Thursday, February 28, 2013


Christian News, March 4, 2013
Vol. 51, No. 09

“Pentagon will open combat roles to women,” an Associated Press story in the January 24, 2012 St. Louis Post-Dispatch has this subtitle: “Front-line positions, elite commando jogs possible, officials say.”

The report begins: “The Pentagon is lifting its ban on women’s serving in combat, opening hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after generations of limits on their service, defense officials said Wednesday.” “The groundbreaking move recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff overtures a 1994 rule prohibiting women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units.”

Christian News has long opposed women as combat warriors and sleeping in the same tents with men. The March 5, 2001 Christian News published an overture from First English Lutheran Church, Spring Valley, Minnesota which asked the LCMS to resolve “That the President of Synod direct the Commission on Theology and Church Relations to examine the theological/doctrinal implications of current national policy impacting women of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod serving as combat warriors and provide to our church a reasoned scriptural response.” (2001 LCMS Convention Workbook, pp. 197-198).

“The Unscriptural Doctrine of Women in Combat” by Chaplain Robert Slimp in the November 4, 1996 Christian News said:

The United States Military establishment has been placing young American women in combat roles for the past several years. This runs counter to everything that happened in American military history until about a decade ago.

In the current presidential campaign, women in combat is a non-issue. It has not been mentioned by any of the candidates except for Pat Buchanan in the Republican primaries. Now some church leaders are beginning to take notice.

In the Bible, women do not have combat roles in the military. This is because both Israelites in the Old Testament and Christians since that time, believe that putting women in combat is contrary to the plain teaching of Scripture.

Because all of us are born of a woman, and because women are everyone's first care-givers, putting women into combat situations in the military as trained killers is a violation of God's Word. It is a contradiction of the grand purpose expressed in natural revelation.

When God created man in His own image, He made man male and female, giving to each a distinctive calling within their common identity as image of God. To Adam God assigned the task of tending and guarding the garden. In a complimentary way, God called Eve, the mother of all living, to the work of bearing and nurturing children.

When Adam, our first father, sinned, God pronounced His judgment cursing Adam in his dominion task so that the earth would resist him with thorns and thistles. And God cursed Eve in her calling so that now in pain she would bear children. Yet God also gave a promise in cursing the serpent, the manifestation of the devil, saying: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed, and he will crush your head and you shall bruise his feet." Genesis 3:15.

As Adam was to have guarded the garden, but failed, so God promised a Savior, who would defeat the Devil, and annul the curse brought on the human race by the sin of Adam and Eve. Here we see that both in creation and Chaplain Robert Slimp women in combat is contrary to the Scriptures. In redemption, God appoints men to the warrior task of subduing the earth. To women, He appoints the motherly task of bearing and nurturing children.

Later, God revealed through Moses that the army of Israel was to be composed of men of a certain age and not of women (or for that matter, not of priests). God warned the Israelites not to mix the categories of male and female, commanding women not to wear the garb of the warrior, and at the same time commanded men not to wear the maternal garb of women.

The Lord Jesus Christ sanctified this order of creation by taking flesh in the womb of Mary and being born a man. In the incarnation of His Son, God has fulfilled His creation, and brought to perfection His calling for men and women. Of Mary it is said, "all generations will call me blessed." What higher calling can there be than the calling of Mary to bear in her womb the Word of God? The virgin-born Christ went on to be the divine warrior who has defeated death, hell and the devil, and gave the free gift of eternal life to all who believe.

Therefore, in light of this consistent and extensive testimony of the scriptures, we confess that it is the will of God our Creator and Redeemer that the task of being a righteous warrior should be assigned to men and not to women. This is not because women are inferior to men, but because God has equipped and called man for one task and woman for another. As Mary is to be called blessed by all generations because she bore and nurtured the Son of God , so all women are blessed in their maternal calling of bearing and nurturing those made in God's image, and invited by the Gospel to become the children of God through faith in Jesus Christ. John 1:12,13.

When we humans sin against God and arrogantly or ignorantly reverse the divine order and annul the divine law, we bring untold evil upon ourselves. And so we must bear witness as Christians that the current U.S. policy of assigning women to combat roles in the military is contrary to the revealed will of God and therefore it must be stopped. Such a policy is already producing a harvest of evil in such forms as sexual immorality, children conceived out of wedlock, venereal disease, and the terrible evil of abortion which is now sanctioned by the United States government and the Supreme Court. American Christians must tell their elected representatives in the Congress that they want the role of women in combat stopped. In addition they must demand that new laws be passed so that men and women will no longer serve together on naval ships or in the same barracks or tents in even support units.

