I think that yesterday, January 15, had one of the most pathetic chapel services I have seen in my short time in high school. The entire 16 minutes consisted of watching the December edition of the WELS Connection and hearing the presenter talk about the great fellowship we have in the WELS. It's nice to think we have perfect fellowship in the WELS, but do we really have such a thing?
I think that all the blogs in our synod are just one proof that we really don't have that amazing fellowship. There have been references to them in synod papers and conventions, and they haven't been good references either. This blog has even seen an author been threatened because his name was listed on it! It seems as if there are two completely different sides. One side supports blogs such as Ecclesia Augustana, while the other condemns it!
Another obvious flaw in this supposedly perfect fellowship is worship. On one side is the historical, liturgical, Confessional Lutheran service with the grand music of the organ. The flip side embraces the carefree, let's-all-be-happy-and-feel-good "worship experiences" with praise bands. One example of the huge differences can be found in just one city! If you were to go to Appleton, Wisconsin, you would find one WELS church using a confessional service with an organ, while one just down the street would have a praise band and popcorn! In the WELS we seem to try and think both are completely fine. Apparently they are just "different ways of doing the same thing." I think that is a false statement. We can't say that we are Confessional Lutherans while holding "worship experiences" that are the same as those found at the local Baptist or Televangelist church!
Of course, there are many other examples demonstrating how the WELS is not in complete fellowship. I think we should stop kidding ourselves. There is no synod-wide fellowship. There may be fellowships between individual churches, but to say every church in the synod is in complete agreement in doctrine and practice is ridiculous. There never will be any perfect fellowship because we are sinful. According to the character Camerlengo in the fictional work Angels and Demons, "Religion is flawed, but only because man is flawed." I think this applies to fellowship as well as religion. It is nice to think that the WELS enjoys perfect fellowship between every church in the synod, but I hope that this article has shown you that this is not the case.
--------------ABOUT THE AUTHOR--------
My name is Bryan Lidtke, and I am a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. I am currently a sophomore in high school, and as such, the youngest writer on this blog. I am an avid baseball fan and plan to pursue a career in baseball (not as a player). I am also a Confessional Lutheran, and I will do my best to write truthfully. Please correct me, according to Scripture, if I am ever wrong on something!