Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What Did You Do!?!?

I decided to write a post that I could just point people to whenever someone asks why I left my church and synod.  Not that anyone really knows I left yet, as I walked away relatively quietly and without any fuss.  However it had become a matter of conscience to the point that there really was no other option.  So this serves as my public statement on the matter, I guess.
I will start from the top down.  It is clear that modern society has embraced post-modernism.  Pop culture, media, academia, etc. have all helped to proliferate an evil mindset.  In short, it is the idea that truth is relative and we can only relate to people on the basis of a shared understanding.  My truth may not be your truth and everything is fine.  We just need to relate in some shared way and truth is irrelevant.  There hardly is a more dangerous philosophy for the church to deal with in my opinion.  It allows the Truth of the Word to be reduced down to only what is relevant to an individual. Absolute Truth becomes Truth a-la-carte that caters to the lowest common denominator.
This mindset is slowly and insidiously creeping into the synod and not just my former synod of WELS, but all the others as well to varying degrees.  In the church, the word adiaphora is often used to justify what is just a compromise to the world in an effort to make the church relevant to the masses, whom live and die in the post-modern age of thought.
The examples of this continue to mount and begin with good intentions but ultimately lead to the aforementioned “lowest common denominator” Should I list the one’s I have noticed?  Is it valuable? Perhaps you can comment with your examples.  Here is just one WELS example of good intentions gone horribly, horribly wrong:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZglqrBqlL7Y
Additionally, this trend becomes apparent not only in the beginnings of the effort to create synodical versions of evangelical non-dom’s that are relevant and relational, but also in the effort to usher in a new relevant and relational Bible (NNIV 2011), or to condone the lax doctrinal structure of synod-affiliated organizations such as “Time of Grace”.  That’s low hanging fruit but I’m certain you can provide numerous examples as well.
I do not react generally to individual examples.   I don’t leave my church and synod because someone in particular went too far here or overboard there, or someone just threw common sense out the window.  I left because when the whole “package” crosses your personal line of tolerance, or conscience, you need to take action. One should not pretend there is a way to fix the direction of the synod.  That is laughable. I have a story of a guy named Sisyphus for you if you think that is the way to go.  In that regards, you may as well suggest that Congress can control spending or that the Vikings could win a Super Bowl.  There is no particular “need” for a synod anymore particularly after it has “Jumped the Shark”. For me I will just examine each congregation one at a time.  You might be surprised what you find.
So, I will now go forward in helping an independent confessional congregation here in Milwaukee in rebuilding the church.  I will be more prolific in posting and sharing and making sure people know there is a home for them when their conscience is violated as well.  Whereas sin can never be avoided, we want to make sure we do what is possible to prevent the erosion of Truth not give in to the world.  No person or plan is perfect, but it is time for me to re-focus on the Theology of the Cross and leave behind the Theology of Glory.


Joe Krohn said...

Hey Tim...I read a post on another blog by some young gents who have at least given to me some insight into the Wauwatosa Theologians M.O. Now I think what the WELS today is reaping what the Wauwatosa guys sowed back in the day. I don't think they intended for this, but certainly a return to dogmatics as Daniel Baker and company espouse comes from the same spirit as the CGM. Why would anyone bind consciences about private confession and absolution? Change or die...I digress.

Before you come out of the JBFA closet; have you read material regarding the Election Controversies and why there is the 'doctrine of OJ'? If not I could point you to some great writings on the subject. I'd hate to see you go down the path of other's errors. BTW...I was wondering what problems you had with Marquart? Have you been following IL? David Clearwood/Boisclair has made some real balanced comments on the subject. Pax.

Tim Niedfeldt said...

Boy it's been a busy day. I have another post to write to satisfy some synod types as well regarding this post and the other you mention.

So without thinking too much through this I will say where I am for sure and hopefully will not have to backtrack. I have to admit I have not read all the things you are referring to as far as The various posts. If Daniel wants to fault me for not being as liturgical, or orthodox as him, I am okay with that although I have never sensed that. I'm sure he will be able to live with the disappointment that I just am not as astute as he on such things.

I truly am looking for the middle road. Not CGM. Not Smells and Bells. I like my page 5 and 15. I am looking for a reliable source of constancy that reduces the opportunities to diminish the focus on Christ and the cross. So if I am indifferent about every Sunday communion, private confession, or cannot recite the liturgical calendar I hope I will still be an okay person.

I have read them. I have read A LOT and they only convince me more that nothing new needed to be created. You know how I am...I don't get personal out there in the blogosphere so based on the past you know I don't feel negative about people as people even if I disagree. However with that being said, I will have to say that on JBFA we will just need to disagree. I have to admit that I was off the blogs and such when you made the switch back to OJ/SJ so I didn't see or catch how or when that happened.

Lets not make this site yet another justification debate center though. Let's think of this as a timeout room before we enter the arena of 6-8 or more blogs all debating the same thing. Since I have no readership it will also be pointless to waste valuable typing energy here.

Even though Marquart and even Boisclair sound ever so close...there still is the artificial creation of that "general justification" or whatever term keeps coming up. One of the posts I am required to make tonight(you'll get this later on when I post it) I will post my statement on it. Short and sweet. But it may sound identical to a statement a couple of years ago that you might have made. Something about atonement/redemption/reconciliation for all people but not imputation for all...no imputation in a general or personal sense without faith etc.

Again since I have received some criticism for not being precise. I will post a follow-up post to this one..and post another to clarify and not try to do it here. Plus I need to go pick up some pizza for dinner or there will be angry people here. :)

Cheryl L Johnson said...

OMG, how could you????? (my answer to "What Did You Do!?!?"")

My thoughts:

This has been your life long "identity", moving on is difficult….

You and Joe are speaking a different language than I know, so I won't try to get in on that conversation…

Always keep your focus.

Tim Niedfeldt said...

Jetzt bin ich in einer anderen Sprache zu reden. Ich finde es ist nicht so schwierig, wie man denken könnte. Ich fühle mich eher befreit.