EChurch@Wartburg – What in the World??

"The perfect church service,would be one we were almost unaware of. Our attention would have been on God." – C.S. Lewis

Church in France (Taken by Deb)

This post will become a part of a permanent page on our blog which will be dedicated to this new enterprise. We hope our explanation will alleviate any concerns as to our intent.

Why bother with this EChurch?

In our three years of writing this blog, we have become aware that a fair number of people have been so hurt and disillusioned by the church that they have dropped out of attending church altogether. After reading story after story about painful experiences, we don’t blame them. We both have been there.

Yet, many of these folks want to be around other Christians as evidenced by the numbers who visit blogs. Most of these have maintained their faith, but some have walked away or are seriously questioning if this faith is real.

So we wanted to provide a place in which a reader could get some of the benefits of church without the requirements that are often inherent in church attendance. We look at this place as a kind of halfway point between no church and church.

Many churches have their entire services online. Why not refer to one of them?

This is a good question. In fact, Wade's church service is entirely online as well. Most church services are dedicated to the life of that group of people so there are some some limitations due to these distinctives.

There is always the underlying plea to come to this church. Please donate money. Come to this church event. For those who have been wounded or those who are questioning, this may be too much, not relevant or off-putting.

We want to remove a few barriers. We hope that this enterprise, along with our regular blog, will help folks to discover certain characteristics that should be present in a healthy, well-balanced church.

Why do you refer to this as a “baloney free” zone?

We simply mean this. When you watch a service, you are free to disagree, rant, blow us off and you will still be cared about. We have no requirements. You don’t have to follow the order of service, pray or listen to the sermon. We will not ask you for money nor ask you to sign some paper. We simply want to provide some water for your soul should you want it.

Why Wade Burleson? Edit 2/18

 Wade has a unique ability not let his theology trump his love for others. He has made some stands, which have not enamored him to the either the SBC or to the Reformed community. He has no problem with being criticized and handles conflicts better than most pastors we have had the occasion to know.

Please read his column on how he handled a serious church conflict. It is titled Lessons in Dealing with Disgruntled Members. Link. It will help you to understand his underlying character. Those of you who have been hurt by a church (which includes both of us) should read this story and think back to your former churches. Ask how they would have handled such an event. The answer to that question might help you to understand why Wade is different than many.

What happens if I disagree with the sermons, prayer or music?

That’s OK. There will always be points of disagreement amongst people of good will. You are free to express your opinion and no one will “discipline” you for your thoughts. It is important to understand, however, that we approach this undertaking as those who adhere to orthodox Christianity and our theology will fit within the "pale of orthodoxy."

Sermon via Vimeo

The sermon may take a couple of minutes to load. Also, we have had some technical issues with security codes. Hopefully they have been resolved. If for any reason it does not load, we will attempt to rectify the problem in a timely manner.

How do you choose the music?

We will try to find music that, over a period of weeks, will reflect a broad range of traditions from ancient through contemporary. You might even see a Gregorian chant! We will be limited by what is available through sources such as You Tube. We search everywhere for ideas. Because of the beauty of some of these videos, you may find it helpful to go to full screen.

For example, there is The Odes Project.  Link   “The Odes of Solomon, which some scholars have called “The First Christian Hymnal,” is in fact a worship anthology from one of the earliest Christian communities. The poems it contains were composed sometime before 125 C.E., and may have been used as chants in a church or synagogue.”

As the Newsboys once sang in "He Reigns": (we have embedded the video at the end of this post)

"It’s the song of the redeemed, Rising from the African plain

It’s the song of the forgiven, 
Drowning out the Amazon rain

The song of Asian believers,
 Filled with God’s holy fire,

It’s every tribe, every tongue, every nation, 
A love song born of a grateful choir
Let it rise about the four winds, 
Caught up in the heavenly sound

Let praises echo from the towers of cathedrals, 
To the faithful gathered underground

Of all the songs sung from the dawn of creation, 
Some were meant to persist"

How do you choose the prayers?

Once again, we are limited by what may be reprinted. We will have prayers that span the ages from a variety of Christian traditions.

What sort of help is available to me?

Of course, our ability to help is limited by our distance from one another but we will make every effort to be of support to you.

You can always contact us at TWW through our contact information. Link

In addition, there is help and counseling available through Wade’s church, Emmanuel Baptist Church in Enid, Oklahoma..

  • Phone number: 580.237.0602
  • Email:

What is this about a Sunday school?

We thought it might be helpful to ask folks to limit the discussion in comments under the EChurch post to the subject at hand. So, for example, we could discuss the sermon, the music, the prayer or even suggestions for the format.

Who is Ruth?