If there should be a draft, Christian denominations and churches will have to request that the current policy be changed or else they will have to help their young people escape the draft.

It is because America's political leaders are disobeying and ignoring the commandments of God in such critical areas as women in combat, abortion, homosexuality (and all of these are linked together), America, as a nation can only expect the judgment of God rather than to experience His blessings. Surely this is a time when we must confess our sins to God and determine that we will make our country truly one nation under God.

Since our elected representatives and magistrates are our law makers, we must appeal to them to govern according to the clear teachings of the Bible in all matters that effect the morals of our people.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


"Lutheran Customs" by Marmaduke Carter
Christian News, February 25, 2013, Vol. 51, No. 08

A “Firestorm” is raging within The Lutheran Church -Missouri Synod because Dr. Matthew Harrison initially defended what “Only Scripture” and the LCMS’s constitution says about religious unionism. When the fire-storm arose, Harrison apologized for some of what he had written in a statement asking a Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod pastor to apologize for worshipping with Muslims, Jews, Bahai’s, Roman Catholics, and liberal Protestants in Newtown, CT. After giving the benediction at the service, the LCMS pastor said that all those present could seek spiritual comfort from the clergyman of their belief.
The February 13, 1995 Christian News was a special issue for Black History Month titled “Only Scripture”. It includes a 62 page pamphlet by Marmaduke Carter titled “Lutheran Customs – A Popular Presenta tion of Some Practices of the Lutheran Church.” The firestorm in the LCMS again showed that many within the LCMS know little about what the LCMS has always taught. LCMS pastors throughout the nation should encourage their members to read Marmaduke Carter’s “Lutheran Customs”. The   famous  LCMS   pastor preached in both English and German. The CN editor heard the powerful speaker preach at a Reformation Rally in 1955 in Rochester, New York.
Carter wrote in a section on prayer fellowship in his pamphlet Lutheran Customs:
Prayer Fellowship
“Reverend, there is one thing that got pretty close to me. I attended a public function where all the preachers of the city were present and sat on the platform. Several of them prayed. They passed around the different activities so that each denomination would be represented. But I did not see the Lutheran pastor. I learned later that he had told the committee that he would attend only on the condition that they would not call upon him to pray, nor to participate in any of the religious doings. Reverend, how about that? Just what is a minister for? Do you Lutheran ministers think you are better than anyone else? Do you look upon other Christians as being non-Christians?”
“We shall try to answer your last question first. The Lutheran pastor does not go about weighing his goodness alongside that of other men. He is too busy realizing that in and of himself there is no inherent goodness at all. But we try to be honest and consistent. What would you think of a man who would attend a Republican rally tonight and endorse all their principles, and then go to a Democratic rally tomorrow night and promise to support their ticket? You would say of such a man that he is neither fish nor fowl, and is too big a humbug to be entrusted with the right of suffrage.
“We do not dare to say that others are not Christians. We would tremble and shiver at our own audacity were we to say such a thing. We hold that wherever the Word of God is preached as it should be, the Holy Spirit is going to beget children for God. If they lean only upon the grace of God, they are going to be saved, not because of the errors to be found in their church organizations, but in spite of them. Now there are differences between the denominations. In politics a Democrat is a Democrat, and a Republican is a Republican and may never the twain shall merge. I am a Lutheran. That means I am not a Baptist, or a Methodist or a Presbyterian, and cannot be one of those while I am a Lutheran. Why not be honest in word and practice and say what I am and what I am not. This talk about all aiming for the same heaven is just thin whitewash. I have invited some of them to carry out their statement that there are no differences, and prove their sincerity by coming over and joining my church. But they invariably back away. They say we are all aiming at the same thing, but I cannot get them to aim with my shotgun.
“What does it mean when I engage in prayer fellowship with a man of another faith? It means that in joining him in the act of praying or apparent praying, I am accepting and endorsing his ideas, convictions and doctrines as well as the doctrinal position of the church body to which he belongs. If he is a Baptist, it means that I am fellowshipping with him and with all Baptists. When I practice prayer fellowship with him, I am thereby saying that he is right, and by the same token, since we are different, I am saying that my church, the Lutheran Church, is wrong. It means that I am no longer a Lutheran, because I have entered into prayer fellowship and hence doctrinal fellowship with a church body different from the Lutheran. It means when I return to my own camp and say I am a Lutheran, I am either a fool or a liar, because I have countenanced all the teachings of the Baptists. If I fellowship with him in prayer and at the same time in my heart denounce his doctrines, I am a hypocrite and a traitor. By such an act of fellowship I am saying to the world that we are one in doctrine and practice. I have torn down the wall that separates us. If my doctrinal conscience is not ready or refuses to let me tear down that wall, I should not go through the motion of doing so.
