For the past several years in the South Wisconsin District (SWD) of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS), I’ve noticed a growing number of conferences and retreats where Rev. Mark Jeske of Time of Grace ministries located in Milwaukee (which airs on the net (http://www.timeofgrace.org/index.php), on the radio, and on TV) is one of the speakers. The SWD endorses him, as his ‘ministry’ is also now a Recognized Service Organization (RSO) of the LCMS
(http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=15614). The program even airs on the LCMS’ radio station from St. Louis, KFUO.
What’s interesting, as others have noted (i.e. http://steadfastlutherans.org/?p=6919), is that Jeske is:
1) of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS)
2) not an LCMS pastor
3) Promotes the unscriptural ‘principles’ and doctrine of the ‘church growth movement’ (CGM) (For further study on these, see http://www.ctsfw.net/media/pdfs/huebelcgm.pdf as a starter)
LCMS and WELS are not in fellowship. Joint ministries here are in the least confusing to members and nonmembers of both church bodies. Joint ministries here are also conflicting, esp. because the Church Growth Movement so advocated by Jeske is in conflict with our doctrine, and also the official teaching of WELS.
A genuine concern for doctrine asks the question ‘why’? Since CGM teaches what is contrary to Scripture, why is such teaching given air on the LCMS station KFUO, advocated by at least one district (the SWD), and even now an RSO of the LCMS?
Perhaps the LCMS as a whole has forgotten the concern of God’s people, that of faithfulness to His Word, rather than seeking after acceptance by the world and its ways. Faithfulness calls for obedience to the Lord’s Word and avoidance of those who teach otherwise:
Note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple (Romans 16:17-18)
May the Lord keep the LCMS and her members watchful, observant, and bold in the face of false doctrine and opposition, even with those within her own body!