Rev. Dr. Matthew Becker, LCMS Clergyman. Exonerated.

concordia-shipwreckIt came out during the North Dakota District Convention that the case against Rev. Dr. Matthew Becker, an LCMS clergyman who teaches at Valparaiso University has ended with the result that he was exonerated of any charge of false teaching.

President Harrison informed the District Convention of the results.  He and his administration have been working hard on the Becker case for some time (since taking office).  The CTCR has also been working on the dissents that Dr. Becker filed (dissenting to the Synod’s stance on women’s ordination and evolution).  In the end, the process has failed to discipline one of the most flagrant dissenters to official LCMS doctrine.

A committee formed by the Dispute Resolution Process has now exonerated him.  The District President of the Northwest District (where Dr. Becker holds membership) has refused to take action against him.  President Harrison has gone on record as speaking against this and expressing his own frustration that he has run out of options as Synod President to discipline him.  The Synod’s legal documents and opinions forbid the Synod President from dealing with an individual member (CCM ruling after Newtown made sure of that).

The chief remaining action is to of course report it to the 2016 Convention of the LCMS and ask for the Convention to take action.

As for me, the Becker case has been a sort of litmus test on how the LCMS can handle things with regards to false doctrine.  This is sad, but shows how utterly broken the Synod is to handle even the most open and shut cases.  Why has FiveTwo not been taken up the Dispute Resolution Process – this is why.

The Synod in Convention can choose to do nothing.  The Synod will then become an umbrella overarching various theologies, one true, many false (which it apparently already is).  This of course does not glorify God or hallow His Name.

The Synod in Convention needs to realize that the mechanism which it has to deal with these issues is utterly broken.

Pray for those involved.  Dr. Becker, evolution and women’s ordination has won in LCMS Inc.’s court.  Lord have mercy.

Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.   – James 3:1

But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.  – 2 Peter 2:1-3

About Pastor Joshua Scheer

Pastor Joshua Scheer is the Senior Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He is also the Editor-in-chief of Brothers of John the Steadfast. He oversees all of the work done by Steadfast Lutherans. He is a regular host of Concord Matters on KFUO.

Pastor Scheer and his lovely wife Holly (who writes and manages the Katie Luther Sisters) have four children and enjoy living in Wyoming.


Comments

Rev. Dr. Matthew Becker, LCMS Clergyman. Exonerated. — 299 Comments

  1. Can you please provide evidence from the LCMS Bylaws as to why that would matter? The CCM opinion was issued at least six months before the decision of the Referral Panel. I find it impossible to believe that the NW District President and his appointed Referral Panel were uninformed of this binding CCM opinion on the very matter they were considering.

  2. @Martin R. Noland #30

    “The system can be fixed, and even if it isn’t, one faulty case does not a heterodox Synod make.”

    Pr. Noland,

    Knowing that I hold your analysis in high regard, please hear this in amicable tones. I agree that any system can be fixed, with adequate work and will toward that goal. My question is in regard to the second half of your concluding statement.

    Precisely how many heretics, of what relative gravity, can we espouse as a synod, before we become heterodox? Dr. Blecker is certainly a high profile and titillating figure, but he is far from the only one of his kind. Without even engaging the issue of women’s ordination, just how many Syncretistis, Evolutionists, Universalists, Higher Critics, and Enthusiasts can we endure before we’re no longer in reality what we claim to be on paper?

    How many pastors, protected by their district presidents, preach and practice rank Enthusiasm? How many worship freely alongside the clergy of other gods, and teach others to do the same? How many teach or accommodate Evolution, particularly among the young and impressionable? How many are teaching that everyone of relatively good will and work will be saved, regardless of their faith in Christ, and apart from Word and Sacrament? How many are teaching a low view of Holy Scripture, deconstructing it into a patchwork quilt of socially normed fables? How many have abandoned the mass, replacing historic Christian worship with the forms and content of Pentecostals, and taught their people to seek God through their emotions and inner locutions, rather than the Word and Sacraments of Christ?

