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lcms and wels diffs?

Discussion in 'LCMS/WELS/ELS/LCC' started by tagyourit, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. tagyourit

    tagyourit Newbie

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    Don't want to start a flame war, but just want to know, what the main diffs are between WELS and LCMS. Thanks.

    edit: I guess I would like a little more info than what I'm reading here

    www dot lcms dog org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=2149
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
  2. Zecryphon

    Zecryphon New Member

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    You should also read the WELS site at:

    Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) | Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod and a good book to read that will answer a lot of your questions is called WELS and Other Lutherans and is available from Northwestern Publishing House - Proclaim his Salvation Day After Day. It's a short book and it tells the differences between the three most popular Lutheran Synods and what each believes and teaches, the WELS, the LCMS and the E*CA.
     
  3. tagyourit

    tagyourit Newbie

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    I tried to dig a little more and I have a question. Do WELS believe that Deacons are an appointed/called office from Scripture?

    Would a WELS pray with a non-WELS?

    Could a WELS woman vote ( assuming the WELS would have something to vote on )?
     
  4. alexnbethmom

    alexnbethmom Lutheran Chick

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    one of my very dearest friends is WELS, and we pray together all the time (i'm LCMS), and in fact, i go to her dad's church's bible study!

    i actually JUST had this very same conversation with someone on here, regarding WELS women voting - basically, WELS women can vote in public elections (POTUS, state governor, etc etc etc), but cannot vote in church elections (voting for their synod's president, for example)....

    someone who is WELS would be able to answer this MUCH better than i could, obviously.....but that's what i know, in a nutshell....
     
  5. Zecryphon

    Zecryphon New Member

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    Perhaps this article from the WELS site will help answer your first question:

    Offices of the ministry | Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS)

    The official position of the WELS on praying with others is that we do not pray with a person or church body that we are not in full fellowship with. So the position of the WELS is that we are not to pray with those who are non-WELS.

    The WELS has plenty of issues to vote on, but women are not allowed to vote one issues concerning WELS churches. In fact at the last voter's meeting I attended, I did not see one woman present.


     
  6. tagyourit

    tagyourit Newbie

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    Thank you both, quite helpful.
     
  7. Zecryphon

    Zecryphon New Member

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    You're welcome.
     
  8. alexnbethmom

    alexnbethmom Lutheran Chick

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    i spoke with my pastor (LCMS) and my friend's dad's pastor (WELS), and neither thought there was any problem at all with me attending these bible studies (in which we not only study, but pray at the end) - so should i not be attending these bible studies then?
     
  9. tagyourit

    tagyourit Newbie

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    alex, from my summary reading, I would think that would not be allowed.
     
  10. Zecryphon

    Zecryphon New Member

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    If you wanna have a little fun, ask the WELS pastor to explain their fellowship policy. I did this to my pastor a couple of times and he couldn't do it due to time constraints. I guess he wasn't free for the next 10 years. ^_^ It's a very complex matter and I still have yet to find a detailed and clear teaching on it.

    But let me start off by saying that the WELS teaching on fellowship is not something that can be covered in something as brief as an internet post. Are you WELS or LCMS? I would say keep going to the Bible study, if you're WELS you're gonna have to decide for yourself if you will follow the position of the Synod on prayer with those we are not in fellowship with. I've asked my pastor what I should do in regards to praying with people we are not in fellowship with and he said I should not pray with them.

    However, many a time I have not followed the Synod's position on this or my pastor's advice. My parents are Presbyterians and I pray with them when I'm at their house and the blessing for the meal is said. I pray with them because I would not be honoring them, as I am commanded to do by the 4th commandment if I got up and left the room. Some WELS people do that, when their family members belong to churches that they are not in fellowship with. When I visit my parent's church and the pastor says a prayer, I do not pray along with the church. I say my own prayer to God at that time.

    The question is, does Bible Study constitute worship? If it does, then the position of the WELS is that you should not pray with those who are not WELS. I think this rule is extreme and goes too far, but what are ya gonna do? However, I also think that the WELS is just trying to protect itself from falling into error. I believe they think that if we pray with people who believe falsely then we are approving of their teachings. Just like we don't receive Communion at churches that teach it is something we do for God and symbolic in nature, because by receiving Communion in a church that teaches that, we are saying we are in agreement with them on that, when we are in fact, not in agreement with them on that issue.