“Only Scripture” is the title of CN’s February 13, 1995 Special issue for Black History Month. (It is available from CN for $2.50) The lead article said:
“In the Lutheran Church the notions, ideas, doctrines and commandments of men have no place unless they agree fully with the Scriptures” wrote Dr. Marmaduke Carter, one of the pioneer black ministers in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and the former Synodical Conference, in a booklet titled “Lutheran Customs—A Popular Presentation of Some Practices of the Lutheran Church.” Carter’s 62-page “Lutheran Customs” appears in this issue of Christian News as the nation observes Black History Month. Dr. Robert King, Second Vice-president of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, said that Carter, spoke for most of the black pastors in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. All of them had a deep loyalty to the Bible and Lutheran Confessions. Dr. Robert King, succeeded Carter as pastor of St. Philip’s Lutheran Church, Chicago, Illinois—King remains a great admirer of Carter. On January 24 King spoke about Carter and “Lutheran Customs” at a pastoral conference held at Pilgrim Lutheran Church, Freedom, Missouri, where King is now the pastor.
Carter wrote in 1946 when he was the pastor of St. Philip’s Lutheran Church, that “While we have Christian liberty in connection with many of our customs, none of them may be at variance with the word of God. If they are, they must go.”
According to Marmaduke Carter, who preached all over the U.S. in both English and German, the Bible “contains no errors or mistakes of any kind, in connection with any matter, even of a secular nature.”
Commenting on the business of the church, Carter noted: “No raffles. No bingo. No bunko. Neither should the church be a begging institution. If she is at the begging state, do the thing squarely, and go and ‘get on relief.’”
In a section noting that the Bible teaches infant baptism, Carter said: “It should be plain to you now that a sponsor for a Lutheran child, in a Lutheran congregation, must himself be a Lutheran.”
He states in a chapter on the Lord’s Supper: “As Lutherans we hold, with the Scriptures, that the Lord’s Supper is the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, under the bread and wine, for us Christians to eat and drink, instituted by Christ Himself.’ ‘There is in our circles not one case on record where any person has been infected by the use of one cup.” The black pastor defends the LCMS’s official policy of close communion. He affirms the vicarious satisfaction of Jesus Christ: “God and man in one person, the Sin-Bearer for mankind, the crucified and risen Redeemer and Savior of the world—that Jesus who has rendered perfect satisfaction to God for man’s sins, who has redeemed us to God by His blood.”
Carter defended the scriptural doctrine of creation and rejected evolution. “We teach not only the Christian religion, but also the secular branches, as thoroughly as the best of the public schools, but in the light of Christian principles.
“In our institutions of learning we follow the same program. We teach science, for instance, but repudiate the false and foolish theories, and hypotheses that are advanced by the little men who lift up their puny arm against God, and use their God given breath to dispute the Word that proceedeth from His mouth.”
Prayer, according to Carter, “is not a means of grace. That means we cannot be saved by our prayers, nor because we pray.” Responding to those who criticize the Lutheran Church for using formal written prayers, such as the collects in the Lutheran Hymnal, which have been used by Christians for centuries, Carter wrote: “In our church we use prayers that have been well thought out. They come from the hearts, the trials and the experience of mighty men in the kingdom of God.” He opposed unionistic prayer fellowship: “If I fellowship with him (non-Lutheran, ed.) in prayer and at the same time in my heart denounce his doctrines, I am a hypocrite and a traitor.” “Is doctrine that important? According to God’s Word, it is. What is the source of Christian doctrine? The Bible. May we join with one who is careless and indifferent about Bible teachings? This passage (Romans 16:17) says. “No. Keep away from them.”
Individual Christians may be active in politics, but not the church warned Carter. “But let this be remembered: No preacher, as such, may dabble in political affairs. They may not be brought into the church. His members are well informed American citizens who are able to decide upon their political connections, and choose their political activities without any advice from him. They understand those matters better than he does.”
In 1946 the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, its official publications and leading theologians all said that the Bible opposes both women’s ordination and women’s suffrage in the church. Carter endorsed that position. “So, to make a short story shorter—no women preachers in the Lutheran Church. It may be argued that although those men sit quietly and worship, they nevertheless have a voice and a vote in the affairs of the congregation. Well, if you find that Voice and vote in I Corinthians 14 labeled, ‘For Women,’ take it out and hand it to them.”