    I travel a great deal, and have seen all these things, in varying intensity, all over the country. Going district by district, one attempts to side step one heresy, and finds another. At what point does someone stand up in the midst of the assembly and declare that we are not what we claim to be? I do hold out hope that the LCMS can be reformed, but not without some brutal honesty and soul searching. If we never approach the kind of contrite godly sorrow that we should have for our corporate sins, how will we ever repent and believe the Gospel?

    My sense is that time is long past, for Missouri to hear the Law in all its terrible rigor, so that it might become horrified by what it is doing. Only then will it be prepared to hear the Gospel in all its sweet solace.

  3. @Erich Heidenreich #2
    It might not matter; and if not, then I would agree that the Referral Panel did not properly take the recent CCM opinion into account. However, many organizations follow the reasonable practice of adjudicating each case in accordance with the rules that were in place at the time when it was initiated. I do not know whether that is how the LCMS operates; and if so, I do not know whether this particular complaint against Rev. Becker was filed before or after the CCM opinion was issued.

  4. @Brad #3
    Brad . . . I just checked our Associate Member list and we have one Brad in it, but since I don’t know your last name, I’m wondering if you are already in the ACELC. If you aren’t, I would encourage you to join our cause officially by becoming an Associate Member . . . and that invitation applies to everyone who reads and follows BJS and supports what we are doing in the ACELC.

    Here’s the link: http://www.acelc.net/message2.php?formID=728

  5. In any case, I believe the CCM opinion sets a very dangerous precedent.

    The CCM opinion states: “Doctrinal resolutions and statements, including those adopted prior to 1977, have binding force on individual as well as congregational members of Synod.”

    Yet, our Confessions state: “First, then, we receive and embrace with our whole heart the Prophetic and Apostolic Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the pure, clear fountain of Israel, which is the only true standard by which all teachers and doctrines are to be judged.” (FC, SD, Rule and Norm, par 3)

    We must not rely on synodically produced resolutions and statements as the standard by which we judge teachers and doctrine. There are synodical resolutions many of us would argue are not in full agreement with Scripture, and we expect our pastors to hold to the Scriptural Rule and Norm, regardless what resolutions are passed by a democratic majority in conventions. Unfortunately, this is the principle Becker claims he is appealing to.

    So, how do we rule on such matters and exercise church discipline? We can’t simply “agree to disagree” on what Scripture teaches, can we?

    Pastor Rolf Preus answered my question wisely: “Those who are given the responsibility to pass judgment must do so on the basis of the clear Scriptures. They may appeal to synodically adopted statements, not as evidence of what the Bible says, but rather to confirm that the synod agrees with the clear Scriptures. But the Scriptures alone must settle the matter.”

  6. @Erich Heidenreich #6
    I completely and totally agree with you and Pastor Preus regarding the CCM opinion. It effectively amends the LCMS Constitution by incorporating all doctrinal resolutions into Article II, without going through the prescribed (and intentionally onerous) amendment process specified in Article XV. It is 1959/1962 all over again, but in reverse – the Synod in convention will now need to overturn an unconstitutional CCM opinion. I have drafted a detailed resolution to that end, but am not sure what to do with it.

    Constitutionality aside, it is unwise to equate doctrinal resolutions adopted by a simple majority vote at a convention – which are always subject to change by a simple majority vote at a future convention – with the Synod’s confession that never changes. Besides, Article VII.1 explicitly allows member congregations to ignore any and all Syond resolutions that they deem to be contrary to the Word of God, or even just “inexpedient”; and Article VIII.C clearly states that matters of doctrine and conscience are decided only by the Word of God, not by majority vote.

    I also agree that what is needed is a more clear-cut process for exercising church discipline on the basis of Article II. Doctrinal resolutions should be informative in such a process, but not ultimately decisive. The existing DRP is clearly broken.

  7. > let the thing die. Talk to a millenial. That is what they will tell you is the only answer.

    They say this kind of thing all the time about all kinds of things, then turn around and build childishly naive and authoritarian structures and processes.

