Watchman, What of the Night?

As we bring another season to a close, we take a look at the troubling trends around us, especially in places where we might not normally look. Join us as we talk about the Southern Baptist Convention and its recent developments, the decline of mainline churches, and why we in the Missouri Synod need to pay attention.

Hosts: Rev. Willie Grills and Rev. Zelwyn Heide

Episode: 176

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1 reply
  1. Jeremy Aiello says:

    Greetings, Gentlemen,

    I just finished listening to this episode during my exercise routine, and I had to debrief with you, as your podcast evoked a great many thoughts and recollections in me. I do apologize in advance if this message is lengthy; I’ll endeavor to keep it short while still saying everything.

    First, podcast is great! I usually listen while working out or doing martial art routines, and you help to make the workout time pass quickly! Keep up the good work!

    Second, I am ELS (not ELCA!). I went from deist household to Independent Fundamentalist Baptist, to Pentecostal/Charismatic, to Nazarene, to Calvinist, then came home to Wittenberg. Long and convoluted trek, but good to be home.

    Third, I’d like to address things you said in this particular podcast, which I would submit for your consideration. For ease of organization, I’ll bullet-post them by letter.

    A.) Regarding your thoughts about the current state of Methodism, the modern inheritors of John Wesley’s theology can be divided into five main denominational branches

    1.) United Methodist (as you know)
    2.) Free Methodist
    3.) Church of the Nazarene
    4.) The Wesleyan Church
    5.) The Church of God-Anderson, Indiana

    The United Methodist Church is, as you have noted, going through a significant battle within its ranks, although the authorities in that church body for the most part lean liberal (at least in the U.S.; overseas is another story). The other four branches are conservative… MOSTLY.

    I cannot speak to the Church of God-Anderson branch, but the Free Methodist, Nazarene, and Wesleyan denominations allow for women pastors, which is quite often the jump-off point for denominations to start down the path to liberalism.

    Also, these denominations at least flirt with forms of pentecostalism/charismaticism, even though they may not officially embrace it. The Church of the Nazarene is especially notorious for this, as an “evangelist” named Dan Bohi, who has a considerable influence in the denomination, has said things that smack of Word of Faith and N.A.R. doctrines (I know this personally because Mr. Bohi was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back when it came to me leaving the Nazarene church).

    Along these lines, I would encourage you to consider doing a podcast about John Wesley, to look at the good and bad things his movement brought about (and while there was some good, Wesley also set the stage for some VERY bad ideas to enter churches)

    B.) Regarding the SBC issues, this is not the first time a Baptist group this influential has been torn apart by theological liberalism. Nor is it something that we Lutherans should be ignorant about, as the struggles in the 20th century with liberalism creeping into the LC-MS (culminating in Seminex) are not that far removed from history. And our own ELS was born of a separation from other Lutheran bodies that would eventually be subsumed into the modern ELCA. Lutheranism is (or ought to be) well aware of what can happen when theological liberalism goes unchecked in the body of Christ. But as St. Paul tells us in Romans, a schismatic, after being rebuked, needs to be rejected if he does not repent (Titus 3:10). The problem is that, in the name of kindness and patience, false doctrine is tolerated, and as was said by Cardinal Richard John Neuhaus, “When orthodoxy is made optional, it is eventually proscribed.”

    I would submit the following link for your consideration, a documentation of the 19th century Down-Grade Controversy, which details the English Baptist Union, and its slippage into liberalism, despite the warnings issued by renowned Pastor Charles Spurgeon: http://www.romans45.org/spurgeon/downgrd.htm

    It is interesting to note that, in the link above, the point is made that historically heretical movements start with a shift in seeing the Scriptures as authoritative.

    If you have not done a podcast on Seminex, it may be a good time to visit the topic.

    Anyway, I’ve rambled enough. Keep up the good work, and God bless your endeavors!

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