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               WRONG ON THE THRONE:

            UNIONISM IN ELCA, THE LCMS, AND THE WELS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                by

 

 

 

 

 

                    Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

                      Martin Chemnitz Press

                                  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne.

     Behind the dim unknown,

     Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above His own.

          James Russell Lowell, 1819-1891, "The Present Crisis"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

               Copyright, 1996, Gregory L. Jackson

 


                        TABLE OF CONTENTS

I.  Background of Unionism...........................   2

     Unionism Today..................................   4

     What's Wrong with Unionism?.....................   6

          Analogy....................................   6

          Fruits.....................................   7

     Reading Kosher..................................   8

     Biblical Foundation.............................   9

     Three Marks of Unionism......................... 13

 

II.  Examples of WELS/ELCA/LCMS Unionism............. 15

     Snowbird........................................ 15

          ELCA Taught WELS and Missouri

                   about the Sacred Scriptures............ 15

          Photographic Evidence .....................  16

     WELS Does Religious Radio Show with ELCA

                          And Denies It ..................  16

     Joint Evangelism with ELCA .....................  17

          What's Wrong with the CMI? ................  19

 

III. What's Wrong with Unionism?..................... 20

     Obsolete WELS Statements........................ 20

          When Martin Marty Was a Bad Guy............ 20

     Outmoded LCMS Statements........................ 21

     ELCA Forerunner................................. 22

          Fuller's Hatred of Biblical Inerrancy...... 22

          WELS at Fuller............................. 23

          L. Olson's Fuller Doctorate ...............  23

          Anti-Christian Evangelism Resources .......  24

 

IV.  False Doctrine Murders Souls.................... 24

     Formula of Concord.............................. 26

 

 

                    I.  Background of Unionism

 

     Lutherans use the term "unionism" to signify the establishing of religious cooperation without agreement in doctrine.  The term comes from the Prussian Union, an effort to eliminate doctrinal differences between the Lutherans and the Reformed by a forced settlement, enforced by police and jails, to make one Protestant Church.[1]  The Prussian Union was eventually successful, driving out the Lutherans who would found the Missouri Synod, uniting Protestants within the realm by dropping such doctrines as the Real Presence of Christ in Holy Communion.[2]

     Now the favored term is "ecumenism," which is promoted in the name of love, cooperation, setting aside minor differences, eliminating the scandal of a divided Church, and obeying Christ's prayer "that they be one," although little else of Christ remains within ecumenism.  Once merger was the ultimate goal of unionism, but that has been set aside in view of its costs in time, money, and lawsuits.  Now the aim is complete cooperation in worship, evangelism, leadership training, along with pulpit exchanges and inter-communion.

     A truly ecumenical Lutheran congregation will have ordained ministers belonging to different denominations, genders, and sexual orientations.  Reformation Sunday will be celebrated as Reconciliation Sunday, featuring a Roman Catholic priest in the pulpit.[3]  The congregation will offer communion to anyone who comes forward, often to babies as well.  Baptism will often avoid the terms "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit" because of complaints from feminists who are oppressed by male terms for the Godhead.  The congregation will take pride in its social activism, once called the Social Gospel Movement, a failed effort to make the world a better place by using the spiritual power of the Church to lobby for new legislation.[4]  The leaders of the congregation will promote anti-Lutheran, non-Lutheran, and anti-Christian authors, but will mock anyone who takes seriously such theologians as Luther, Pieper, Walther, Lenski, Gerhard, Chemnitz, Jacobs, or Krauth.

 

     We should not consider the slightest error against the Word of God unimportant.

          What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II,  p. 637.    

 

     An orthodox Lutheran congregation will call only those pastors who are faithful to the Word of God and the Lutheran Confessions.  The congregation will practice closed communion because they value the sacrament of the altar so highly.[5]  They will study Biblical doctrine to learn the meaning of terms, to increase their under-standing and faith.  The congregation will not work with other religious organizations which differ in doctrine, including other Lutherans.  The leaders will teach openly against false doctrine and point people to the best Lutheran authors.[6]  They will not use the name of Christ to promote a political agenda.

 

                          Unionism Today

     The best and most shocking example of Lutheran unionism today occurred when The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) sponsored a national synodical worship conference at Carthage College (ELCA), July 21-24, 1996, "The National Conference on Worship, Music, and the Arts." 

     The Wisconsin Synod is in fellowship only with the Evangelical Lutheran Synod.  When I was at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary (WELS) during colloquy, the professors frequently criticized the Missouri Synod for doctrinal laxity and unionism.  This conference, organized by Professor James Tiefel of WLS, featured Missouri Synod pastors giving major presentations in cooperation with WELS seminary professors.  A Princeton professor and staffmember at an Episcopalian church demonstrated how to lead a children's choir, presumably using WELS children. An ELCA parish staffmember led two sessions on using the Psalms in worship, even though WELS has published two books which show how anti-Biblical and anti-Christian ELCA is.[7]  Another presenter serves as the Minister of Music at Christ Church of Oak Brook, Illinois. 

     WELS is known for adhering to Paul's instructions in 1 Timothy 2:10, about women not being in authority over men or teaching men.

 

     1 Timothy 2:9-14 (KJV)   In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; {10} But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. {11} Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. {12} But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. {13} For Adam was first formed, then Eve. {14} And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

 

Some WELS pastors have been forced to leave the synod for their persistent promotion of women's suffrage, and yet five WELS women taught men at this conference.

     It is safe to say that this conference represents an effort by the seminary to promote new doctrine by establishing new practice.  The keynote speaker was Professor David Valleskey, who was subsequently called as president of the seminary, an official expression of approval at the highest levels.

     Professor James Tiefel defended the ecumenical worship conference in an undated memo, claiming it was already established practice in the WELS:

     Our synodical schools have invited numerous non-WELS speakers and instrumentalists.  Noted organists E. Power Biggs, Virgil Fox, and Heinrich Fleischer have all appeared in symposium and/or concert at Martin Luther College.  Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary has invited non-WELS speakers such as Basil Jackson, Gleason Archer, Manachem Mansoor, Robert Kolb, and Edwin Palmer to speak to its student body...WELS Lutherans for Life has invited Charlton Heston[8] and Surgeon General C. Everett Koop to speak at its national conventions.