Carter wrote in a chapter on marriage: “We insist upon honorable courtship. We emphasize the binding force of the engagement, properly entered into. We assume that the church is to be permitted to pay for and add its blessing to the union of the two young people who be1ong to it. No elopements. No runaway matches.” “So, interracial marriages are not in themselves sinful, wicked (or even illegal) in some of our states). Yet we must say, expressing our own feelings, that they are unwise and unfair to relatives on both sides of the racial fence.”
Carter was not a supporter of prize fighting. “Any form of athletics for its own sake is not wicked. Just be careful about over-exertion. Now when it comes to prize fighting, that is different. That is not exercise for the sake of taking exercise. The participants are breaking God’s Fifth Commandment which enjoins that we do not hurt or harm our neighbor in his body.”
Carter said in Chapter XIV on the lodge: ‘The lodge system of religion teaches men, and has them expecting to be saved by their own works, by their outward morality, by their civic righteousness, by the good qualities that exist in their own eyes and in the eyes of others, by their living ‘on the square.’“ “Now in Masonry a so-called Christian will join a lodge. A Jew is eligible of course, and he joins. That Jew is Christ’s enemy. He hates Jesus. He does not want to hear His name mentioned. The Christian brother cannot offend that Jew because he is a lodge brother, and moreover, he has taken oath not to offend him. In the lodge hall the Christian member must keep silent about his Jesus because the Jewish brother does not want to hear it. Is that confessing Christ? Or is it denying Him? Away with an organization which causes Christian men to keep quiet about Christ. In their prayers and ceremonies they speak of the great Architect of the Universe. Who and what is that? The true God is the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”
Carter maintained that Christian pastors should not bury non-Christians. What should a pastor do when “the world” asks him to bury one of their own? “What about this situation? The Lutheran pastor goes running to the scriptures faster than those people came running to him. He is making such speed that he tumbles down and lands right in Matt. 8:21-22. ‘Let the dead bury their dead.’ Let the spiritually dead bury their spiritually dead. ‘And you let the entire matter go. If you are going to follow me, center your entire attention upon that. That is instruction, even if it is your father who is concerned.’“
“The church and its servant, the Christian pastor, cannot bury people who manifestly die outside the kingdom of Grace. Should they do so, church and pastor would be telling a lie. That is because a Christian burial— and that is the only kind a true Christian church can have— is a statement that another soul has gone up to live with God. If that is manifestly not the case then the church and pastor are liars if they bury him.”
“No true Lutheran pastor should be expected to bury a lodge man. If you remember our chapter on Lodgism in this little treatise, you will readily realize why.”
Commenting on “Titles,” Marmaduke Carter writes: “In America today every man who can jump over a broom stick and repeat a few verses from the Bible, wants to be called, and have himself called, ‘Doctor.’ Our Lutheran Church stands for scholarship and theological training. Our ideal is a working knowledge of five languages (ed. Carter is most likely referring to Greek, Hebrew, Latin, German and English), and a Theological training that is second to none in the world. Yet, in the old line Lutheran Church, the saying goes that if a man is given the ‘D.D.’ title, that is a sign that his one foot is in the grave and the other is on the edge thereof in the Missouri Synod roster of clergymen, the list comprises approximately 5,000 men. By actual count we found (1945 list) fewer than 50 ‘D.D.’s.  That list takes in all the professors who teach in all our seminaries and colleges in North America and South America.” There are now about 6,000 men on the LCMS clergy roster and several hundred of them have D.D.’s.
When the LCMS celebrated the “Black Lutheran Centennial” in 1978, Christian News said in a lengthy review of Carter’s “Lutheran Customs”: ‘This excellent book is one of the best known of all Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod black clergymen and deserves widespread circulation throughout the LCMS during this year when the LCMS is celebrating the Black Lutheran centennial. We hope it will receive publicity in the LCMS’s official publications. CN reviewed it at considerable length several years ago.” “Carter takes a thoroughly scriptural stand and makes good sense throughout his book.” (Christian News Encyclopedia, pp. 286, 2644).
The LCMS has done more mission work among blacks than most denominations.
Rev. Paul Burgdorf, a 95-yearold retired LCMS pastor who formerly edited the Confessional Lutheran and wrote many articles for Christian News, noted in a review of Roses and Thorns: The Centennial Edition of Black Lutheran Mission and Ministry in the LCMS (Christian News, September 19, 1977, CNE, 281) that Marmaduke Carter and other black pastors were frequent guests in his parental home. Burgdorf said that ‘The present reviewer has a special interest in the subject in hand (mission work among the blacks). One of the reasons for this is the involvement of his father and paternal grandfather in the history of the work under discussion. His grandfather. Prof A.C. Burgdorf, was for some years treasurer of the mission board of the Ev. Lutheran Synodical Conference for work among the ‘Colored’ people of the South. His father, who studied under Walther, in 1884, served a vicarage in the Conference’s first congregation in Negro mission work, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Little Rock, Ark.”