    Not much wisdom to be found there.

    It seems likely to me that the orthodox core of the church is simply shrinking (for now, in the US). This is the most obvious and simplest conclusion to draw.

  8. @mbw #8

    You may be right but the recent vicars we’ve had around here from both seminaries seem orthodox, and the 1960-70’s graduates are retiring.

    I’m a pre-millenial (actually pre-boomer) 🙂

  9. Rev David Mueller I have no idea what you are trying to say to me. Most poor people on public assistance are WHITE and all of your connections to Hitler and Nietzsche are not helpful.
    Planned Parenthood is a group that helps people with professional counselors and since you have not worked with any of these counselors please stops acting if you know something about an organization that you have never interacted with them.
    Another reason this group blog is worthless is that people just call people names and reference them to Hitler and other put downs. Get serious and do not talk down to a baptized, confirmed, LCMS member who was taught by a number of Kansas’s pastors where I grew up. You should be making connections so that we can go on from here not regress into some stereotyped idea made up by you to put me down. You would get further if you use Gospel to lift people up not stereotype them into some place where they feel that you are attacking them. The priesthood of all believers which are in the churches where I have been a member would not call a pastor who uses the law to accuse people of some stereotyped breaking of the law as if that would make things better for the person. The proper use of law and Gospel should be helpful to the Church not a way to ignore and hurt people when you do not like what they are saying.

  10. @Rev. David Mueller #44
    @Don Soeken #36
    You recommend to poor, presumably minority women that they go to an organization founded upon the principles of Margaret Sanger and eugenics? That is to say, the philosophical worldview of Adolph Hitler and Friedrich Nietzche? REally? I pray our dear Lord to open your eyes and your mind to see how racist PP really is–as the nation’s largest abortion provider, they have nearly single-handedly made blacks in America the *2nd* largest minority. And has it done the surviving black community in America *any* good? Kyrie, Eleison!

    @Don Soeken #12
    Rev David Mueller I have no idea what you are trying to say to me. Most poor people on public assistance are WHITE and all of your connections to Hitler and Nietzsche are not helpful.
    Planned Parenthood is a group that helps people with professional counselors and since you have not worked with any of these counselors please stops acting if you know something about an organization that you have never interacted with them.

    Planned Parenthood is a group funded by the government, the corporations, charities from which it extorts money [see the Komen story] and doing abortions, not necessarily in that order.
    Planned Parenthood’s connections to the philosophy of eugenics, of Sanger, et al “are not helpful.”

    Since you claim to have worked with PP “counselors”… what percentage of “poor women’ are encouraged to keep their babies or consider adoption as opposed to PP’s business: murder by abortion? Where are PP’s clinics mainly located? Who goes there? Have you been to them or do you only see these “counselors” in your clean offices on the “white” side of town?

  11. @Don Soeken #12

    Re Planned Parenthood, gospel, other:

    Not much other than law for those who advocate and perform abortions. The Sanger/eugenics roots and ?itler references are real, but not essential to this discussion.

    Feel free to leave this discussion.

  12. From Facebook again:

    “When a public teacher on the roster of Synod can without consequence publicly advocate the ordination of women (even participate vested in the installation of an ELCA clergy person), homosexuality, the Errancy of the Bible, the historical critical method, open communion, communion with the reformed, evolution, and more, then the public confession of the synod is meaningless. I am saying that if my Synod does not change its inability to call such a person to repentance, and remove such a teacher where there is not repentance, then we are liars, and our confession is meaningless. I do not want to belong to such a synod, much less lead it. Matt Harrison”

  13. @Matt Mills #16
    You would have to ask President Harrison. My guess is that by going through the DRP the DP is shielded from charges. That may also be part of President Harrison’s frustration. As a member of the NOW District is certainly is part of mine.