Tiefel argued for using non-WELS speakers because of a lack of talent in the synod.  No one from the Evangelical Lutheran Synod spoke, even though the ELS is currently publishing a new hymnal, which would naturally be an excellent resource for the WELS.

                   What's Wrong with Unionism?

     The extent of WELS/ELCA/LCMS unionism will be demonstrated below, with direct quotations from various sources available to the public.  First it is necessary to focus upon the nature and fruits of unionism in an age where it is presented as beneficial, God-pleasing, and a mark of intelligent, compassionate, far-sighted Lutheranism.

                             Analogy

     Those who handle food will recognize the parallel with how we must handle the Word of God, which comes to us in its purest form, in the written Scriptures, which are inerrant, clear, and sufficient for our knowledge of the Christian faith.  The food industry spends an enormous amount of money to keep their products from becoming adulterated with foreign substances and disease-causing bacteria, which can kill suddenly or slowly, with great anguish.  One colony of bacteria from one finger print in a vat of milk can grow and endanger many thousands of lives.  Therefore, people who prepare food constantly admonish one another to keep everything pure and to fix problems of contamination which crop up in the course of delivering nutrition to the dinner table.

     The Lutheran Confessions exist, not to improve upon the Scriptures, but to warn against the problems of the past, which continue to contaminate the Christian faith.  The Nicene Creed, which seems so wordy in describing the nature of Christ, is the result of a successful battle against the false doctrine that the Son of God is somehow lesser than God the Father.[9]

                              Fruits

Professor Reu, a renowned Lutheran scholar, now largely forgotten by ELCA, wrote:

 

     Doctrinal indifference is at once the root of unionism and its fruit.  Whoever accepts, in theory as well as in practice, the absolute authority of the Scriptures and their unambiguousness with reference to all fundamental doctrines, must be opposed to every form of unionism.      M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, Columbus:  The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 20.[10]

 

Unionism begins with an attitude of indifference which seeks to ignore the adulteration, pollution, and contamination of God's Word.  Unionism is defended today by saying, piously, "We did not do that in the context of fellowship."  Or, "He was invited for his great knowledge of worship, but we did not allow him to talk about doctrine." 

     If a Roman Catholic speaks at a Lutheran worship conference, as E. J. Potente did at Carthage, the audience can only think, "The pope is the very anti-Christ.  Purgatory is a myth.  The mass is an abomination.  Mary is not the Co-Redemptrix.  The pope is not infallible, even when he advocates the theory of evolution.  Justification is by faith alone, apart from the works of the Law.  But why worry about such small matters?  This speaker really knows his stuff!"  The last orthodox LCMS President, F. Pfotenhauer, always said, "Avoid the beginnings."  The WELS/LCMS/ELCA unionists counter, "Open a new door."

     Even the most open liberals admit that unionistic events preclude, eliminate, and stifle doctrinal discussion.  Just as the presence of an ex-convict prevents the discussion of crime at the dinner table, so the lecture of a false teacher will necessarily keep the audience from asking any questions which might embarrass the honored guest.  Ecumenical Vacation Bible Schools, which pool the failed programs of five or six denominations, walk on eggshells to avoid offending anyone except the Triune God.

     Contrary to what many liberals believe or hope, Lutheran orthodoxy does not suffocate love or ruin friendships.  Quite the opposite is true.  The little flock of orthodox Lutherans must live and work with all varieties of religious expression, even among the heirs of Luther and Walther.  Some conservatives who are influenced by Pietism think they must shun people who do not belong to their denomination and/or family tree, but they confuse being orthodox (pure doctrine) with being obnoxious (holier than thou). Orthodox Lutheran laity are given many opportunities each day to explain the hope which is within them, from the knock on the door by cultists, to the coffee cup shared with the neighbor.[11]  God's Word will always shine forth with the power He alone can give (Isaiah 55:8-11).

                          Reading Kosher

     Lutheran pastors for the last 70 years have excused their reading of false teachers by saying, "I can separate the wheat from the chaff."  Some will say, "They are Christians.  We can learn from them, too."  Others will cite a verse which I have never found in the Bible:  "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."  Orthodox Jews eat kosher.  Orthodox Lutherans read kosher.[12]  They do not look for specks of wheat hidden in the chaff.  They do not imagine they can learn from those who deny the efficacy of the Word and the Means of Grace.  They would never wash their babies in contaminated bath water. 

     Too many conservative Lutherans have been seduced by the rationalism of Reformed doctrine, which glorifies man rather than God and must ultimately give in to a doctrine of works-righteousness, no less than Roman Catholicism.  How many Lutheran pastors, seminary professors, district officials, mission board leaders, and circuit pastors have betrayed Christ with a kiss, handing Him over to those who say baptismal regeneration and the Real Presence are papalist lies!  These men, whether their intentions are good or bad, have also betrayed their flocks, standing in silence as wolves from within and without ravaged the sheep, murdering their faith, turning Gospel into Law.[13]  Not content to watch the wolves at work, many Lutheran ministers have become wolves themselves, actively persecuting pastors and laity who dare to question the false doctrine which has been smuggled in with unionism.

                       Biblical Foundation

     Romans 16:17-18 (KJV)   Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. {18} For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

Paul knew from experience that the imperishable Gospel was planted in fragile and fickle hearts.  In his affectionate closing to the Romans, he begged them first to mark (take note, observe) those who cause division and hurt because of their false doctrine.  Some would make "mark" to mean "observe with pious sadness and do nothing."  But two active verbs are used here:  1) mark; 2) avoid.

All efforts of unionism must change the meaning of one or both words. 

     In excusing the early stages of unionism, many Lutheran leaders claim that they still oppose serious deviations from  sound doctrine but want to serve as a good influence upon those who only have minor problems.  Therefore, a Lutheran is not very brave for denouncing Purgatory when the issue of the day is the subtle but deadly effects of Pietism.

 

     Paul does not speak of opposing or antagonistic doctrines, but of those placed beside the true doctrine; they are additions, making divisions.  Paul calls it a rival doctrine, an addition, an occasion of stumbling, an offense and a byway, when on establishes the conscience upon his own goodness or deeds.  Now the Gospel is sensitive, complete and pre‑eminent:  it must be intolerant of additions and rival teachings. 

          Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1983, III,  p. 376. (On Romans 16:16‑17)

 

     Sad experience has taught me that many Lutherans will not trouble themselves with the first imperative, "Mark them!" let alone the second command, "Avoid them!"  How can we harmonize this verse with the excuse of separating the wheat from the chaff, mentioned above?  The wheat and chaff passage in Jeremiah is perfectly consistent with Romans 16:17.

 

     Jeremiah 23:28-32 (KJV)   The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. {29} Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? {30} Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. {31} Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. {32} Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.

 

     We should not dignify unionism by saying that we are "spoiling the Egyptians," a phrase used by Larry Crab.[14] 

     Exodus 12:36 (KJV)   And the LORD gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians.

The Exodus passage quoted does not indicate in any way that we are to sit at the feet of false teachers because of the great wisdom they have to offer about the Christian faith.[15]  In fact, conservative Lutherans have turned this verse upside-down by letting Fuller Seminary take their gold in exchange for meaningless degrees in Church Growth.[16]  Even worse is the notion that conservative Lutherans have accomplished something devilishly clever by taking the best from Fuller Seminary, a school which has destroyed more churches than the Chicago Fire.

     The second verse in the famous Romans passage tells us about the nature of false teachers.

     For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. (Romans 16:18)

The verse has two clear statements about false teachers:

1)  They serve their own carnal needs, not Christ.  This is supported by another passage on belly-servers.

 

     Philippians 3:17-19 (KJV)   Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample. {18} (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: {19} Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

 

2)  They trick simple people by smooth talk and flattery.  They are outwardly pious wolves, not willing to show their fangs and claws, as Jesus Himself warned us.

 

     Matthew 7:15 (KJV)   Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

 

     Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV)   Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. {22} Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? {23} And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

 

Therefore, we should be especially wary when a false teacher looks fair but feels foul, for we are to judge the substance, not the style.

 

     Let him therefore who is concerned about his life not be taken in by the friendliness of heretics to agree with their doctrine.  Neither let him be offended at my faults, who am a teacher, but let him consider the doctrine itself.  [Origen, Homily 7, on Ezekiel] Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1971, I, p. 154.

 

     The "why" of avoiding unionism is revealed to us in great detail in many passages.

 

     Titus 3:10-11 (KJV)   A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject; {11} Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

 

If we continue to tolerate a false teacher, a heretic, then we become indifferent to doctrine ourselves, and we make error seem to be good, useful, and worthy of fellowship.

 

     2 Corinthians 6:14-15 (KJV)   Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?

 

If we yoke ourselves to those who deny the efficacy of the Word in infant baptism, then we are saying that one person's lack of faith in the whole counsel of God is a trifling matter.  We must then say to ourselves, one way or another, "Oh, they deny baptismal degeneration and call it a popish sin, but they still believe in Christ."  After decades of such indifference, people now say (by their deeds, if not their words):  "Oh, they deny the divinity of Christ, but they still talk about Jesus from time to time."

 

     We find this attitude of tolerance quite frequently among unionists.  It is often used to assuage a troubled conscience, one's own as well as that of others; for the unionist declares that every one may continue to hold his own private convictions and merely needs to respect and tolerate those of another.  This attitude is totally wrong, for it disregards two important factors: (a) in tolerating divergent doctrines one either denies the perspicuity and clarity of the Scriptures, or one grants to error the right to exist alongside of truth, or one evidences indifference over against Biblical truth by surrendering its absolute validity;and (b) in allowing two opposite views concerning one doctrine to exist side by side, one has entered upon an inclined plane which of necessity leads ever further into complete doctrinal indifference, as may plainly be seen from the most calamitous case on record, viz., the Prussian Union.

          M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity,

     Columbus:  The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 20.

 

                     Three Marks of Unionism

     Professor Reu noted three marks of unionism, which we can see at work today, in the WELS, LCMS, and ELCA.  Most Lutherans are aware that the doctrine of the Means of Grace is the "peculiar glory of the Lutheran Church."  This means simply that God brings His grace to us only through the Word and Sacraments, never separating His Holy Spirit from these appointed means.  All non-Lutheran reject this Biblical doctrine, often in the crassest terms.  Zwingli and Calvin both denied the connection between the Holy Spirit and Word, so clearly taught in Isaiah 55:8-11.  Conservative Lutherans, who claim Walther and Hoenecke as their fathers, excuse their study at Fuller Seminary by saying that the Reformed "downplay the Means of Grace."[17] 

     Professor Reu wrote:

 

     Here we discover the first mark of unionism:  A dif-ference in doctrine which hitherto has been regarded as divisive, is suddenly made to lose its divisive significance.

          M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, Columbus:  The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 19.

 

     The liberal side of Lutheranism, once dominated by the constituents of ELCA, has found many ways to join forces with the Reformed, Roman Catholics, the Masonic Lodge, everyone except the conservative Lutherans.[18]  The reason for this quest for unity is given as the second mark of unionism:

 

     The second mark of unionism, therefore, is this:  Differences in doctrine are made to lose their divisive significance with a view to uniting hitherto separate churches.

          M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity, Columbus:  The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 19.

 

As we will see below, the conservative Lutherans (WELS, LCMS) have now adopted the same attitude in order to work with ELCA.

     The story of Lutheran mergers in this century, and the new ELCA agreements with the Reformed and the Episcopalians, all illustrate the third mark.

     The third mark of unionism, therefore, is this:  A formula of unification is found which each of two hitherto separate churches may accept but which each of them interprets differently.  An external bond is found for internally divided groups. 

          M. Reu, In the Interest of Lutheran Unity,

     Columbus:  The Lutheran Book Concern, 1940, p. 19.


 

                               II. 

 

               Examples of WELS/ELCA/LCMS Unionism

 

                             Snowbird

"The Lutheran Leadership Consultation, facilitated by Lutheran

Brotherhood in partnership with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the Lutheran‑Church Missouri Synod (LC‑MS) and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), was the first meeting of this type that included the three major Lutheran Churches as planners and participants."