Thursday, February 14, 2013

LCMS is Theologically Divided

Harrison – A One Term President?
Christian News, February 18, 2013, Vol. 51, No. 07

“Newtown vigil bares discord for Lutherans” the lead story in the February 9, St. Louis Post-Dispatch has these subheads: “Censure – Minister is punished for praying for shooting victims with other faiths.” “Division – People ‘shake their heads in disgust’ at reprimand says LCMS dissident.”

The major story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch which appeared before Harrison’s apology said in part:

“A decision by the leader of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod to censure a pastor for participating in a prayer service for victims of the  Sandy  Hook  school massacre has reopened old wounds for an often politically divided denomination.

“The Rev. Matthew Harrison asked the pastor of a Newtown, Conn., church, the Rev. Rob Morris, to apologize for participating in a public interfaith vigil with President Barack Obama two days after a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at the town’s elementary school.

“In a letter posted on the synod’s website, Harrison said Morris’s participation in the service ‘violated the limits set by Scripture regarding joint worship.’

“Harrison declined a request for comment but explained in his letter that he believed the vigil in the auditorium of Newtown High School to be a worship service because it included ‘prayers and religious readings’ by clergy, some of whom were dressed in ecclesiastical vestments.”

The front page story in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which had a photo of LCMS President Harrison, may have been a factor in getting him to issue a personal apology “for the way the matter was handled, which brought national media attention to the congregation and pastor of Christ Lutheran Church as well as to The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.”

“The constitution of the 2.4 million-member denomination, based in Kirkwood, prohibits members from taking part in worship services that blend the beliefs and practices of Lutherans with those of other faiths and Christian denominations.

“In 2001, a similar moment threatened the administration of Harrison’s predecessor, the Rev. Gerald Kieschnick, after he allowed a pastor, the Rev. David Benke, to take part in an interfaith prayer vigil at Yankee Stadium in the weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks.
“Conservative elements in the church called for the removal of Kieschnick, and Benke was eventually suspended in June 2002. Benke was later reinstated, and the episode dogged Kieschnick’s presidency.


“In his email newsletter, Kieschnick weighed in on the Newtown service this week, writing that ‘the overwhelming majority of people both in and beyond the LCMS who hear the request for apology and/or removal shake their heads in disgust and dismay.’
“The LCMS constitution states that members must denounce ‘unionism’ — mingling of Lutheran and other Christian theology or practice — and ‘syncretism,’ the mingling of Christian and non-Christian theology or practice.

“ ‘I did not believe my participation to be an act of joint worship, but one of mercy and care to a community shocked and grieving an unspeakably horrific event,’ he explained in his letter. ‘However, I recognize others in our church consider it to constitute joint worship and I understand why. I apologize where I have caused offense by pushing Christian freedom too far.’

“Morris did not respond to an interview request.”

“But some pastors and academics — most of whom did not want to speak publicly — reacted angrily to Harrison’s letter.

“‘I would hope that this latest action by Harrison would be sufficient to lead LCMS electors to remove him from the office of president and to replace him with someone who is wiser and more evangelical,’ said the Rev. Matthew Becker, interim pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Michigan City, Ind.

“The Rev. Scott Seidler, pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church in Kirkwood, sent a message to his congregation saying that ‘with thousands of other pastors and church leaders from across our denomination, I find President Harrison’s actions to be both outside the bounds of his denominational authority and inconsistent with the example of Jesus Christ himself.’

