'Soul Winning' Congregations?
The Commission on Worship's insert on page 4 reads:
"The commission is working on developing a survey of the top 5 percent of LCMS 'soul winning' congregations, defined as those congregations with the greatest number of adult baptisms, adult confirmations, and professions of faith. This survey is to determine what happens during the most visible hour of a congregation's week that helps them be the soul winners that they are."
There is absolutely no way to put a good construction on this whatsoever. The official newspaper of our beloved synod now declares that outward signs are what the church is to measured by. No longer is the standard that the Word be preached purely and the Sacraments be administered rightly.
And to make matters even worse, congregations are now able to be soul winners. No longer will we look to the Holy Spirit for faith but rather we look to ourselves and our own work. Swell. I guess we can say that we should be condemned with the Anabaptists and others who think that the Holy Ghost comes to men without the external Word, through their own preparations and works, contrary to what our confessions state. Maybe we should call Rome and tell them that they where right about us all along. Has anyone got the Vicar of Christ's cell phone number? If you do, pass it on and I'll call him myself for crying out loud...
For a more in depth look, Pastor Rick Stuckwisch has a good post on the matter here. I swear I have no idea how these guys, the priestly caste, are even able to open their emails and remain sane.