  14. Most of my career was at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in SE Washington DC. Most of the counselors that I worked with including myself always brought up the saving the child and gave all of the options to do this. I do not know where you all are getting this information from the medical community that we advise mothers to abort their babies. It is simple not true that professional counselors do this. Planned Parenthood and the Federal Government have professional counselors who use their training to do what is best for the client and her unborn child. It may be a great political story to knock me and PP but as a religious person the truth is more important than trying to make a political point to get elected or raise money on the backs of Planned Parenthood.

    If this group treats baptized, confirmed LCMS Lutherans like they do I wonder how you you treat the souls that show up at your church who are sinners and need to be saved not condemned. If you condemn then when they show up to worship they will not come back to your church.

  15. According to Planned Parenthood’s most recent Fact Sheet, it served 7,021 prenatal clients in 2009 while committing 332,278 abortions and making only 977 adoption referrals.

    http://www.plannedparenthood.org/files/4013/9611/7243/Planned_Parenthood_Services.pdf

    The document states that PP had just under 3 million patients. So, as you can pretty clearly see by the numbers, PP is far busier killing babies than caring for pregnant women or referring for adoption services. Supporting PP is advocating the murder of the most vulnerable in society.

  16. @Don Soeken #19

    > condemn

    Planned Parenthood is condemned for murdering babies and is not welcome in our churches.

    Individual sinners (all people on earth) are more than welcome. All we have though are God’s Word and Sacrament. God condemns murder and lying, and offers forgiveness.

    Repentance and faith are not usually indicated by _defending_ sin.

  17. Pr. Newman,

    Thank you for the kind invitation. I have been deliberating upon it much in the last few days.

  18. @Don Soeken #19
    “We”. So you have been stung by the Law presented here. Instead of protesting against it, repent. The Good News of Christ is for you, too, as much as for the rest of us rotten miserable sinners here.

  19. @Harry Edmon #17
    I strongly suspect you are spot on here. The Handbook is a labyrinth, and there are still places for a heresy-sympathizing DP (and others) to hide within it.

  20. I again say that I suspect that anyone in your congregation who has views not consistent with yours will leave your church and go where the Gospel is taught. Your speaking to me as if I am a child is typical of the members of this group. Do you treat all baptized, confirmed, lifetime members of LCMS with this much contempt after they talk about their ideas that my be different than yours? I have been a member of LCMS for 73 years and have had Gospel orientated pastors in Kansas and Maryland. I have supported many LCMS congregations who are 360 degrees different than this group of pastors who treat people with questions as if they are the scum of the earth. What would Jesus do with a group that treats followers like they were dirt?

  21. @Don Soeken #26

    You assume that the Gospel is not taught in our churches. Likely it is, along with the Law. However, in many other congregation the Law is not taught, and the Gospel isn’t really the Gospel, but moral therapeutic deism. So even if people leave our churches, I just have a feeling that are going to go somewhere where the Gospel (the whole council of God) is reduced to almost nothing. So if they don’t like ‘us’, are they really going to find anything better?

    And 360 degrees is a full circle, so your’ be right back to the same original direction…

    Want to keep playing word games?

  22. @Don Soeken #19
    You reference the best interests of the client and unborn child.

    My question is: When is it in the “best” interest of the unborn child to terminate it? At the moment of conception it also becomes a Living Soul in need of our loving physical and Spiritual care and nuturing.

  23. @Don Soeken #26
    The reason you’ve been, as you say, assaulted, is because you persist in supporting and defending the work of Planned Parenthood, which IS, as everyone knows, in the business of abortion – and was founded on the principle of eugenics. There are plenty of other places besides Planned Parenthood where you could send these poor girls you are helping, but instead you choose to use a provider that makes much of their money killing babies. Just because they don’t abort the baby of every girl who walks through the door does not negate the fact that they make money, and lots of it, doing that very thing.

    There is a big difference between calling you on the carpet for referring girls to Planned Parenthood where they might be encouraged to abort their child and dealing with compassion with a woman in our congregations who might be facing a pregnancy crisis of one sort or another.