“In an email to the Post-Dispatch, Seidler said that Lutherans ‘will not soon forget the heavy-handed reproof of a young pastor who interceded for the little children. It is quite possible Matt Harrison is a one-term president.’

“Please Forgive Me”

Evolutionist Becker of Jesus First and Daystar said after Harrison’s public apology: “I am grateful for this apology. I hope it is able to bring closure to this particular public scandal. I certainly accept it and will do what I can to move forward positively.” Harrison said in his apology that he had sinned and “caused great offense. Please forgive me.”
CN asked both Harrison and Morris on January 2 if Harrison had asked Morris not to participate in the joint worship service. CN called Harrison several times. Harrison did ask another LCMS pastor to tell CN not to comment on the event.

The CN editor has said from the very beginning of this controversy that it is further evidence that the LCMS is seriously theologically divided rather than being a simply politically divided as the press has reported.

Universalism Marches On

“‘ELCA and LCMS Clergy May Teach Muslims and Christian Believe in Same God – UNIVERSALISM MARCHES ON’ the lead story in the January 14, 2013 CN said:
“Pastors and professors in The Lutheran Church in America and Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod are now permitted to maintain that Muslims and Christians believe in the same true God. Dr. David Benke, president of the Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod, insists that ‘The Muslim God is also the true God.’ At an interfaith service held at Yankee Stadium on September 23, 2001 the LCMS official, with the approval of LCMS President Jerry Kieschnick, prayed with Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, Liberal Protestant and Roman Catholics.”

“LCMS Vice-President Wallace Schulz, who maintains that the Holy Trinity is the only true God and only God who actually exists, ruled that Benke had violated Holy Scripture and should be removed from the LCMS clergy roster if he does not repent. Dr. Kurt Marquart defended Schulz’s decision when the case was heard. However, Schulz was overruled and Benke now says he is reconciled with all members of the LCMS’s Council of Presidents, including the LCMS’s President and vice presidents, without having retracted. He says that all members of the LCMS’s COP commune with him. Crisis in Christendom – Seminex Ablaze includes a statement by Schulz.”

“Schulz wrote: ‘This is why I state emphatically and very, very sadly that all and I repeat ALL of the divisiveness we have had in the LCMS as a result of Yankee Stadium can be traced to this (Kieschnick’s) “original” sin.’

“(Page 111 Crisis in Christendom- Seminex Ablaze.) Benke is among those on the LCMS clergy roster who maintain that there should be room on the LCMS clergy roster for those who support evolution and women pastors. LCMS officials have tried to curb publicity about a recent similar interfaith service in Newtown, Connecticut where President Obama participated with clergymen from various religions, including an LCMS pastor who is reported to have spoken at length with LCMS President Harrison and his district president prior to participating in the interfaith service. CN has asked both the LCMS president and Rev. Timothy Yeadon, the president of the LCMS’s New England district, if they urged the LCMS pastor in Newtown not to take part in the interfaith service which included leaders of non-Christians religions. (See separate story in this issue).”

CN has often said much of the ‘mission’ work in the major denomination involves preaching a social Gospel rather than the Saving Gospel because the major denominations no longer insist Christianity is the only saving faith and that non-Christians such as Muslims are lost because the God they worship does not actually exist.”

The January 16, 2012 CN said:

Benke has many supporters in the LCMS. CPH’s Paul McCain has asked Benke to write a book for CPH to publish. Benke, a long time liberal in the LCMS, supported the liberal professors who formed Seminex and then joined ELCA. While McCain opposed Benke when he was LCMS President Barry’s assistant, he supported Benke when Jerry Kieschnick was elected LCMS president. CN sent Benke’s letter, in which he wrote “The Muslim god is also the true God” to LCMS President Kieschnick who did not ask for any retraction. He and the other members of the LCMS’ Council of Presidents continued to commune with Benke.

When Father Richard Neuhaus (a universalist who said Jews worship the true God and no one is in Hell), died, the Concordia Journal of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis published an article by Benke praising Neuhaus. Paul McCain of CPH similarly had words of praise for Neuhaus while opposing some “ham fisted” reply which may come from Christian News.

When the CN editor’s congregation asked the LCMS to adopt a resolution declaring that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven and non-Christians are lost, it did adopt a resolution recommended by the editor’s congregation. The LCMS’ 1972 Statement on Scriptural and Confessional Principles says:

“We believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven and that all who die without faith in Him are eternally damned.” LCMS liberals, including some in the LCMS’ mission department unanimously opposed adoption of this statement. It is in CN’s Crisis In Christendom – Seminex Ablaze.