     Lutheran Brotherhood, Bond, "Preparing the Church for the Next Century," Fall, 1991 68,  p. 12.  (Emphasis added)

 

"George Barna of Glendale, Calif., president of the Barna Research Group, a marketing firm specializing in research for Christian churches and parachurch organizations, laid out 'The Context for Leadership' with rather challenging facts about the society the church faces today."

     Lutheran Brotherhood, Bond, "Preparing the Church for the Next Century," Fall, 1991 68,  p. 12.

 

"William McKinney, dean and professor of religion and society at Hartford (Connecticut) Seminary, disagreed with the popular view that conventional Protestant churches have moved from mainline to sideline."  [Hartford is Reformed and very liberal.]

     Lutheran Brotherhood, Bond, "Preparing the Church for the Next Century," Fall, 1991 68,  p. 12.

 

"Four speakers prominent in the field of leadership research shared their perspectives.  Frances Hesselbein of New York City, president and chief executive officer of the Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management, spoke on 'The Challenge of Leadership.'  She noted, 'The church shares the same bottom line with all voluntary and human service organizations:  changed lives.'"  [Note: CG enthusiasts love Drucker management books.  The four leaders of the conference were:  a woman, a Church Growth icon (in the words of Rev. James Schaefer, retired editor of the Northwestern Lutheran), an ultra‑liberal Reformed theologian, and a historical‑critical expert from an ELCA seminary which once boasted of Lenski and Leupold as professors.]

     Lutheran Brotherhood, Bond, "Preparing the Church for the Next Century," Fall, 1991 68,  p. 12.       

 

                  ELCA Taught WELS and Missouri

                   about the Sacred Scriptures

"Throughout the Consultation, Walter F. Taylor, Jr., Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, explored principles and examples of leadership in the Pauline epistles." [Trinity is an ELCA seminary which sponsored an insurance funded gay seminar.]

     Lutheran Brotherhood, Bond, "Preparing the Church for the Next Century," Fall, 1991 68, p. 13.

 

                      Photographic Evidence

Pictured together:  Rev. Carl Mischke (WELS), Rev. Ralph Bohlmann (LCMS), and Bishop Herbert Chilstrom (ELCA).

     Lutheran Brotherhood, Bond, "Preparing the Church for the Next Century," Fall, 1991 68, p. 12.   

 

"CHIEFS CONFER:  Waiting their turn to speak at a recent Lutheran

leadership consultation are Dr. Carl Mischke, president of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Church...Bohlmann...and ELCA Bishop Herbert W. Chilstrom. At the July 18‑20 event in Snowbird, Utah, in the Wasatch Mountains, 130 Lutheran leaders gathered to articulate a 'vision of leadership' for their respective church bodies."

The Lutheran, (ELCA) September 4, 1991 p. 33.

 

             WELS Does Religious Radio Show with ELCA

                          And Denies It

"A new sacred classical music radio program soon will be available to radio stations across the country.  The hour‑long, weekly program, called "Joy," is an inter‑Lutheran project of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod. "Joy" will be produced by KFUO‑FM in St. Louis and will be funded by Aid Association for Lutherans, a fraternal benefit society.  'I'm excited about being involved in this project which is the first joint venture into ministry that has ever been done by these three Lutheran churches,' said the Rev. Richard Jensen, a member of ELCA communications staff and the Joy Advisory Committee. 'Joy is a program of sacred music.  The focus is on the classics of sacred

Christian music..."

     ELCA Newsbriefs, Christian News, 12‑9‑91, p. 2.         

 

"The article in Christian News to which you refer escaped my attention until one of our other pastors called it to my attention soon after it appeared. Initially I even had difficulty relating to it.  After thinking about it for a time I remembered that I was asked about a year ago whether the WELS would endorse or be in sponsor of such a program.  My answer then was 'No" and still is.  I have consistently taken the position with the fraternal benefits societies that 'pan‑Lutheran' projects almost inevitably exclude us from participation because of our fellowship principles.[19]  The leadership of the fraternals has respected our position.  So the statement by a member of the ELCA communications staff that this is the 'first joint venture into ministry' ever done by these three Lutheran churches is simply not factual.[20]  It has been called

to the attention of those who made this statement."

     President Carl H. Mischke (former WELS Synodical President),

Letter to WELS pastor, 1‑3‑92. 

 

                    Joint Evangelism with ELCA

"Then there is the church growth movement, which has made more devastating headway in LCMS than in ELCA (although it is evident enough in the latter).  Today, it is said, Missouri has three seminaries‑‑ St. Louis, Ft Wayne, and Fuller Seminary in California, the hothouse of church growth enthusiasms.  The synodical and district mission offices are frequently controlled by church growth technocrats...But the idea that Word and Sacrament ministry is somehow validated by calculable results is utterly alien to the Lutheran Reformation...The triumph of style over substance, however, is all too evident in LCMS congregations that look like Baptists with vestments.  As we have noted before, second‑rate Lutherans make fourth‑rate Baptists."

     Rev. Richard Neuhaus, (ELCA at the time), Forum Letter,

338 E 19th Street  New York, NY  10003 November 26, 1989 p. 2.         

"In 1970 there were 500,000 more baptized members of Lutheran congregations than was the case in 1990.  The Church Membership Initiative project was undertaken to understand and address this decline... Contact: 

 

Rev. Mary Ann Moller‑Gunderson

Executive Director, Division for Congregational Ministries Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

8765 W Higgins Road

Chicago, IL, 60631

312‑380‑2570

 

Rev. Lyle Muller

Executive Director, Board for Evangelism Services

The Lutheran Church‑Missouri Synod

1333 S Kirkwood Road

St. Louis, MO, 63122‑7295

314‑965‑9000

 

Rev. Wayne Borgwardt

Administrator for Worker Training

Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod

2929 N Mayfair Road, Milwaukee, WI, 53222

414‑256‑3236

 

Mr. Douglas Olson

Aid Association for Lutherans

4321 N Ballard Road

Appleton, WI, 54919

414‑734‑5721."

     Church Membership Initiative, Narrative Summary of Findings, 1993, Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road, Appleton, WI, 54919‑0001, June 30, 1993.     

