EChurch@Wartburg

Links to the last six months of E Church services are on the right.
For older services use the Select Category Option

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? Isn’t he a Reformed Baptist? 

Yes, Wade is Reformed and his church community is part of the SBC. However, 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 MembersLink. 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: contactus@ebcenid.org

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, look to the right side of this page near the top for the most recent ones. And you can find all of them by picking EChurchATWartburg from the Catagory Popup List

 


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.




Comments

EChurch@Wartburg — 16 Comments

  1. I just watched you for the first time. I am sick and can’t get to my church today. I have a regular church that I attend. I sat under you Dad for many years, and you remind me of him. I loved him, if fact he married us.

    I went to school with Cherry, and my daughter went to school with Teri. Small world isn’t it? I love your message today and even though I have my own church in which I love I will still listen to you. It is like a young Bro. Paul all over again. And that is a compliment. I can’t wait until next week to hear you again. May God bless you.

  2. Hi Dee & Deb,

    Seems I’m unable to view Wade’s embedded Vimeo videos using my mobile device. Any chance of a remedy for that?

  3. Evie,

    When I had my Blackberry, I remember not being able to watch videos because I hadn’t updated it.  Could that be the problem?  Maybe GBTC  can address this issue.

  4. Deb & Dee –

    Thanks for doing this. Ms FSGP and I have totally disconnected from any church in the wake of our escape from the SG church we were part of. Ms FSGP threatens to find a church someday; I seriously doubt that I will and haven’t seriously looked for several years. It is nice to know that you have created an alternative.

    All the best,
    Former SG Pastor

  5. Hi!
    Very minor quibble – the sentence “he descended into hell” isn’t in the Nicene Creed. It’s only in the Apostles’ Creed, and is at least part of the reason that Eastern Orthodox churches don’t accept the Apostles’ Creed. (They do accept the Nicene Creed.)

  6. Thank you for this!! My family was threated by a pastor of our local SGM church that he would “call the civil authorites and have you arrested” if we continued to attend without submitting a membership application. Even though my wife and I had attended all 32 weeks of pre-membership classes, about to go thru a huge personal lawsuit and all we asked was for a few more months to sort things out before joining. They told us we would be arrested if we set foot into the place again because after three years of attendance we wouldn’t submit a membership application.

  7. Jon Owens wrote:

    They told us we would be arrested if we set foot into the place again because after three years of attendance we wouldn’t submit a membership application

    What kind loving people. Just like Jesus.

  8. A special Hi to Dee. Thank you for helping me see red flags! I didn't and still don't like what I Know to be true now but I now have much more. My life compared to the previous !! What on earth did I used to find to worry about! My son has been dragged through hell and I think they've only just begun really but I have told him I'm proud of him more times recently than I've ever thought possible. He has managed to keep going ….he has not lost But had everything taken from him. He now has nothing but he's strength to carry on. And it's that strength, that love for God, truth and justice which has made him a man to fight for his children and all those who also need to be free from KFC.

  9. Hi, came cross your blog today, and only thought to mention…dissenting from cultish behavior which inevitable grows out of group environments is best fought by reading scriptures (not arguing them). How anyone would go for that discipleship movement with emphasis on submission to other human interference is beyond me. It’s entire premise is what animates the Catholic Church and its twisted. Likewise the money movement of the 1990’s. people’s hearts stray so far from God for drivel because they do not make knowing the Word the focus of their lives.

    While that is sad, and I only read certain pages of your blog… But people are succumbing to the blame game. (Those awful misguided teachers are why “my cousins do drugs” and that “I am divorced”, etc etc… That approach won’t stand up in your day of judgement. What you did with your life you alone answer for. Read the book. Stupidity and willful ignorance won’t be an excuse for being asleep at the wheel. (I preach to myself)).

    I applaud your reaching out to the wounded! Millions will never again step foot in a building. Hopefully you teach them picking at old wounds can make you lose a limb in the natural..in isnt better in the spiritual. The Word is the defense against being led astray. That AND knowing The Lord, not knowing OF Him!

  10. Thank you! Since I have come to Jax, Fl. there are so many churches, but never have felt at home, in any of them, do not know why, either built on emotion and money, or so big you got lost in them. Or you have great teaching, but a not the freedom during worship. Choir singing, when I hear the words I was overcome with love and felt so compelled to surrender, in all of me, (not running up or down the isle) just wanted to stand up and reach my hands out. Yet nobody did,,, so either it was to much of that and to much of this, or being, there and leaving alone without connection with others.So I gave up. I had a great home church in S. CA great studies, great fellowship, never was ask to put my money in or reminded of what I owed to God. Just giving with a cheerful heart. Here in FL you are reminded, that you owe, I do not believe that as Jesus said give freely, when they talk about the tithe I feel obligated, and after all I am no longer under the law I am free because I have Christ now. I do not want to sin, I try to see people thru the eyes of Jesus, after all he said love another as I have loved you. It is not always easy. But he said pick up your cross and follow me. I understand now what it means.

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