In recent years the LCMS’ Department of Missions has refused to say that all in the mission department and sent out as missionaries must believe that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven and non-Christians are lost. The LCMS bureaucracy has taken no disciplinary action vs. such Universalists in the LCMS as Concordia, Portland Professor, Herbert Hoefer, who also serves at times under contract from the LCMS mission department. CN has repeatedly documented Hoefer’s universalism.

“Good May Result from Promotion of Universalism in East - LCMS’s Smoldering Embers of Conflict” the lead story of the January 21, 2013 CN reported:

“When a Lutheran Church -Missouri Synod pastor participated in a unionistic and syncretistic worship service with Muslims, Baha’i, Jewish, Roman Catholic, and liberal Protestant clergy, 12 year-old embers of smoldering embers of conflict in the LCMS were rekindled. On September 23, 2001 Dr. David Benke, president of the LCMS’s Atlantic District, with the approval of LCMS President Jerry Kieschnick, prayed and worshipped with Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, Jewish, Roman Catholic, and liberal Protestant church leaders who all were supposed to be praying to the same god. Benke, in his defense, later wrote ‘The Muslim God is also the true God.’ A survey showed that the majority of the members of the LCMS agree with him. They reject the notion that the Holy Trinity is the only true God and that a person is justified by faith alone in the merits of Jesus Christ. “Interfaith Service in Newtown Promoted Universalism’ in the January 14, 2013 Christian News mentioned statistics from “‘Poll: Most Christians’ belief out of sync with Bible’ in the LCMS July 2001 Reporter and reprinted in the July 23, 2001 Christian News.”

“The smoldering embers in the LCMS go back even further than what happened in New York’s Yankee Stadium on September 23, 2001. The embers from the formation of Seminex in 1974 during the LCMS’s great ‘Battle for the Bible’ were never extinguished. Many who supported the theological position of the liberals, who formed Seminex, remained in the LCMS to agitate for women pastors, evolution and the critical views of the Bible condemned as false doctrine not to be tolerated in the LCMS in Resolution 3-09 of the LCMS’s 1973 convention. Dr. Kurt Marquart observed that the LCMS never followed through on 3-09. The LCMS’s 2010 convention again affirmed the 1973 convention resolution. However, no supporter of evolution, higher criticism of the Bible, women pastors, abortion, or homosexuality in the LCMS has ever been disciplined or banned from communion. The embers just keep smoldering in a church today which now has a ‘koinonia’ policy which bans no liberal supporter of evolution, abortion, higher criticism of the Bible, or homosexuality from communion. Only someone who filed charges of false doctrine vs. an LCMS evolutionist or supporter of women pastors has been banned from communion in the LCMS. Some are hoping that good may result in the LCMS from the smoldering of the embers of conflict stirred up by the horrible massacre in Newtown.

“Good May Result from Yankee Stadium Controversy for LCMS in Rekindling 25­Yaer-Old Embers of Conflict” a story in the December 10, 2001 Christian News mentioned in the January 14, 2013 CN said:

“ ‘When two hijacked airplanes reduced New York’s World Trade Center to rubble September 11, they also rekindled 25-year-old embers of conflict in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod,’ says the December 2, 2001, Omaha World Herald in a story titled ‘Lutheran President Criticized for Prayer.’

x x x

“At the 25th anniversary of Seminex, CN questioned some 350 graduates of Seminex, who were certified for the ministry in the LCMS, and professors and clergymen, who signed statements supporting the theology of Seminex, few said they now repudiated the theology of Seminex and affirmed the inerrancy of the Bible, opposed the ordination of women, and denied the teachings of evolution. CN gave the responses to LCMS officials. The Seminexers were permitted to remain on the LCMS clergy roster. Efforts at the 2001 convention of the LCMS by the editor’s congregation to have the convention take action against the Seminex liberals, including Prange and Bretscher, were sidetracked.