 

"Dear Friends, AAL is committed to helping Lutherans and assisting Lutheran congregations.  That has long been a primary purpose of the organization, as stated in AAL's articles of incorporation.  In pursuing this intention, we've often gathered information that helps us to better serve Lutherans and their institutions."

     Richard L. Gunderson, Church Membership Initiative, Narrative Summary of Findings, 1993, Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road, Appleton, WI, 54919‑0001,  414‑734‑5721, June 30, 1993.

 

"The IMAGINE 2000+ A.D. symposium involved the gathering of 61 growing congregations to describe their ministry.  The congre-gations were grouped with other congregations of similar size and ministry setting."

     Church Membership Initiative, Narrative Summary of Findings, 1993, Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road, Appleton, WI, 54919‑0001, June 30, 1993. p. 12. 

 

"Four people from each of 61 growing congregations gathered to share their congregational development experience, to react to the utility of toolbox items uncovered in Sections 2B and 2C above, and to exchange views with church body officials.  Approximately 125 church body officials [ELCA, WELS, LCMS] and other guests observed these congregations and participated in the discussions."

     Church Membership Initiative, Narrative Summary of Findings, 1993, Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road, Appleton, WI, 54919‑0001, June 30, 1993. p. 20.

 

"In‑person interviews were held with ELCA, LCMS and WELS national office personnel who are responsible for evangelism, outreach, North American activities, and ministries to people of color."

     Church Membership Initiative, Narrative Summary of Findings, 1993, Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road, Appleton, WI, 54919‑0001, June 30, 1993. p. 5. 

 

"This does not mean that judicatory (ELCA synods, LCMS districts, WELS districts) and national expressions of the church bodies are not involved.  They can play key roles in assisting congregations."

     Church Membership Initiative, Narrative Summary of Findings, 1993, Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road,

Appleton, WI, 54919‑0001, June 30, 1993. p. 5. 

 

"Congregational growth, stability, and decline patterns were analyzed for all Lutheran congregations within each of three church bodies (ELCA, LCMS, WELS)."

     Church Membership Initiative, Narrative Summary of Findings, 1993, Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road, Appleton, WI, 54919‑0001, June 30, 1993. p. 9. 

 

"To the reader:  This binder contains a summary of activities and

findings of the Church Membership Initiative funded by AAL.  A meeting in February, 1993 at Orlando involving congregational participants and church executives was phase three.  This summary focuses on the findings of phases one and two.  As is the nature of such studies, emphasis is on research and statistical analysis.  Such studies do provide helpful indicators.  Such an approach, however, cannot directly reflect spiritual reality, which must remain with the judgment of those dispensing the means of grace. Phase four‑‑utilization of information coming out of the first three phases‑‑is open ended for whatever church body [ELCA, WELS, LCMS] will determine such use to be."

     Rev. Wayne Borgwardt, (WELS), Church Membership Initiative, Narrative Summary of Findings, 1993, Aid Association for Lutherans, 4321 N Ballard Road, Appleton, WI, 54919‑0001, June 30, 1993.

                    What's Wrong with the CMI?

"Take the Church Membership Initiative, lavishly funded by the Aid

Association for Lutherans.  The 'Narrative Summary of Findings' and the 'Research Summary of Findings' (1993) reveal an approach both shallow and complacent.  There is no interest at all in underlying theological maladies."

     Professor Kurt Marquart, "Church Growth" As Mission Paradigm, A Lutheran Assessment, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Houston:  Luther Academy Monograph, 1994, p. 141f.

 

"Its 'overall objective' is: 'To set in motion forces that will result in annual increases in the number of members of Lutheran congregations.'  Why would any confessional Lutheran wish to 'set in motion forces' for 'annual increases' in ELCA membership?  The introductory page already alerts one to the hollowness of the talk about 'faithfulness to the substance of Lutheranism' (p. 3), by listing an ELCA official, a pastoress, as one of the sources of further information.  'Unchurched people feel good about their faith,' we are told, and the implication is that we should too."

     Professor Kurt Marquart, "Church Growth" As Mission Paradigm, A Lutheran Assessment, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Houston:  Luther Academy Monograph, 1994, p. 142.                         

 

                               III. 

 

                   What's Wrong with Unionism?

 

                     Obsolete WELS Statements

 

"Before God every activity of our faith is at the same time fellowship activity in the Communion of Saints."

     Doctrinal Statements of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Authorized by the Commission on Doctrinal Matters. p. 27.     

"In selecting specific individuals or groups for a joint expression of faith we can do this only on the basis of their confession."   Doctrinal Statements of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, Authorized by the Commission on Doctrinal Matters. p. 29.  

"In an essay on Unionism, Dr. F. Pieper, a former president of the Missouri Synod and successor of Dr. Walther as president of Concordia Theological Seminary, St. Louis, in 1924 said to the Oregon and Washington District:  'The Holy Scriptures very emphatically and in manifold ways teach that all fellowship with false doctrine is forbidden by God and is harmful to the Church.'  On II John 10, 11, he said:  'God here forbids Unionism, religious fellowship with those who are known to be false teachers.'"

     Carl Lawrenz, Chairman, Commission on Doctrinal Matters,

Fellowship Then and Now, Concerning the Impasse in the Intersynodical Discussions on Church Fellowship, p. 20. 2 John 10, 11.           

 

"Rev. Brenner tells us how unionists in the General Council chloroformed the conscience of the body.  When they entered into working arrangements (in the distinctly religious sphere) with the Reformed churches, they glazed the matter over by reporting that 'the object of these conferences is purely that of counsel concerning the problems of foreign mission‑work.'  Only counsel; no fellowship; just consulting with one another.  Thus does the camel push its nose into the tent.  Let us keep our eyes open" (p. 98ff.)

     Carl Lawrenz, Chairman, Commission on Doctrinal Matters,

Fellowship Then and Now, Concerning the Impasse in the Intersynodical Discussions on Church Fellowship, p. 23.           

