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Pastor Gregory L. Jackson, Ph.D.

6421 W. Poinsettia Drive

Glendale, Arizona 85304-2419


WELS Hypocrisy about Unionism


The last issue of Christian News reproduces an article by WELS seminary professor John Brug taking LCMS seminary professor Chuck Arendt to task for an article on fellowship principles. Did Brug forget that fellow WELS professor James Tiefel organized a pan-Christian worship conference for WELS at Carthage College? The line-up of speakers included:

1.     A Roman Catholic.

2.     An Episcopalian, who led the WELS children’s choir in worship, according to the implications of the poster.

3.     An ELCA parish staff member.

4.     An Evangelical (apparently), since he graduated from Wheaton College.

5.     Five LCMS leaders.

6.     Five WELS women who taught men about worship.

7.     Not a single Evangelical Lutheran Synod pastor or member. (For one million dollars, which denomination on this list is in fellowship with WELS? You may poll the audience.)

Did Brug forget that Valleskey was the keynote speaker, that pal Bivens also spoke? That both of them studied at Fuller and now deny it? That Lawrence Otto Olson earned a D.Min. degree from Fuller Seminary and now teaches at Martin Luther College?


I put together a few unionism quotations, to show how much WELS and Missouri work with ELCA. A WELS pastor asked about this before. Notice that the ELS “confessional” leader, Erling Teigen, also had a Roman Catholic bishop speak at Bethany College. The bishop marched in procession with the ELS and gave the address for the opening of the new center. When Dale Redlin (CLC) took Teigen to task for this, Teigen said, “I thought we were friends.”



Photo: Dr. [Roman Catholic Bishop] James Shannon speaks with student body representatives.  Paul Ylvisaker Center, Erling Teigen, Director.

Bethany College yearbook, 1994-5,

p. 93.


 Wisconsin Lutheran College, in 1999-2000 invited Roman Catholic Archbishop Weakland  to lecture at their college, along with some Roman Catholic priests, and Martin Marty. Some WELS districts objected to the Marty invitation but not to the Archbishop’s invitation.


"Only recently Dr. Martin Marty, a pastor of the Missouri Synod and an

associate editor of the Christian Century, outlined with considerable frankness

the program and methods whereby changes may be effected within church bodies

that still are antiecumenical (to him this means, church bodies who decline to

engage in joint worship and church work unless first confessional unity has been

established).  Writing in the Christian Century, he advocates a program whereby

the ecumenically minded remain within their church bodies, but 'work for

constructive subversion, encirclement, and infiltration, until antiecumenical

forces bow to the evangelical weight of reunion.'  Although they remain within

their denominations, with whose principles they do not agree, they will 'somehow

telegraph to the world who it is they serve and where their loyalties already

lie' (Jan. 11, 1961, p. 45).  These are the methods Dr. Marty openly proposes."

Carl Lawrenz, Chairman, Commission on Doctrinal Matters,

Fellowship Then and Now, Concerning the Impasse in the Intersynodical Discussions

on Church Fellowship, p. 27.


"CHIEFS CONFER:  Waiting their turn to speak at a recent Lutheran

leadership consultation are Dr. Carl Mischke, president of the Wisconsin

Evangelical Lutheran Church...Bohlmann...and ELCA Bishop Herbert W. Chilstrom.

At the July 18-20 event in Snowbird, Utah, in the Wasatch Mountains, 130

Lutheran leaders gathered to articulate a 'vision of leadership' for their

respective church bodies."

The Lutheran, (ELCA)

September 4, 1991

p. 33.


"In 1970 there were 500,000 more baptized members of Lutheran

congregations than was the case in 1990.  The Church Membership Initiative

project was undertaken to understand and address this decline...

Contact:  Rev. Mary Ann Moller-Gunderson, Executive Director, Division for

Congregational Ministries, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, 8765 W

Higgins Road, Chicago, IL, 60631, 312-380-2570;

Rev. Lyle Muller, Executive Director, Board for Evangelism Services, The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, 1333 S Kirkwood Road, St. Louis, MO, 63122-7295, 314-965-9000;

Rev. Wayne Borgwardt, Administrator for Worker Training, Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran

Synod, 2929 N Mayfair Road, Milwaukee, WI, 53222, 414-256-3236;

Mr. Douglas Olson, Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road, Appleton, WI, 54919,


Church Membership Initiative, Narrative Summary of Findings, 1993,

Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road,

Appleton, WI, 54919-0001,

June 30, 1993.