“If the ‘embers of conflict’ within the LCMS were stirred up by the fact that Atlantic District President David Benke, with the approval and encouragement of LCMS President Gerald Kieschnick, prayed with Muslims, Jews, Sikhs,  and  other non-Christian at the prayer service held in Yankee Stadium, then the entire matter may end up for the good of the LCMS. Hundreds of thousands of members of the LCMS may finally wake up to the fact that there are many liberal clergymen within the LCMS who still support the anti-scriptural position of Seminex and who should be encouraged to join ECLA if they do not repudiate their liberal theology. The Yankee Stadium prayer services have led to more publicity for the LCMS in the nation’s press that any other event since the founding of Seminex. Perhaps there is still a chance of preventing the LCMS from becoming just one more of America’s ‘anything goes’ churches. Once the true Lutheran in ELCA see that the LCMS does not keep on its roster professors and clergymen, who deny what the Scriptures teach, more of them will leave ELCA and join the LCMS. The Seminexers in the LCMS should join their liberal friends in ECLA and the loyal Lutherans in ELCA should join the LCMS, WELS, ELS or one of the smaller confessional Lutheran church bodies.”

Thursday, February 7, 2013

LCMS Needs Another “Crossroads” Document

Christian News, February 11, 2013

“Liberals, Evolutionists, Unionists, Universalists Not Disciplined - WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE LCMS?” on page one of the February 4, 2013 Christian News noted that now in both the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod churchmen are permitted to pray and worship with Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Sikhs and Bahais and other non-Christians and maintain that “The Muslim God is also the true God.”

The top officials of the LCMS asked that no publicity be given to a unionistic and syncretistic prayer service in Newtown, Connecticut where President Barak Obama spoke and LCMS, Muslim, Bahai, Roman Catholic, Methodist, and United Church of Christ clergy were among those who led in prayer. While some on the Steadfast Lutheran blog initially registered a protest, all reference to the syncretistic service was soon removed. When CN was told LCMS President Harrison and the president of the LCMS’s New England District spoke at some length with the LCMS pastor in Newtown, who prayed with the non-Christians prior to the service, CN contacted LCMS President Harrison and LCMS Pastor Robert Morris, who participated in the service.  CN asked both if Harrison had spoken with the LCMS pastor. Did he ask the pastor not to participate and will any disciplinary action now be taken?

Neither Harrison nor the LCMS pastor would answer the questions. CN again called the office of the LCMS President on January 28. This time CN asked “Has any disciplinary action been taken against Pastor Morris? Will there be a public apology for violating the LCMS’s constitution? Has anyone filed charges against the pastor who publicly prayed with Muslim, Bahai, Jews, and Roman Catholics as was done when Dr. Benke prayed with non-Christians in a service led by Oprah Winfrey in Yankee Stadium on September 23, 2001?” Harrison continued to refuse to answer Christian News.

“Double Standard in LCMS?” an editorial in the February 4, 2013 CN mailed on January 31, 2013, noted that when such a unionistic and syncretistic service took place under the presidency of Jerry Kieschnick many of those associated with the organized conservatives registered a vigorous protest, but they are now remaining silent about the Newtown prayer service. Many signed a statement titled “That They May Be One – A Scriptural and Confessional Statement Concerning Church Fellowship and Public Prayer.” It is in this issue of CN together an editorial in the February 11, 2002 CN titled “Sign On – A new ‘crossroads’ document.”

Various Confessional Lutheran groups during the next few weeks will be holding meetings.  So far none of them have indicated that any of the following issues will be discussed: the syncretistic service in Newtown, CT; a call for a 21st Century Formula of Concord; the promotion of the Emerging Church which appeared in the Concordia Journal of Concordia Seminary, St. Louis; the high praise in the LCMS for Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who denied the resurrection of Christ and other doctrines;  the toleration of LCMS evolutionists and supporters of women’s ordination; and the growing praise in the LCMS of such liberals as Father Richard Neuhaus and Arthur Carl Piepkorn.

“The President’s Polytheism” in the February 1, 2013 The Standard Bearer comments on the unionistic service in Newtown involving President Obama. It says: “But Scripture demands more than the personal belief in and worship of the one true God. The monotheism taught in Scripture also forbids the toleration of other gods and requires the rejecting and condemnation of them.”

The Standard Bearer adds: “At the interfaith meeting President Obama and other Christians, who may not have gone a whoring after other gods, but they did play footsy with those gods. By spiritually flirting with the gods of other religions, these professing Christians did not practice true monotheism as it is defined by God in Scripture. They did not break down the altars of other gods by condemning those other gods and testifying plainly there is only one God. When they spoke of Jesus (President Obama did speak of Him) they did not declare Him to be the only Savior and proclaim that there is no salvation outside of Him.”