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  #1  
Old 07-16-2009, 08:33 PM
bodyofchrist32 bodyofchrist32 is offline
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Default WELS Lutherans..... Denomination or cult???

My in'laws are WELS Lutherans. I have attended my mother-in-laws church with her a few times, and have seen some things that really disturbed me. The first thing that bothered me was the manner in which The Lord's Supper was given. There is no warning given against partaking unworthily. In fact, the only requirement for partaking is that you must be a member of a WELS Lutheran church. I have watched unsaved people take communion, and leave church believing they are in right standing with God simply because they have done so. They believe in forgiveness of sins through the sacraments(baptism, communion), and also believe that forgiveness of sins can be recieved simply through the recitation of the words in The Lord's Prayer. But the thing that really blew me away is when I learned that they believe that forgiveness of sins can be achieved by confession to the pastor. They call this the use of "The keys", and several times throughout each service they mechanically recite different prayers and creeds, and at each ones closing the pastor will state "Your sins be forgiven you". My question is, with these unscriptural practices, which in essence deny the need for repentance and the blood of Christ, why are the WELS Lutherans accepted as a Christian denomination, and not classified as a cult?
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Old 07-16-2009, 09:41 PM
FriendofSpurgeon FriendofSpurgeon is offline
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The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) is a conservative Lutheran denomination and is the 3rd largest Lutheran denomination in the country. Here's a link to their beliefs -- http://www.wels.net/cgi-bin/site.pl?...llectionID=783

It's hardly a cult. I don't think they really believe that they are saved by confessing their sins to a pastor (see salvation by grace through faith in the link). I think you are misreading their liturgy., which is easy to do if you are not used to it. If it is really bothering you, set up a meeting with the pastor and ask. I'm sure he will explain.
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Old 07-17-2009, 01:36 PM
drfuss drfuss is offline
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Here is the Lutheran liturgy you are probably talking about.

Most merciful God, We confess that we have sinned against You in thought, word and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We just deserve your present and eternal punishment. For the sake of your son, Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Forgive us, renew us and lead us so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways to the Glory of your Holy Name. Amen.

The Pastor replies.

Almighty God in His mercy has given His Son to die for you and for His sake forgives you all your sins. As a called and ordained servant of Christ and by His authority I therefore forgive you all your sins in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

The below is one Lutheran's further explanation of the above.

Notice: "called and ordained servant of Christ and by His authority". He forgives sins by the authority of Christ, not instead of Christ. It's like what a Lawyer does when he reads someone's last will and testament. The Lawyer only does so by the authority of the person whom the will belonged to.
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:25 PM
matt wade matt wade is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drfuss View Post
Notice: "called and ordained servant of Christ and by His authority". He forgives sins by the authority of Christ, not instead of Christ. It's like what a Lawyer does when he reads someone's last will and testament. The Lawyer only does so by the authority of the person whom the will belonged to.
The lawyer analogy doesn't work so well. The deceased presumably gave permission to the lawyer to execute his will. When did Jesus give us the authority to execute his will and forgive people's sin?
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Old 07-17-2009, 02:43 PM
drfuss drfuss is offline
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Originally Posted by matt wade View Post
The lawyer analogy doesn't work so well. The deceased presumably gave permission to the lawyer to execute his will. When did Jesus give us the authority to execute his will and forgive people's sin?
drfuss: The lawyer analogy is not mine. The analogy is by a Lutheran from another forum.
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Old 07-17-2009, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bodyofchrist32 View Post
My in'laws are WELS Lutherans. I have attended my mother-in-laws church with her a few times, and have seen some things that really disturbed me. The first thing that bothered me was the manner in which The Lord's Supper was given. There is no warning given against partaking unworthily. In fact, the only requirement for partaking is that you must be a member of a WELS Lutheran church. I have watched unsaved people take communion, and leave church believing they are in right standing with God simply because they have done so. They believe in forgiveness of sins through the sacraments(baptism, communion), and also believe that forgiveness of sins can be recieved simply through the recitation of the words in The Lord's Prayer. But the thing that really blew me away is when I learned that they believe that forgiveness of sins can be achieved by confession to the pastor. They call this the use of "The keys", and several times throughout each service they mechanically recite different prayers and creeds, and at each ones closing the pastor will state "Your sins be forgiven you". My question is, with these unscriptural practices, which in essence deny the need for repentance and the blood of Christ, why are the WELS Lutherans accepted as a Christian denomination, and not classified as a cult?

The elements you describe are all very "Catholic" in origin. Are you calling the Catholic church "a cult"?

If so - then you may have an argument that can be made.

But most people would not go there.

in Christ,

Bob
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Old 07-17-2009, 05:32 PM
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The denomination has an extensive "Dear Abby"-style feature on its website.

Here, concerned WELS college freshman is instructed not to pray with his Missouri Synod Lutheran roomate.
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Old 07-17-2009, 07:33 PM
drfuss drfuss is offline
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The denomination has an extensive "Dear Abby"-style feature on its website.

Here, concerned WELS college freshman is instructed not to pray with his Missouri Synod Lutheran roomate.
WOW. I had no idea that the Lutherans separated themselves into different groups like the "dear Abby" style feature suggests.
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Old 07-18-2009, 01:03 AM
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THEOLDMAN THEOLDMAN is offline
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WOW. I had no idea that the Lutherans separated themselves into different groups like the "dear Abby" style feature suggests.
Yeah, they are kinda "crazy"... but i'll love'em anyway !
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Old 07-18-2009, 05:50 PM
bodyofchrist32 bodyofchrist32 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobRyan View Post
The elements you describe are all very "Catholic" in origin. Are you calling the Catholic church "a cult"?

If so - then you may have an argument that can be made.

But most people would not go there.

in Christ,

Bob
Yes, actually, I am calling Catholics a cult. In my opinion, anyone who teaches that you must go some route other than directly to Christ, such as catholics, should be classified as a cult.
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