    If faced with that situation I would encourage the girl to give birth and put the child up for adoption if she didn’t think she could care for it properly. I would NEVER encourage her to go to Planned Parenthood . . . AND, if she told me she had decided to abort her baby, I would tell her that she was plotting a murder, because that’s what it is. So long as the mother is seeking to do the right thing I would support her and stand up for her, and counsel her about making better decisions moving on down the road, but if she wanted to murder her child I would not support such a decision and would tell her why.

    Can a woman be forgiven for such a thing? Of course, but while I still have the opportunity to turn her away from doing it in the first place, that’s the course of action I would follow.

  24. @Don Soeken #28
    Don, you have been putting rabbit trails up – off topic. Please back to the topic of the news announcement.

    And if you are concerned about how people are treated, thank you for your concern – you may want to read the Gospels again and pay attention to how Jesus treats those who teach false doctrine. Also I do find it more than ironic to someone who is an advocate or Planned Parentood to care about how people are treated. Those babies killed by the Planned Parenthood folks never eve get a chance to have harsh words spoken to them…

    Kick the dog. Comfort the Child. (if anyone is looking for a presentation on this come to our conference where Pr. Wolfmueller will be addressing it)

  25. Instead of knocking me for making referrals perhaps your group could open some more clinics for people who need help when they face a pregnancy. I guess you do not realize that the clinics for woman are limited to a few in each community. Some communities do not have clinics or doctors to see patients. These clinics that you want them to go to do not exists in many communities. So my suggestion is that it does no good to belittle me a life long LCMS member when there are not enough clinics to serve the population. Get your group to sponsor some clinics all over the US and tell the health community about the place where woman can get help when they have questions and need care while they carry their baby. This is what Jesus would do and I do not think that he would just complain about the healthcare workers but offer to expand their services to support the people. By the way I get you point that you have problems with one of the major health care groups for woman. It is time for you all to come to their aid and fund some clinics to provide services to uninsured woman. “Ye shall know them by their love.” (not their constant attention to pointing out how holy their point of view is at the expense of the poor uninsured woman.) Get a program to provide more clinics please.

  26. @Don Soeken #32
    You wrote: “Ye shall know them by their love.” I think perhaps you are quoting the old youth campfire song, “they will know we are Christians by our love” . . . I believe the Scripture quote you were looking for is that you will know (whether or not they are Christians) by their fruits, that is, by what they teach and practice. Planned Parenthood, as was shown by their own statistics, performed over 330,000 abortions last year. I’m thinking their “fruits” may be telling a different story from what you are telling about them. And, in their magnanimity, at the very same time they performed this huge number of abortions, they only served about 7,000 prenatal patients and 977 adoptions.

    Sorry, the numbers don’t add up. Planned Parenthood is evil. Period. No Christian should ever send a pregnant woman there for help, EVER!

  27. i just realized that spending any more time on this site is not good for one’s health. By subjecting myself to non Christlike pastors is making me sick. The devil dwells here.

  28. @Don SOEKEN #34
    So, the devil dwells here because we are telling you it isn’t a Christlike thing to send pregnant women to Planned Parenthood, which makes millions of dollars a year killing children? Would it be nicer if we said that you have your reality and we have ours, and just so long as we both use the name of Jesus a lot in our conversations it’s OK to join hands and sing kumbaya and pretend there is nothing wrong? If you are sending pregnant women to PP for help you need to repent so that forgiveness might be freely applied . . . and then you need to no longer do it.

  29. Don –

    I had an earlier posting wiped out . . . puters, like all of us, are quite fallible.

    Rather than send the several young women (and men) to P2 in the situations I faced, I did the hard work. I attended the Holy Baptisms of the children whose lives P2 would have snuffed out in the name of compassion.

    Abortion not only has deleterious effects upon a woman’s body, but half or a bit more of its victims are females . . .

    Exactly how is that helping out the fairer sex?

    You really need to examine your own train of thinking. I, nor anyone here, needs to apologize for offending your false sense of sensibilities. If anything, and were you perfectly honest, you would apologize for barging onto this site and insisting we agree with you.