    In the end, I think each person has to decide for themselves the best way to behave in regards to this matter and also how best to live out their faith. I take praying with those I am not in fellowship with on a case-by-case basis. Others do not.
     
  11. Zecryphon

    Zecryphon New Member

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  12. DaRev

    DaRev New Member

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    The basic difference between LCMS and WELS lies with their differing views of fellowship. The WELS place all joint expressions of Christian faith on the same level, where the LCMS makes a distinction between altar/pulpit fellowship and other joint expressions of faith, such as prayer which does not necessarily require doctrinal agreement on all matters.

    The LCMS believes that the Bible teaches that the office of the public ministry (pastoral office) is the one divinely established office in the Church and that the Church can create other man-made offices as necessary to carry out the functions of the congregation. Thus, women can hold some offices in the congregation depending on what the specific duties of that office are. The WELS does not teach that the pastoral office is distinct from other offices in the Church and thus women cannot hold the majority of offices or positions within the congregation.

    Both the WELS and the LCMS rightly teach that women are not called to the pastoral office, nor are they to perform any of the functions of that office. In the LCMS, women may hold certain offices in the congregation so long as those offices do not involve the functions of the pastoral office, or the public accountability of the functions of the pastoral office. The LCMS also allows women's suffrage in the voter's assembly. The WELS, because they teach that there is no distinction between the pastoral office and other offices within the Church, do not allow women to hold office within the congregation, nor are they permitted to vote in the voter's assembly.

    On matters concerning Scripture, the Sacraments, and the Confessions, the two church bodies are in essential agreement.
     
  13. seajoy

    seajoy Senior Veteran

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    I pray it always stays this way. :prayer:
     
  14. ContraMundum

    ContraMundum Messianic Jewish Christian Supporter

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    I remember when I was a Lutheran a lot of people were complaining that LCMS had departed from the original ("old Missouri" in their parlance) position on this. I've struggled to find that comment entirely verifiable. What's your understanding of that?


    I agree 100%. But I have to admit the first thing that went though my mind when I read that is "Yeah, but who is she allowed to pray with?" :D

    Funny old world, eh? :)
     
  15. seajoy

    seajoy Senior Veteran

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    Who I pray with is between me and my Lord. I don't appreciate your statement.
     
  16. alexnbethmom

    alexnbethmom Lutheran Chick

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    i hope i'm not opening a can of worms here, but what's with the anglicans coming into this sub-forum and stirring stuff up? sheesh!

    hey seajoy - you're WELS, right? what do you think about what i posted in this thread? i'm a little concerned now - should i be attending this bible study or not?
     
  17. seajoy

    seajoy Senior Veteran

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    Yes, you should continue in going to the WELS bible study....and praying with the folks there. We do not bar people from coming in to hear what we teach and we would never tell people not to pray with us when in our churches. That is a mis-nomer. But you may see some WELS'ers not praying in other churches. It's part of our fellowship practices. I don't pray in ELCA churches....but I do in most other Christian churches. I have LCMS friends that I pray with too. As I said, it's between me and my Lord.

    And I was wondering the same thing about the Anglicans. :doh:
     
  18. alexnbethmom

    alexnbethmom Lutheran Chick

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    thank you, seajoy!! this was very helpful for me....i very very much enjoy this bible study, the pastor is VERY good, very knowledgeable, and because my church, at that time, didn't really have a women's bible study, going to theirs helped me a great deal....my church has a women's bible study now (yay!) so when i can, i'll be attending both....
     
  19. seajoy

    seajoy Senior Veteran

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    I try and help where I can. :)
     
  20. Aibrean

    Aibrean Honest. Maybe too Honest.

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    For me, the women in certain public offices isn't a dealbreaker. If I went to a church where they couldn't hold any positions of authority (just not the other way!) or vote I would be perfectly okay with that. It's the sacraments, scriptures, and confessions that are for me.

    I would feel perfectly fine if I had to attend a WELS church for instance. An ELCA one I wouldn't step foot through the door.

    I just wonder why we can't be in communal fellowship though (LCMS with WELS).
     
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