TWW is deeply appreciative of all who spend their precious time visiting our site and leaving comments. You matter to us and we try very hard to be welcoming. However, we have experienced a tremendous upswing of visitor comments and emails and became concerned that we, inadvertently, might overlook someone who visits the EChurch site and leaves a comment.

Ruth is a good friend who served as a missionary to Germany for a number of years. She is a loving person who has a heart for people. We have asked her to be our backup, ensuring that we do not miss anybody who visits the EChurch and leaves a comment. Think of her as the Welcome Desk at a church. She will be sure to hound us if we get distracted. We want everyone who visits to feel both welcomed and valued.

Is this format sealed in stone?

No, in fact, we know that there will be major tweaking going on. We are in uncharted waters -some things may work, others may not. We are open to any and all suggestions. In fact, if you have a favorite prayer or song, please send it onto us, along with any links.

What do the two of you believe?

Dee comes from a broad evangelical tradition, which includes non-denominational, Lutheran, Congregational, SBC and Christian Reformed churches.

Deb’s experience has been primarily in the SBC along with some time in the Methodist camp.

We both adhere to the beliefs spelled out in the Nicene Creed (with a quibble about the line “He descended into hell). We get very testy when people insist on making secondary issues, “primary.” So, in this particular venue, we will not advance our views on creationism, eschatology, etc., beyond the general statements such as “God created the heavens and earth” or “Jesus is coming again.”

In the context of his sermons, Wade may venture to give his assessment of a particular passage. We want to assure our audience that he is not saying that you must believe as he does.

How can I find archived EChurch posts on the blog?

Each service will post chronologically, just like our regular posts. If you want to access posts of EChurch that you have missed, please go  to the side column in TWW, titled "The Basics", you will see a new page called E Church. You will find this post. Scroll to the bottom and you will see links to each EChurch post, labeled by week. (Week 1, Week 2, etc.)

A greeting from Wade Burleson to those visiting EChurch@Wartburg

Dear EChurch@Wartburg Viewers,

My name is Wade Burleson. Rachelle, my wife of thirty years, and I are friends of Dee and Wanda (aka Deb) at The Wartburg Watch. We are participating in the formation of EChurch@Wartburg because we have a heart for people who love Christ but have been hurt by the church. In a moment you might choose to watch today's video message, and it is only fair that I tell you a few things about myself before you take the time to listen.

First, you will be joining the fourth Sunday morning worship service of the church I serve in Enid, Oklahoma. I realize that the visual of me wearing a suit and standing on a platform may trigger some bad memories. If I could, I'd be casual and relaxed sitting across a coffee table from you and we'd simply talk about Jesus, life, and the Scriptures. Try to ignore the venue. If it helps, grab a cup of coffee or a glass of tea and relax as you listen. I will personally welcome you and all the EChurch viewers at the beginning of this video because you are important to us.

Our church believes that people who have been burned by organized religion and have either opted out of going to church or are in transition are as important to Christ as faithful, dedicated members of any organized church. We would like to play just a small role in your healing process as you reorient to what is really important in your walk of faith.

Second, I am not a professional entertainer. I won't use props or gimmicks to get you to like either the message or myself. May we find our source of life in Jesus Christ. I will go verse by verse through the Scriptures and talk of Him. Feel free to disagree with me! Yell and scream at what I'm saying if you feel like it!

I am nobody's spiritual authority, nor do I have some special insight into spiritual things. I am just an ordinary Jesus-lover who believes the Truth will set you free. If you make it through the 30 minute message and come away knowing a little more about Christ and find Him a tad more satisfying, then I will have succeeded.

Third, we at EChurch@Wartburg are NOT trying to control you, fix you, change you, or get something from you. We just want you to know that somebody really does care for you. We are like you — we love Christ and His Word, but we believe the church and organized religion have a tendency to screw things up! If at some point you can enter into personal relationships with people in your area who share a love for Christ, we want to encourage you to develop those relationships!

Until then, we welcome you to EChurch@Wartburg for some spiritual refreshment and encouragement.


Lydia's Corner:  Isaiah 62:6-65:25   Philippians 2:19-3:3   Psalm 73:1-28   Proverbs 24:13-14


EChurch@Wartburg – What in the World?? — 35 Comments

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    Wade is a Reformed Baptist? Hold the phone! I knew you gals were open to non-complementarian Calvinism, but not THAT open! Talk about throwing out the bathwater but keeping the baby.

    About your quibble on the Nicene Creed: According to R.C. Sproul, there are about 17 different understandings or interpretations of the phrase within the scope of orthodoxy, I’m sure your stance lines up with at least one of them.

    And I think I get the “baloney” thing now. Less baloney, more cheese, I say!