                 When Martin Marty Was a Bad Guy

"Only recently Dr. Martin Marty, a pastor of the Missouri Synod and an associate editor of the Christian Century, outlined with considerable frankness the program and methods whereby changes may be effected within church bodies that still are antiecumenical (to him this means, church bodies who decline to engage in joint worship and church work unless first confessional unity has been established).  Writing in the Christian Century, he advocates a program whereby the ecumenically minded remain within their church bodies, but 'work for constructive subversion, encirclement, and infiltration, until antiecumenical forces bow to the evangelical weight of reunion.'  Although they remain within their denominations, with whose principles they do not agree, they will 'somehow telegraph to the world who it is they serve and where their loyalties already lie' (Jan. 11, 1961, p. 45).  These are the methods Dr. Marty openly proposes."  [Dr. Marty was the featured speaker at the AAL funded Orlando evangelism gathering, attended by ELCA, WELS, and LCMS officials, pastors and laity.]

     Carl Lawrenz, Chairman, Commission on Doctrinal Matters, Fellowship Then and Now, Concerning the Impasse in the Intersynodical Discussions on Church Fellowship, p. 27.      

 

                     Outmoded LCMS Statements

 

"When a theologian is asked to yield and make concessions in order that peace may at last be established in the Church, but refuses to do so even in a single point of doctrine, such an action looks to human reason like intolerable stubbornness, yea, like downright malice.  That is the reason why such theologians are loved and praised by few men during their lifetime.  Most men rather revile them as disturbers of the peace, yea, as destroyers of the kingdom of God.  They are regarded as men worthy of contempt.  But in the end it becomes manifest that this very determined, inexorable tenacity in clinging to the pure teaching of the divine Word by no means tears down the Church; on the contrary, it is just this which, in the midst of greatest dissension, builds up the Church and ultimately brings about genuine peace.  Therefore, woe to the Church which has no men of this stripe, men who stand as watchmen on the walls of Zion, sound the alarm whenever a foe threatens to rush the walls, and rally to the banner of Jesus Christ for a holy war!"

     C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 28.    

 

"Unionism is characterized by these marks:  It fails to confess the whole truth of the divine Word; it fails to reject and denounce every opposing error; it assigns error equal right with truth and creates the impression of church fellowship and of unity of faith where they do not exist."  (Wisconsin Synod,

Prayer Fellowship, Tract No. 10, 1954)

     Francis Pieper, The Difference Between Orthodox And Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon:  St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 64.               

 

"When the time comes that the worldly shall gnash their teeth, they shall witness all the elect and angels saying to God: 'This man has been a faithful minister and teacher.  He has proclaimed the saving Word of God to a world of castaways.  On yonder earth he was despised, persecuted, and maligned, but he shines now as a star with imperishable luster."

     C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 402. Daniel 12:3.                

 

"Thus in heterodox churches, in order to defend false doctrine, God's Word must continually be denied.  It is rightly said:  'It cost nine lies to maintain one lie.'  Whoever allows himself such liberties with the Word of God, let him beware, lest the devil also make this clear Word doubtful for him in the hour of death:  'The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.' 1 John 1:7"   

     Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon:  St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 40. 1 John 1:7.              

 

                         ELCA Forerunner

 

"Truthful separation is far better than dishonest union, and two churches are happier, and more kindly in their mutual relations, when their differences are frankly confessed, than when they are clouding with ambiguities and double meanings the real divergences."

     Charles P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology, Philadelphia:  The United Lutheran Publication House, 1913 (first edition, 1871), p. 326.

 

              Fuller's Hatred of Biblical Inerrancy

"We resent unnecessary distractions; we resist unbiblical diversions.. Can anyone believe that all other activities should be suspended until all evangelicals agree on precise doctrinal statements?  We certainly cannot."

     David Allan Hubbard, "What We Believe and Teach," Pasadena, California:  Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA, 91182.

 

[Fuller's new statement on Scripture]  "Scripture is an essential part and trustworthy record of this divine disclosure.  All the books of the Old and New Testaments, given by divine inspiration, are the written Word of God, the only infallible rule of faith and practice."

[Lindsell writes]:  "It is where the word infallible is placed that makes the difference.  Had the statement said that the Books of the Old and New Testaments 'are the infallible Word of God, the only rule of faith and practice,' it would have repeated in different words what the first statement of faith had said.  But what the new statement does is this:  it limits infallibility to matters of faith and practice.  And this is the view espoused by Daniel Fuller in his address on Warfield."

     Harold Lindsell, The Battle for the Bible, Grand Rapids:  Zondervan, 1976, p. 116.       

 

                          WELS at Fuller

"Incidentally, during my mission counselor days in California during the 80's, I did take a course at Fuller from Carl George and Peter Wagner.  I am grateful for the opportunity  to have done so because it helped me to see through the lousy theology espoused by David Luecke in "Evangelical Style and Lutheran Substance" a book, by the way, which has been roundly criticized in WELS circles as your own columns have noted."

     Rev. Joel C. Gerlach (WELS) to Pastor Herman Otten, no date.

[Gerlach taught at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary]

 

"Donald C. McGavran died at home in Altadena, California, on July 10, 1990.  He was 92 years old.  Dr. McGavran is widely recognized as the founder of the church growth movement, a movement which has sought to put the social sciences at the service of theology in order to foster the growth of the church.  In August of 1989 I borrowed a bicycle and pedaled several miles uphill up from Pasadena to Altadena.  I found Dr. McGavran in his front yard with a hose in hand, watering flowers."

     Prof. Lawrence O. Olson, (D. Min., Fuller), "See How It Grows: Perspectives on Growth and the Church," EVANGELISM, February, 1991,  Professor, Martin Luther College (WELS), p. 1.             

 

                   L. Olson's Fuller Doctorate

"Please stop exaggerating the amount of study that I have done at Fuller. After four years of study at Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, which involved sixty‑two different courses and a year of vicarage, I graduated in 1983.  From 1987 to 1989 I took four courses where I was in a classroom with a Fuller instructor.  That is the extent of my Fuller coursework...In addition, I have taken two courses at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and one at the University of Wisconsin‑‑Madison.  Because of Fuller's liberal (would you expect anything else?) policy on transfer of credit, and because of two independent studies I undertook, I could complete the degree by simply writing a dissertation."

     Prof. Lawrence O. Olson, D. Min. (Fuller), "A Response to Gregory L. Jackson, Ph.D.," Christian News, 3‑28‑94, p. 23.          