"Four people from each of 61 growing congregations gathered to share

their congregational development experience, to react to the utility of toolbox

items uncovered in Sections 2B and 2C above, and to exchange views with church

body officials.  Approximately 125 church body officials [ELCA, WELS, LCMS] and

other guests observed these congregations and participated in the discussions."

Church Membership Initiative, Narrative Summary of Findings, 1993,

Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road,

Appleton, WI, 54919-0001,

June 30, 1993.

p. 20.


"In-person interviews were held with ELCA, LCMS and WELS national office

personnel who are responsible for evangelism, outreach, North American

activities, and ministries to people of color."

Church Membership Initiative, Narrative Summary of Findings, 1993,

Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road,

Appleton, WI, 54919-0001,

June 30, 1993.

p. 5.


"Congregational growth, stability, and decline patterns were analyzed for

all Lutheran congregations within each of three church bodies (ELCA, LCMS,


Church Membership Initiative, Narrative Summary of Findings, 1993,

Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road,

Appleton, WI, 54919-0001,

June 30, 1993.

p. 9.


"Truthful separation is far better than dishonest union, and two churches

are happier, and more kindly in their mutual relations, when their differences

are frankly confessed, than when they are clouding with ambiguities and double

meanings the real divergences."

Charles P. Krauth,

The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology,


The United Lutheran Publication House,

1913 (first edition, 1871),

p. 326.


"A new sacred classical music radio program soon will be available to

radio stations across the country.  The hour-long, weekly program, called "Joy,"

is an inter-Lutheran project of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America,

Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.

"Joy" will be produced by KFUO-FM in St. Louis and will be funded by Aid

Association for Lutherans, a fraternal benefit society.  'I'm excited about

being involved in this project which is the first joint venture into ministry

that has ever been done by these three Lutheran churches,' said the Rev. Richard

Jensen, a member of ELCA communications staff and the Joy Advisory Committee.

'Joy is a program of sacred music.  The focus is on the classics of sacred

Christian music..."

ELCA Newsbriefs

Christian News, 12-9-91,

p. 2.


"Wherever Lutherans unite with the Reformed, the former gradually sink to

the level of the latter.  Already by declaring the differences between the two

Churches irrelevant, the Lutheran truths are actually sacrificed and denied.

Unionism always breaks the backbone, and outrages the conscience, of true

Lutheranism.  And naturally enough, the refusal to confess the Lutheran truth is

but too frequently followed by eager endorsement and fanatical defense of the

opposite errors."

F. Bente,

American Lutheranism, 2 vols.,

The United Lutheran Church, Gen Synod, Gen Council, Un Syn in the South,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,



p. 68.


"The orthodox character of a church is established not by its mere name

nor by its outward acceptance of, and subscription to, an orthodox creed, but by

the doctrine which is actually taught in its pulpits, in its theological

seminaries, and in its publications.  On the other hand, a church does not

forfeit its orthodox character through the casual intrusion of errors, provided

these are combated and eventually removed by means of doctrinal discipline."

(A Brief Statement of the Missouri Synod's Doctrinal Position, 1932)

Francis Pieper,

The Difference Between Orthodox

And Heterodox Churches, and Supplement,

Coos Bay, Oregon:

St. Paul's Lutheran Church,


p. 2.


"Unionism is characterized by these marks:  It fails to confess the whole

truth of the divine Word; it fails to reject and denounce every opposing error;

it assigns error equal right with truth and creates the impression of church

fellowship and of unity of faith where they do not exist."  (Wisconsin Synod,

Prayer Fellowship, Tract No. 10, 1954)

Francis Pieper,

The Difference Between Orthodox

And Heterodox Churches, and Supplement,

Coos Bay, Oregon:

St. Paul's Lutheran Church,


p. 64.


"We have no intention of yielding aught of the eternal, immutable truth

of God for the sake of temporal peace, tranquility, and unity (which, moreover,

is not in our power to do).  Nor would such peace and unity, since it is devised

against the truth and for its suppression, have any permanency.  Still less are

we inclined to adorn and conceal a corruption of the pure doctrine and manifest,

condemned errors.  But we entertain heartfelt pleasure and love for, and are on

our part sincerely inclined and anxious to advance, that unity according to our

utmost power, by which His glory remains to God uninjured, nothing of the divine

truth of the Holy Gospel is surrendered, no room is given to the least error,

poor sinners are brought to true, genuine repentance, raised up by faith,

confirmed in new obedience, and thus justified and eternally saved alone through

the sole merit of Christ."  (Closing of Formula of Concord, Trigl. p. 1095)

Francis Pieper,

The Difference Between Orthodox

And Heterodox Churches, and Supplement,

Coos Bay, Oregon:

St. Paul's Lutheran Church,


p. 65.