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    I told you to give us a chance. We are far more open than our posts might lead you to believe. We just don’t like baloney-cheese or no cheese

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    BTW, just realized you have a blog. And it has a lot to do with music. Great site!Do you have any ideas for some cool music, of any era, that could be embedded on our EChurch?

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    I love the song He Reigns!

    EChurch@Wartburg is live and looking good!

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    “Reformed” is all in the definitions. I don’t call myself “Reformed” nor do I call myself a “Calvinist.” I am a biblicist who believes the Scripture is saturated with the grace of God in Christ Jesus. If that is the definition, then I accept the nomenclature. Otherwise, I reject it.

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    So Wade, if YOUR not Reformed, or a Calvinist ~ please tell us why then do you call the church you lead a “Reformed Southern Baptist Church?

    The Reformed ~ Calvinist label is the same to me….

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    I am unsure where you get your information that (and I quote you) “you call the church you lead a ‘Reformed Southern Baptist Church?’” I don’t, nor have I ever, called Emmanuel Enid a “Reformed Southern Baptist Church.” I usually refer to Emmanuel as Emmanuel Enid, and never even mention Southern Baptist, and I never use the word “Reformed” because I don’t even like the word, particularly with a capital “R.” Laughing.

    Now, you may have read other people call Emmanuel this, but you have not heard me. If others call Emmanuel a “Reformed Southern Baptist Church,” then you should probably ask them what they mean by it. I neither speak for others, seek to control others, or even correct others.

    Hope that helps!

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    Dee, I am a terminal aesthetic contrarian. My personal tastes are not only eclectic, but often difficult for most to understand. I have this bad habit that I can’t control: The minute something begins to become immensely popular I begin to despise it, especially if it’s wearing a Jesus sticker. I am just now coming to where I can actually listen to and enjoy Jars of Clay after a good 10 yr. break. I think deeply and hyper-analytically about the use of music in worship, but my gut usually takes me against the tide of evangelical trends. This is part of the reason why Lutheranism is such a good home for me: I can do a full service straight out of the hymnal and NOBODY complains, provided I use at least a little Chris Tomlin the next week or something.
    I make an exception for Gungor. Their music touches me. Check out their youtubes, you will not be disappointed. Otherwise, Thomas Tallis, Taize, and the St. Olaf Choir are my heroes.
    Oh, check out Alex Mejias at High Street Hymns. Good old songs set to modern style. I’m gonna stop here before I start preaching…

    Wade, even the Methodists believe in grace. How you define it determines where you fall on the tulip scale. It’s ok if you don’t want to wear the label, but consider you have a chance to redeem monergistic theology from the tyranny of the grace nazis.

    X Baptist: Any baptist that doesn’t openly embrace Wesleyan or revivalist theology could be considered “broadly reformed,” as they can trace their heritage back to the English reformation. You don’t have to be a 5 point tulip to be “reformed.” Anglicans and 4 point calvinists, Molinists and some Lutherans might all wear that label.

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    I just arrived in Birmingham and may have contributed to this confusion. I am so sorry. I said something about Reformed Baptist in an introduction and will remove it. i think i misunderstood something in one discussion that we had. Arghhhh! Mea Culpa, mea culpa.

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    X Baptist
    This is my fault in how i worded something in one of our introductions. Please take Wade at his word.

    [MOD] Moved to make tie up multiple comments made all over by X Baptist.

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    X Baptist …..from another post…
    I already asked this in 2 other post, but I want to make sure it gets answered.


    This is NOT the way. Pick a post, ask it once. And then if you don’t get an answer in a day or so MAYBE ask it again. If you don’t know where to ask, ask it in the latest post or the one with a current discussion on the topic. I’m going to delete the other copies of your question as Wade answered you here.

    Now back to the regularly scheduled discussions.

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    Sorry for the triple postings, but I want this explained.

    Thanks Dee for intervening with your description of Wade and his historical legacy seen by many here. It is I just want to keep held accountable for what they say and do.

    Wade, now you know where I got the “Reformed” Baptist Church title, BUT I have read in some post of “yours” and others that you are Reformed and Calvinist in your beliefs. I am just not prepared nor do I want to research through all these to prove my position.

    And I do know what I am talking about, really I do because I am in tune with the modern day church and its buffet religious habits.

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    You always keep us on track. Thanks! What would we do without you?

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    Sorry for the triple postings, but I want this explained.

    Yes. But in the end this is not your blog. And thus we get to set the rules. Ask once and wait for an answer. And realize that while the people here almost always answer questions, it is their choice to do so. Demanding answers via multiple comments puts you on the edge of being blocked from commenting.

    Please see

    This side topic is now closed.

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    Guy behind the Curtain,

    You’re starting to sound like some of those with whom this blog has posted against for years.

    Silencing those that bend the rules. Are You guys Calvinist, 9Marks, and or SGM trained?