"You may reply that by 'Fuller‑trained' you mean anyone who has attended a workshop presented by the Charles E. Fuller Institute of Evangelism and Church Growth, an agency which is independent of the Seminary.  If that is the case, your attribution of 'Fuller‑trained' is still simply not true.  It would surprise me if even half of the two dozen people on your 'WELS/ELS Who's Who' list have attended a Fuller workshop; I personally know of only five who have."

     Prof. Lawrence O. Olson, D. Min. (Fuller), "A Response to Gregory L. Jackson, Ph.D.," Christian News, 3‑28‑94, p. 23.

 

"To the best of my knowledge, only three WELS pastors have ever taken classes at Fuller Seminary:  Reuel Schulz in the 1970s, and Robert Koester and I in the 1980s." 

     Prof. Lawrence O. Olson, D. Min. (Fuller), "A Response to Gregory L. Jackson, Ph.D.," Christian News, 3‑28‑94, p. 23.   

 

               Anti-Christian Evangelism Resources

"Contemporary social and behavioral sciences are a working out of the reason which God has given to humanity.  Granted, the assumptions of some sociologists or anthropologists may be inconsistent with the Christian faith. That calls for discernment, but it does not invalidate the proper use of the social sciences by the church; it is, however, essential that they be used in a

'ministerial' manner."

     Prof. Lawrence O. Olson, (D. Min., Fuller), "See How It Grows: Perspectives on Growth and the Church," EVANGELISM, February, 1991,  Professor, Martin Luther College, (WELS), p. 3.                  

 

                               IV.

                   False Doctrine Murders Souls

 

Is it surprising that the Church Growth advocates of Lutheranism are introducing George Barna's The Frog in the Kettle into their churches?  Barna, a Church Growth guru, shows people how introduce change slowly, the way a frog is allegedly boiled to death by slowly raising the temperature on the stove.[21]

     

     When error is admitted into the Church, it will be found that the stages of its progress are always three.  It begins by asking toleration. Its friends say to the majority:  You need not be afraid of us; we are few, and weak; only let us alone; we shall not disturb the faith of others...Indulged in this for a time, error goes on to assert equal rights.  Truth and error are two balancing forces...From this point error soon goes on to its natural end, which is to assert supremacy.

          Charles P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology, Philadelphia:  The United Lutheran Publication House, 1871, p. 195f.               

 

     Lutheran Pietists cry out with great alarm that those who oppose their Reformed doctrine are "loveless," a charge used without ceasing against Luther, Walther, and others.  According to the Pietists, a loving person would tolerate their false doctrine.  But Luther pointed out in many ways that salvation is based upon the Word of God, not a false concept of love.

 

     Doctrine is our only light.  It alone enlightens and directs us and shows us the way to heaven.  If it is shaken in one quarter (in une parte), it will necessarily be shaken in its entirety (in totum).  Where that happens, love cannot help us at all.

          Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 414. Galatians 5:10.                  

 

     Lutheranism does not need a warren of spineless corporate managers but a battalion of warriors armed with the Sword of the Spirit.

 

     Christendom must have men who are able to floor their adversaries and take armor and equipment from the devil, putting him to shame.  But this calls for strong warriors who have complete control of Scripture, can refute a false interpretation, know how to wrest the sword they wield, that is, their Bible passages, from the hands of the adversaries and beat them back with them.

          What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I,  p. 419. (Ephesians 6:10‑17).                

 

     Norm Madson, a leader in the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, who joined the Church of the Lutheran Confession before he died, knew the value of condemning falsehood as well as confessing the truth.

 

     You cannot of a truth be for true doctrine without being unalterably opposed to false doctrine.  There can be no "positive theology" where the God‑given negatives have been eliminated from the Decalog.

          Norman A. Madson, Preaching to Preachers, Mankato:  Lutheran Synod Book Company, 1952 Preface.    

 

     C. F. Walther, widely praised but seldom followed today in the Missouri Synod he founded, warned that Judgment Day was coming for the spiritual wolves.

 

     On that day every false teacher will wish that he had never been born and will curse the day when he was inducted into the sacred office of the ministry.  On that day we shall see that false teaching is not the trifling and harmless matter that people in our day think it is.

          C. F. W. Walther, The Proper Distinction between Law and Gospel, trans., W. H. T. Dau, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1928, p. 88.

 

                        Formula of Concord

 

     The close connection between the pure Word of God and opposition to unionism is given its proper context in the closing of the Formula of Concord, the forgotten and ignored confession of the former Synodical Conference.  Its light shines all the more brightly in these dark days of the death of Lutheranism.

 

We have no intention of yielding aught of the eternal, immutable truth of God for the sake of temporal peace, tranquility, and unity (which, moreover, is not in our power to do).  Nor would such peace and unity, since it is devised against the truth and for its suppression, have any permanency.  Still less are we inclined to adorn and conceal a corruption of the pure doctrine and manifest, condemned errors.  But we entertain heartfelt pleasure and love for, and are on our part sincerely inclined and anxious to advance, that unity according to our utmost power, by which His glory remains to God uninjured, nothing of the divine truth of the Holy Gospel is surrendered, no room is given to the least error, poor sinners are brought to true, genuine repentance, raised up by faith, confirmed in new obedience, and thus justified and eternally saved alone through the sole merit of Christ. Triglotta, p. 1095

    

      

 



    [1]  The first promoter of Lutheran unionism was Philip Melanchthon, who tried to effect a reconciliation both with the Roman Catholics and the Reformed by concealing and disguising doctrinal difference.  His efforts, fueled by man's wisdom, caused enormous hardship and strife, even loss of life.  God used the time of crisis after Luther's death to bring about the Book of Concord.  See "After the Death of Luther:  How the Formula of Concord Was Forged."

    [2]  "The Reformed, and all Reformed sects, deny the Real Presence of the body and blood of Christ in the Lord's Supper.  Through this they detract from God's honor." Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon:  St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 36.  

 

    [3]  "An age of darkness is a creedless age; corruption in doctrine works best when it is unfettered by an explicit statement of that doctrine."

     Charles P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology, Philadelphia:  The United Lutheran Publication House, 1871, p. 215.      