Tappert, p. 632. Heiser, p. 294.

FC SD XI, #94-96.


"The Lutheran Leadership Consultation, facilitated by Lutheran

Brotherhood in partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

(ELCA), the Lutheran-Church Missouri Synod (LC-MS) and the Wisconsin Evangelical

Lutheran Synod (WELS), was the first meeting of this type that included the

three major Lutheran Churches as planners and participants."

Lutheran Brotherhood,


"Preparing the Church for the Next Century,"

Fall, 1991


p. 12.


"Four speakers prominent in the field of leadership research shared their

perspectives.  Frances Hesselbein of New York City, president and chief

executive officer of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management,

spoke on 'The Challenge of Leadership.'  She noted, 'The church shares the same

bottom line with all voluntary and human service organizations:  changed

lives.'"  [Note: CG enthusiasts love Drucker management books.  The four

leaders of the conference were:  a woman, a CG icon (in the words of Rev. James

Schaefer, NWL), an ultra-liberal Reformed theologian, and a historical-critical

expert from an ELCA seminary which once boasted of Lenski and Leupold as


Lutheran Brotherhood,


"Preparing the Church for the Next Century,"

Fall, 1991


p. 12.


Pictured together:  Rev. Carl Mischke, Rev. Ralph Bohlmann, and Bishop

Herbert Chilstrom (ELCA).

Lutheran Brotherhood,


"Preparing the Church for the Next Century,"

Fall, 1991


p. 12.


"The article in Christian News to which you refer escaped my attention

until one of our other pastors called it to my attention soon after it appeared.

Initially I even had difficulty relating to it.  After thinking about it for a

time I remembered that I was asked about a year ago whether the WELS would

endorse or be in sponsor of such a program.  My answer then was 'No" and still

is.  I have consistently taken the position with the fraternal benefits

societies that 'pan-Lutheran' projects almost inevitably exclude us from

participation because of our fellowship principles.  The leadership of the

fraternals has respected our position.  So the statement by a member of the ELCA

communications staff that this is the 'first joint venture into ministry' ever

done by these three Lutheran churches is simply not factual.  It has been called

to the attention of those who made this statement."

President Carl H. Mischke (WELS Synodical President),

Letter to Pastor James Sherod, 1-3-92.


"Its 'overall objective' is: 'To set in motion forces that will result in

annual increases in the number of members of Lutheran congregations.'  Why would

any confessional Lutheran wish to 'set in motion forces' for 'annual increases

in ELCA membership?  The introductory page already alerts one to the hollowness

of the talk about 'faithfulness to the substance of Lutheranism' (p. 3), by

listing an ELCA official, a pastoress, as one of the sources of further

information.  'Unchurched people feel good about their faith,' we are told, and

the implication is that we should too."

Professor Kurt Marquart,

"Church Growth" As Mission Paradigm, A Lutheran Assessment,

Our Savior Lutheran Church, Houston:

Luther Academy Monograph,


p. 142.


"There is a 'method in our madness' in securing such a high profile

speaker.  Regardless of the value of the message such speakers always bring in

the numbers.  Generally speaking, they seem to double the attendance of a

convention."  [Having Episcopalian Charlton Heston speak at the WELS Lutherans for Life


Rev. Robert Fleischmann,


National Director, WELS Lutherans for Life,

2949 N Mayfair Rd, Milwaukee, WI  53222



"The real question is not what do you subscribe, but what do you believe

and publicly teach, and what are you transmitting to those who come after?  If

it is the complete Lutheran faith and practice, the name and number of the

standards is less important.  If it is not, the burden of proof rests upon you

to show that your more incomplete standard does not indicate an incomplete

Lutheran faith."

Theodore E. Schmauk and C. Theodore Benze,

The Confessional Principle and the Confessions, as

Embodying the Evangelical Confession of the Christian Church,



p. 890.


"$60,000 General world relief (through C.A.R.E. and Lutheran World

Relief) Rev. Kennth Strack, chairman


Reports and Memorials for the Fifty-fourth Biennial Convention,




p. 165.


"If one associates much with heretics, one finally also makes oneself

partaker of their false doctrine, their lies, and their errors; for he who

touches pitch soils his hands with it."

Martin Luther,

What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols.,

ed., Ewald Plass,

St. Louis:

Concordia Publishing House,



p. 646.