbers probably helps when asking for more money.

Even counting all the children who left half way though (which may have skewed my estimation) no way were 78 people there.

Counting people who actually participated in worship, I counted about 8. (band/pastor/clappers)

Tim Niedfeldt said...

Yes Joe, I was pretty excited about the Beavis and Butthead picture. My first thought was, "heh heh heh heh heh you said contemporary heh heh heh heh."

As you said once before wondering if you were insane for coming back to these blogs time and again. I am in that same place. I guess I get too much of a thrill off Greg's attention. It must feed my ego. It's like, "Yes, scored a headline...I rock." I'm just sad he deletes our comments now. Its very unsporting.

Secret..., I'll review the video. Thats how I count and label members, prospects, guests and visitors as well as group by age ranges. I don't think we have to worry about inflating our numbers for cash. We are already self supporting, have added more staff, and have a wad of cash in the General and Land Fund. You know...a typical WELS congregation.


Anonymous said...

You laugh about making "headlines" but unfortunately the evil tentacles reach beyond you and to your pastor. How does he feel to be included (picture and comments) on the blog?

Cheryl Louise Johnson said...

I saw that, too. Tim and Joe, this guy is not right in the head. The others that follow his post are just angry because they are not comfortable with what they perceive as change and feel he is their "voice". Nothing is being changed but the way it's presented, but that is hard to convey to anyone who is stuck in their ways. They don't realize they don't have to choose, they can go on as they are! Traditional churches are not going to be done away with.

I feel bad for Pastor Ben now.

Tim Niedfeldt said...

Well we've discussed it a few times here and there although I don't really bother him with it lately. He doesn't follow Ichabod or really any of that kind of business and isn't much interested. Really no respectable pastor should be unless it is there "off duty" hobby to dabble in the blogosphere. I'd rather my pastor work on spreading the Gospel and bringing the Means of Grace to the unchurched.

I pointed out our first highlighting on Ichabod (regarding the name "Bible Babes")and we enjoyed the attention. We figured we were doing something right if Greg didn't like it. We both have had good laughs about it though. Pastor Ben will say "This'll probably be on the blog by Monday!" or "I'll tell you this as long as you don't post it on Ichabod tonight...". He had heard of Greg while still in the Sem. However if Pastor Ben asked me to stop causing trouble I would immediately. He is always right to the point with me.

My point about Ichabod and such is that despite all the tripe that is printed there how can any reasonable person read it and take it seriously. I have polled a few pastors about the site. They all know its out there but they all laugh about it. That's really the sad part. Greg puts his heart into that stuff but for the most part his rantings are laughed at. Even I in my relative coldness feel a little sorry for the guy. It can't be cool to be the butt of so many jokes and probably not even realize it.

My biggest concern is about those who are in the blogging "lifestyle" and trip over this kind of site and in this relatively small world of bloggers this whole crazy world of WELS conspiracy theories seems like a crisis is looming. It's fear mongering and sensationalism to scare a few gullible bloggers. I think Greg believes that he has a massive influence but in reality I would be surprised if even .1 %of the WELS membership(not including the called workers because they pass that around as a joke site) have ever heard of Greg. I think there is even less who are gullible enough to put a lot of faith in what he says.

So those who end up on Ichabod should not have to fret about it. I would liken it to being posted in the New York Times as an ardent conservative hell bent against liberalism. I would be thrilled. Thats why once in awhile I post things or get involved. Just in case anyone is seeing this stuff they can know that someone thinks Greg is full of @#$%. There probably is no value in my words in this regard as I have no audience or any particular credibility but somebody should. I'm glad that Real Ichabod is doing just that. If anything it is a testament that Greg can't lie day after day and expect people won't want to fill in the actual facts or unravel his gossip. Or for heavens sake his memories are more stuck in the 90's than contemporary Christian music. Maybe if he could move on to something new