    But I suspect you lack that kind of courage.

  30. @Drew Newman #36
    If you are sending pregnant women to PP for help you need to repent so that forgiveness might be freely applied . . . and then you need to no longer do it.

    At 73 Mr Soeken has probably achieved a well heeled retirement from his occupation of sending pre-born babies to death doctors. He’s objecting to our telling him that his nice life is built on the bodies/body parts of little ones who don’t even have a grave. He has been a partner with the likes of the “kill them after they are born” butcher who was only prosecuted last year when he killed a mother.

    Being “life long LCMS” is not a sure ticket into heaven, Mr Soeken. You’ll get that by repentance, after you get over being furious that some one dared call you a sinner. Now I think we are way off topic, [what was the topic here?] but you should listen to some of these Pastors. They are concerned for your soul.

  31. It’s time for the LCMS to clean house before we become just like ELCA!. I also know of a false prophet who rebuked me for standing by LCMS teachings about homosexuality. THEY should join ELCA.

  32. @Don Soeken #26
    Come for a visit, Mr. Soeken, and find out. Seriously. Trinity, Goodland, IN, on U.S. 24, just west of the Casey’s, 8:30 a.m. Sundays, or St. John’s, rural Rensselaer–2723 N, 700 West, 10:45 a.m. Ask my people what they think of the Gospel I preach, and how I deal with individuals. Also, if you’d like, call any of the pastors in my circuit, ask them how I handle things. Listen to what I preach. Find out where I’ve been and what I’ve done in my own lifetime. Oh, and remember, you have to meet me face-to-face according to the Synodical Handbook, right? Otherwise, you’ve violated Matt. 18, right? (See, it is *sorta* connected, Pastor Scheer! 🙂 )

    You have made some rather sweeping accusations about me, personally. I haven’t made any about *you*. I’ve asked you to consider the foundations of PP, which are public (though unfortunately not common) knowledge.

    what I find (at times frustratingly) ironic is how judgmental people get about us Confessionals “being so judgmental”.

    Thus it shall be. Josh, I apologize for following the rabbit trail–this is the last comment I’ll make on it.

  33. @helen #38

    To your and Pr. Scheer’s invitation to return to the original subject, I think Mr. Soeken’s posts here have been enlightening and indicative.

    The consequence of not rooting out false teachers in our midst, is that false teachers form false disciples, many of which think themselves holy even as they engage in the most heinous of sins. Like his birds of a feather in liberal churches, Mr. Soeken shows how entrenched he is in false doctrine, apparently unable to to hear God’s Law anymore… and consequently, unable to receive the Gospel by faith and repentance. Such souls are being formed at an alarming pace, particularly given our modern culture’s lost ability to think critically and logically about anything, let alone Holy Scripture.

    Dr. Becker’s continued presence on the clergy roster of the LCMS is more than just a scandal to our communion– it provides a sense of comfort to those who live out heresies. While women’s ordination has fewer direct and tangible consequences, syncretism, evolution, homosexuality, disregard/deconstruction of Holy Scripture, and abortion are direct crimes against God and His Law. These sins become mortal in those who refuse to repent of them, and these false teachers are guiding such souls to an eternity of perdition.

  34. @Drew Newman #30
    There’s a great bit toward the end of “A Canticle for Leibowitz”, can’t remember the author’s name, written in the 60’s, I think. A priest is desperately trying to convince a lady not to euthanize her baby, even though they’re both suffering from radioactive fallout–(I may not have the details exactly right, here–been a while since I read it.) The priest (abbot of the Leibowitz monastery) even gets in trouble for punching the euthanasia “doctor” in the scrum that ends up taking place. Pastor Newman, have you ever read the book?

    The Church *will* remain true to God’s Word, for that is its very nature. The question is, will *we* remain faithful, will the Church remain among *us*? It matters wrt the issue of abortion, and evolution, and women’s ordination, and the Historical-Critical method, and homosexuality, and all this whole pile of sinful mess, because it *all* has to do with Who Christ Is, and What He has Done–“for us men and for our salvation.” It all matters, because “all theology is Christology.”

