As of our last count there were six Concordia Chicago (formerly Concordia River Forest) professors who had signed a petition supporting the Marxist-anarchist William Ayers. The count should be shrinking under the supervision of Dr. Johnson, the president of Concordia Chicago, but instead it is growing. There are now at least seven signatures from the Concordia faculty on the petition. For the petition click here and check out these signatures: #309, #588, #1285, #1474, #1499, #1589 and now #3909.
Ayers is the avowed fire-bombing radical from the 1960’s who is now “fire-bombing” culture and our Concordia faculty with his godless, pagan philosophy of education. The petition that our professors signed supports both him personally and his philosophy of education. (Click here for our previous post on why these signatures are alarming.)
In his response to our request that these signatures be recanted Dr. Johnson said that the professors are within their academic freedom to sign such a petition. He also said that they should do so privately and not as a member of the institution. Apparently that is not happening because this latest signature, one full week after Dr. Johnson’s response, bears the name of our university. This reflects on each of us who are members of the LCMS. Concordia University is not an independent institution. It is an institution under the control of the LCMS.
Supervision of doctrine and practice is one of the primary tasks of our pastors and presidents. There is a struggle over supervision going on in our synod and sadly there is an attitude of tolerance and openess on the highest level of supervision in our synod including the presidency of Concordia University, the presidency of the synod and the presidency of most of our districts. Dr. Johnson says there is no matter of supervision here because these professors do not teach Ayers godless philosophy of education. That makes the matter quite simple then. If they do not support his philosophy of education, they should be quite willing to remove their names from the petition. Concerning our synodical president, I cannot remember hearing in any significant address or reading in any writing of his any meaningful call for the kind of supervision of the Gospel that is described in scripture. These are not evil men. They just simply do not care to ruffles feathers as Jesus, Paul, John, (et. al.) did when it comes to taking a stand for the purity of the Gospel.
Academic freedom is not the issue here. The issue is the Gospel. Academic freedom does not trump the Gospel. These signatures, no matter how much these professors became smitten with William Ayers as a professor, are a compromising of the Gospel. William Ayers is an unrepentant breaker of the fifth commandment and peddles a philosophy of education that is not built on a Christian worldview of authority, service and duty but instead is built on a pagan, Marxist worldview of revolution, absolute freedom and defiance. It is outrageous that our professors of education would be allowed to endorse such a thing. Hopefully, as we did, you will contact the president’s office and let him know that this is not the kind of supervision that we want in our universities. Concordia’s phone number is 708/771-8300. Please let us know if you call and what sort of response you get.