    [MOD Edit] Inappropriate comment.

    I hate authoritarianism and legalism…..

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    X Baptist

    This is your Yellow Card.

    No one has silenced you. And people have answered your questions.

    So drop this discussion now or you’ll be banned until you stop telling us how to moderate this blog.

    And everyone please note. If X Baptist would include an email address we could have informed him in private.

    Again, we have rules for driving cars on roads. And here at TWW we have rules for how to behave. Be polite. No demands. And if we say you need to post somewhat differently, please do so. And no debating the rules.

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    X Baptist,

    You know, we actually allow dissenting opinions here at TWW. Sorry, I just don’t get your rant.

    Could you please tell me what is wrong with featuring a pastor who preaches God’s Word for the benefit of our readers? I sincerely want to know.

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    Guy Behind the Curtain.

    Is there any way for me to receive an automatic email
    when a new comment is posted?

    It sure would help in keeping up with the conversations.

    Thank you much…

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    A. Amos Love,

    I’m glad your directed your question to the Guy Behind the Curtain because Dee and I will be the first to admit that we are techno-peasants, not to be confused with peasant princesses.

    Looking forward to Guy’s response!

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    Is there any way for me to receive an automatic email
    when a new comment is posted?

    Yes. But no one has used it yet. Let me try it for a day or few to make sure it works then I’ll post the process.

    Just be sure when you sign up that you really want this. There have been some days with around 200 comments.

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    A. Amos Love,

    You may be getting more than you bargained for if you want newly posted comments sent your way! 🙂

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    I also would like to Be notified of new comments…is there a digest? Or can we select fom a particulr post like at mpt?

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    OK. What is mpt?

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    I’m sorry that I may appear a little dense, but did I miss the mention of where and when this EChurch will begin and how I can find it?

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    You are not dense. We are working through the best way to list this. Each weekend, (Friday or Saturday) we will post the EChurch gathering. Then, on Monday, we will move the link for the previous weekend to the page labeled EChurch on the front page of the blog under The Basics which is in the column on the right. Scroll to the bottom. We will post this weekly. Does this help?

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    EChurch@Wartburg began this past weekend, and you can still experience it.

    EChurch@Wartburg 2.19.12

    We’d love to get your feedback. We will be posting another worship experience this weekend.

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    Thanks for your help; that does clarify it for me. Please excuse me now….I’m off to EChurch. ….smile…

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    Well…I was going to take notes so I could share some positive feedback, but after the very first worship song until the very end of Pastor Wade’s sermon, the tears didn’t stop long enough to see what I was writing. I’ve not attended church for about 8 yrs. for a variety of reasons so I was looking forward to this experience when I read about it (on Wade’s blog I think.)

    It was truly an anointed service and I was in the presence of the Lord. I kept thinking of that song, “There’s a sweet, sweet spirit in this place and I know that it’s the spirit of the Lord.”

    Thank you so very much for the opportunity of attending this wonderful EChurch!

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    Sorry, Matthew Paul Turner’s blog. You can subscribe to comments from a particular post.

  30. Pingback: et cetera 18 |

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    You have blessed my heart! I will sleep better tonight knowing that our efforts touched you in a special way. I anticipate that our upcoming EChurch line-up will be much like the first one. Thank you for making my day!

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    Thank you for your heartfelt feedback.

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    deb –

    You write at – Feb 20 2012 at 04:21 pm…
    “You may be getting more than you bargained for”

    Yea!!! And wouldn’t that be horrible… 😉

    Eph 3:19-20 NASB
    *to know* the love of Christ which **surpasses knowledge,**
    that you may be filled up to all *the fullness of God.*
    Now to Him (Jesus) who is able to do **far more abundantly**
    beyond all that **we ask** or **think**…

    That is certainly “more than I bargained for.” 😉

    Seems to be God’s way of doing things – having His Kids – Us –
    “getting more than we bargained for.” Getting to know other folks – hear their stories –
    who have been so wounded…

    And watching Jesus…
    Healing the broken hearted and binding up their wounds. Psalm 147:3, Luke 4:18.

    Psalm 34:18 NASB
    The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
    And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

    A real joy – Seeing wounded folks being healed and still walking with Jesus.

    Thank You Jesus.

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    Guy Behind the Curtain

    Don’t know how it works – but…

    Some blogs just have a little box to check if you want to receive followup comments
    on that particular thread right by the “Post a Comment” box that reads…

    “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail”

    Here’s a happy challenge… 😉

    Go to “The Gospel Coalition” blog…
    Maybe they will help you with a followup comment connection. 😉

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    Quite a sense of humor you have there, A. Amos Love! I happen to think God has a sense of humor among his many other qualities. I shared that with my daughter the other day and she liked THAT visual of God 🙂