BTO Is Back

Bachman Turner Overdrive was a 70’s band with hits such as “Let it Ride,” “Taking Care of Business,” “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet.”  To say or read these titles is to hear them all over again.  But of that band I do not write.  Of another Bachmann, I do.

World magazine reports in an August 13, 2011 article “Minnesota Twins?” this about Michele Bachmann: “For years Bachmann was a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod and attended the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Stillwater, Minn.  The synod came under media fire this summer for a doctrinal statement calling the pope the Antichrist. While Bachmann has not been active in the church for the last two years, the press is raising questions about the timing of her family’s decision to seek an official written release from their church membership.  The synod [church?] granted that release just six days before Bachmann formally announced her candidacy.  Bachman now attends Eagle Brook Church, a nondenominational megachurch with a Baptist heritage…” (p. 38).

Representative Bachmann took care of business by not letting her membership in the WELS ride, and to be sure you ain’t seen nothing yet because this is definitely a LCMS megatrend.  Either apologize (not in the confessional sense but in the sorrowful sense) for our Confession, apostatize from it, eulogize it (the time and place for this or that teaching has passed), or just not vocalize it (See the blog “Unverifiable.”).

This I call Bachmannizing our Confession, and though it can and often is subtle, it shares with BTO not just the Bachman but the Overdrive.   Once you start down this road, since it’s downhill you gather speed.  The Cajuns call it “crawfishing.”  Northerners call it “hemming and hawing.” The more educated might call it “dithering.”  Politicians and churchmen call it “keeping your options open.”

Whatever you call it, I have done it before, and while you may blame me, can you understand why?  How many of our doctrines are just plain laughable to 21st Century man.  From women not being pastors, to homosexuals not marrying, to a six day creation, to closed Communion, to the pope being the Antichrist, to a personal Devil and a real hell, to Bread being Body and Wine being Blood, to the dead really living, to angels being real, to salvation only in Jesus’ name, there is so much to apologize, apostatize, eulogize, or just not vocalize.

If we don’t Bachmannize our confession, we will be hated by the world that embraces the errors we’re confessing against.  Face it; you don’t, you can’t, grow a church without Bachmannizing our Confessions.  But prior to the Church Growth Movement, we never believed we could (or should) grow a Church.  Only the Lord did that through Word and Sacraments, through our teaching “all things whatsoever” He commanded us, through administering His Sacraments His way.

Let me end by quoting another BTO song “Let’s Roll Down the Highway.”  “Travel down the long and divided road/ Look on the map I think we’ve been there before…” The road has been divided since Cain killed Able and the City of Men started persecuting the City of God.  And I don’t “think we’ve been there before.”  I know we’ve been here before in 1969 when we gave up our Confession on the role of women and in 2004 when we gave up our Confession on closed Communion, unionism, syncretism, and more.  Set Bachmannizing our Confession to hard driving BTO music, and you have the passion, the energy, the zeal needed to attract a listless postmodern society that only knows and wants to know what it likes.  Yes, we’re driving somewhere or more accurately being driven somewhere in overdrive when we Bachmannize.  The question is where to and by whom?

About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
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One Response to BTO Is Back

  1. Jim Craig says:

    Amen to your comments! I suspect that there is more to the Bachmann story than has been recently reported. Going back to her 2006 campaign for Congress she was asked by a local reporter why any Catholic voter should support her candidacy since she is a member of a church body which believes that the pope is the antichrist. In her response she totally rejected that notion, stating that her church would never be so bigoted and intolerant as to teach such a thing. At the time, in an attempt to put the best construction on everything, I figured that she was totally clueless about the Lutheran position on the papacy as well as many other confessional theological positions. With her recent resignation from the indicated WELS congregation, one suspects that either Ms. Bachmann or her staff did a little research on the WELS website and were stunned to discover the truth in the reporter’s question. Now, what to do? We now know the answer. How can we defend an inconvenient truth?

    Jim Craig

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