  35. I am a second career seminarian on his way to Fort Wayne in just over a month. I begin my studies this next June taking summer Greek. I apprecaite your time in reading my concerns here.

    I learned about the Becker debacle exactly two weeks ago yesterday during morning bible studies prior to the divine service. Since then I have been deeply distressed. I have spoken with President Harrison on the matter and remain concerned. I’m in the NW district, and am a member of Redeemer Lutheran lead by a conservative confessional Pastor I deeply love and respect, Pr Eric Lange. I interviewed with Pr. Linneman several months ago as all prospective seminarian students do with my wife at my side. I found him congenial, friendly, and kind. I went in knowing he was not a friend to conservatives in this dist, and left liking the man all the same. Imagine my dissapointment. I am not swift to condemn him as are so many, but the evidence before me reflects poorly and leaves me, as I said, troubled.

    My family has sacrificed in ways I cannot explain in a public forum to allow me to finish an undergrad degree in biblical theology all in prep for what we are about to do in March, and we are sacrificing once again to make the move. I do so with deep conviction of the love of God, and with the hope of being some use in the hands of our Lord in His church. I say all this to help the reader to understand how devestating it has been for me to hear of Dr. Becker walking away, not just exhonerated, but endorsed (for that is what failing to disipline him in effect is). I of course realize that no church body is without sin, however there is a difference between being imperfect in one’s theology and embracing rank heresy. I am now uncertain if I am doing the correct thing in seeking ordination within the LCMS. Pr. Harrison says that I am, and promises me that no other theological body in the nation has what we have. I love Lutheran theology and am not in doubt of the confessions, however I am outright afraid of aligning myself with a heterodox church. Any man, who would not fear this, should fear his own lack of conviction.

    I am moving forward on Pr. Harrison’s suggestion and my pastor’s urging. Pr. Lange is an example to me of what I aspire to. A man who loves God so clearly through his example of caring for his people and teaching the clear unadultured word of God that I know without a doubt that such men exist in our synod. I am in prayer with our Lord that He help Pr. Harrison and uplift the faithful men of the Holy Ministry that are in our synod to support him in casting out this spirit of dogmatic laxness that has allowed our synod to sink to the same level as a country farmers outhouse. I pray that I be allowed to be part of the solution. Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.

  36. @James Beadle #44
    James,
    Most of the pastors who write for BJS are alumni of CTS in Fort Wayne. It is a good place to learn the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions as well as practices which are in accord with them.

    Your fear is good, use it to motivate you to study more than even what is required. A time is coming and is now here when men of God must confess the faith once delivered to the saints – even to those within their own denomination.

  37. @James Beadle #44

    I haven’t been reading the comments as much, since I have been terribly busy studying! I saw your post, James, and I am from the NOW district and attend the Fort Wayne sem (I’m a first year and second career like you). When you get here this summer look for me. Best place to find me will be at gemütlichkeit in the commons each Friday evening after 4:00PM. You will be out of Greek class by that time and “the Nord” will allow you to have the evening hours on that day off from study. 🙂 Lord willing I will see you this summer!

    P.S.—If you can buy “Fundamental Greek Grammar” by James Voeltz (4th edition) now. Start making vocabulary cards for at least the first ten chapters. Also, you will want to learn all six principle parts of the verbs (see the back pages of Voeltz for those). The more you can memorize now, the better off you will be… don’t forget those principle parts!

  38. I will look for you gratefully Jim. A man cannot have too many friends. 🙂

    I do have a borrowed copy of Voelz book, he was my Pastor’s doctoral father. I have already started working on the vocab and have the verb forms mostly memorized, but I am very grateful to you for your advice. I do not memorize as easily as I did when I was a younger man.

  39. QUOTE OF THE DAY

    “A time is coming and is now here when men of God must confess the faith once delivered to the saints – even to those within their own denomination.”
    –Pastor Joshua Scheer

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