 

    [4]  The Social Creed of the Federal Council of Churches was the agenda of the Social Gospel Movement.  The FCC morphed into the National Council of Churches after a major scandal about Communist influence, without, however, giving up its Marxist ideals.

    [5]  "And all these are established by the words by which Christ has instituted it, and which every one who desires to be a Christian and go to the Sacrament should know.  For it is not our intention to admit to it and to administer it to those who know not what they seek, or why they come."  Fifth Part, Of The Sacrament of the Altar, #2, Large Catechism, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis:  Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 753.  Tappert, p. 447.

 

    [6]  The Masonic Lodge defines itself as a religious group with texts, liturgies, and ministers.  Tolerance is preached but no one is allowed to close a prayer in a Masonic Lodge "in the name of Christ."  The ecumenism of the Masonic Lodge has had a profound effect on the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which also tolerates every religious view except traditional Christianity.

    [7]  In fairness, one must add that the Episcopal Church makes ELCA look relatively calm and stable.  One WELS publication gives all the documentation about ELCA's doctrine:  Patsy Leppien, Kincaid Smith, What's Going On among the Lutherans?  The other publication questions whether ELCA is a Christian denomination, based on its doctrinal stance:  WELS and Other Lutherans.  Both are available from Northwestern Publishing House and Christian News.

    [8]  "There is a 'method in our madness' in securing such a high profile speaker.  Regardless of the value of the message such speakers always bring in the numbers.  Generally speaking, they seem to double the attendance of a convention."  [Having Charlton Heston speak at the WELS Lutherans for Life convention]

Rev. Robert Fleischmann, Commentary, National Director, WELS Lutherans for Life, 2949 N Mayfair Rd, Milwaukee, WI,  53222,

n.d.

 

    [9]  The difference is mocked by scoffers, who say the two Greek words differ only by one letter, the humble iota.  The difference is between Christ being the same substance as the Father or similar substance.  A tenor sings a high E.  His partner sings a similar note, but not the same.  The result is dissonance, not unity.  One cannot harmonize the false doctrine of similar substance with the Biblical truth of Christ being the same substance as the Father.

    [10]  Note the date.  The old ALC (1930 merger of the Buffalo, Iowa, and Ohio Synods) published anti-unionism lectures in 1940.  In the 1980s, The ALC (now part of ELCA) began communion with the Reformed, thanks to the leadership of TALC Bishop David Preus.

    [11]  1 Peter 3:15-16 (KJV)   But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.

 

 

    [12]  Gerberding's book is similar to his dedication, combining the good and the bad, harming the good without elevating the bad:  "Dedication: to a holy ministry, orthodox as Chemnitz, Calovius, Gerhard, and Krauth; spiritual and consecrated as Arndt, Spener, and Zinzendorf; active in the Master's service as Francke, Muhlenberg, Orberlin, and Passavant, this book is hopefully dedicated."  G. H. Gerberding, The Lutheran Pastor, Minneapolis:  Augsburg Publishing House, 1902, p. 2.

 

    [13]  Acts 20:29-30 (KJV)   For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. {30} Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

 

 

    [14]  The concept was quoted with approval by WELS seminary president David Valleskey.  "There is a fourth option, which is the choice of this writer.  It is the same kind of approach Lawrence Crabb, a Christian counselor, advocates over against the use of secular counseling resources.  He calls it 'spoiling the Egyptians' (Exodus 12:36, KJV), after the action of Israel at the time they left Egypt, when they took from the Egyptians what would stand them in good stead on their journey."  The essay was read at a WELS pastors' conference attended by the author, Holidaysburg, Pa, 10‑15‑90.  "The Church Growth Movement:  An Evaluation," Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, Spring, 1991, p. 115. 

    [15]  "Then there is the church growth movement, which has made more devastating headway in LCMS than in ELCA (although it is evident enough in the latter).  Today, it is said, Missouri has three seminaries‑‑ St. Louis, Ft. Wayne, and Fuller Seminary in California, the hothouse of church growth enthusiasms.  The synodical and district mission offices are frequently controlled by church growth technocrats...But the idea that Word and Sacrament

ministry is somehow validated by calculable results is utterly alien to the Lutheran Reformation...The triumph of style over substance, however, is all too evident in LCMS congregations that look like Baptists with vestments.  As we have noted before, second‑rate Lutherans make fourth‑rate Baptists."

Rev. Richard Neuhaus, (ELCA at the time), Forum Letter, 338 E 19th Street  New York, NY  10003, November 26, 1989, p. 2.

 

    [16]  "The church growth movement has made inroads into nearly every denomination in America.  Once considered only the turf of conservative evangelicals, you will now find church growth practioners in the United Methodist Church, in the Presbyterian Church in the USA, and among the Episcopalians.  The LCMS has more pastors enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry program at Fuller Theological Seminary, the seedbed of the movement, than are enrolled in the graduate programs at their Fort Wayne and St. Louis seminaries combined, and most of them include church growth as part of their studies." Prof. Lawrence O. Olson, (D. Min., Fuller), "See How It Grows: Perspectives on Growth and the Church," EVANGELISM, February, 1991, p. 1.

    [17]  "Error loves ambiguities." Charles P. Krauth, The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology, Philadelphia:  The United Lutheran Publication House, 1913 (first edition, 1871), p. 215.        

    [18]  The National Council of Churches and the World Council of Churches serve as ideal hothouses for developing new ways for all denominations to work together for leftwing political causes.  ELCA, LCMS, and WELS work together through Lutheran World Relief, although few know about WELS and LWR.  ELCA and the LCMS cooperate through the Lutheran World Federation, located in Geneva, Switzerland (where the WCC and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches are also based).  All these groups downplay sound doctrine for the sake of outward unity and cooperation, but they are quite dogmatic about advancing radical causes.

    [19]  Compare the date of this letter with the date of the Snowbird article and photographs in Bond and The Lutheran, above.

    [20]  Actually, it was not the first or second act of unionism with ELCA.  Many joint meetings with ELCA had taken place over the years.  Snowbird was the first widely publicized event.

    [21]  Do the members who read this book identify in any way with the boiled frogs?