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Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Problem With WELS Churches

This post is going to be different than it sounds from the title. We’ve already established I disagree with a lot of WELS (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod) teachings and doctrine. That much is obvious, and I don’t want to address that, cause WELS doctrine ain’t gonna change I’m sure. However, there are non-doctrine related things that I saw happen in WELS throughout my life that I want to address. These are those things that I think WELS severely needs to change.

Stop treating women like they don’t think for themselves
Look, I get it. Doctrine states that women are suppose to serve under the husband and they stay silent in the church and all that, that’s doctrine. That’s why women in the church aren’t allowed to vote. But seriously, women do have opinions you know. They can state them. In a lot of WELS churches, women aren’t allowed to even show up to a voting meeting to voice their opinions.
There was one church where women were allowed to show up, but if they wanted to say something they had to write it on a piece of paper and give it to a man to read. Why? Because they need to interpret it? Does it only have weight if a man says it? “Well sure that’s a good point but I mean… you have a vagina.” (And I say this because WELS doesn’t believe trans women are women, so you need a vagina to be a woman.) Women have opinions and thoughts and can contribute to conversation.

Stop treating the church like a business
When I was in WELS, offerings were very seldomly made out to be a part of living out our faith (As the doctrine stated.) Instead, offerings were a chore, or even worse, a command. “We need money for this so… give it to us.” Some churches saw people as a source of profit. Hell, some churches used to (And some still might) publish each week in the bulletins how much each person gave in offerings… why would that be ok? It’s like keeping track of profit margins! And then we get Northwestern Publishing House which basically bankrupts WELS’s own churches and schools to give them materials. The whole climate often screams of a business rather than a church. It’s so much about money and numbers than it is people.

For the love of everything, talk about suicide
In my experiences and in all of my friends’ experiences, we never had any of our schools talk about suicide. We couldn’t even be sure the teachers knew the signs of planning suicide. And there was no comfort for it. Sure there was a generic “Come talk to us if there’s something on your mind.” But there was nothing that specifically talked about it. There was no support made (Seriously, support group would be a hugely good idea.) There was no awareness, there was nothing. People that are suicidal are scared. And simply saying “Come talk if there’s something on your mind” often isn’t good enough. And also, look at the roots of suicide.

WHY ARE YOU NOT TALKING ABOUT BULLYING MORE???
I’m going to tell the WELS people reading this something very shocking… WELS schools aren’t full of good little Christian angels. They’re full of kids and teenagers. Kids and teenagers can be nasty to each other. Bullying isn’t just some passing things in WELS schools. It is everywhere. A strong majority of my friends that went to a WELS high school were bullied in that high school. I was bullied immensely. There were students cutting and contemplating suicide because of bullying. And there was never anything about it, ever. No one ever talked about bullying. No one ever encouraged addressing bullying. No one made any awareness whatsoever. It was like the staff just pretended that bullying didn’t happen in WELS schools. “Bullying doesn’t happen in Christ-centered schools.” Oh BS, it is everywhere. And the less you talk about it, the worse it is.

When you teach what evolution and the big bang are… actually teach what they are
Why are WELS schools so afraid of telling the truth? If they’re so confident that evolution and the big bang are wrong… why can’t they actually teach what they are? All of the things I learned about evolution and the big bang in WELS schools was laughably incorrect. I literally got laughed at trying to talk about it. And no, it wasn’t because of “persecution” for me not believing in it. It was cause it was extremely clear that I had absolutely no clue what I was talking about. Evolution isn’t “monkey giving birth to man.” It cannot be disproved by the second law of thermodynamics. The big bang is not a “chaotic explosion that magically rearranged itself.” If you are so confident it’s wrong, then actually know what you’re talking about!

Finally, make sure you know what other churches and even other religions say

Again, 90% of what I was taught about other churches and other religions was flat out wrong. Man, when I became friends with Catholics, I learned so much of what I was taught wasn’t just misleading, it was flat out wrong. Again, it is the same principle, if you are so confident it’s wrong… why are you afraid of saying what it actually is? WELS, know what the hell you’re talking about. Otherwise you’re just breeding a bunch of ignorant people that can’t hold a conversation with anyone outside of WELS because of how horrifically wrong they are.

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