LCMS Liberals Write “An Open Letter to Pr. Dan Gilbert of the Northern Illinois District of the LCMS,” by Pr. Rossow

The Northern Illinois District (NID) just concluded a fairly conservative convention as the NID goes including a call for Matthew Becker to repent. Apparently that got liberals in the LCMS worked up. Here is a letter they wrote to President Gilbert.

An Open Letter to Pr. Dan Gilbert, President of the Northern Illinois District of the LCMS

Dear President Gilbert,

In your address to the 2015 District Convention you said that, in all likelihood, most congregations in your District are declining numerically. On an average, three congregations per year are disbanding. You also mentioned that, according to one projection, the LCMS will go from its current 6000 congregations to 1,000 in 30 years time. You also pointed out that the average age of our members is probably above 60. In your concluding statement you said that the possibility of a congregation closing was dreadful and that the possibility of thousands of LCMS pastors with no flock, no call, and no income is staggering.

Given how dire the condition of the church is in your district and elsewhere, we are dismayed that you permitted Resolution 1-5, “To Call the Rev. Becker to Repentance and Implore the N.W. District President, the Rev. Paul Linnemann to Continue Exercising Ecclesiastical Discipline,” to come to the floor of the 2015 Northern Illinois District Convention. As far as we know, there has been only one official, outstanding case against Dr. Becker, and this case was recently dismissed by a Referral Panel in the Northwest District. That panel, comprised of three circuit counselors who were chosen by blind draw, concluded that the facts in that case (having to do with Dr. Becker’s support for the ordination of women) did not constitute a basis to expel him from the clergy roster of the synod. The Referral Panel’s decision not to proceed against Dr. Becker terminated the matter. Period.

May we remind you of Synod Bylaw 2.17.5.3:

Whether made by the district president or the Referral Panel, if the determination is not to initiate formal proceedings, the district president shall in writing so inform the accuser, any other district president involved, and the involved member, which shall terminate the matter.

That any of us knows about this case is the result of the inappropriate action of President Harrison to have given publicity to it at the recent North Dakota District Convention. Only in the wake of President Harrison’s public remarks (which were widely shared on the internet) and his now infamous Facebook posting, which went directly against the spirit and letter of Bylaw 2.17.5.3, did people throughout the synod become aware that Dr. Becker had been cleared of this charge against him. Obviously, the Referral Panel did not think that Dr. Becker’s views on the ordination of women form a sufficient reason to expel him from the clergy roster.

Dr. Becker is not guilty of advocating false doctrine. He has merely published some writings in which he levels criticism against the synod’s practice of restricting the office of pastor to men. He has followed the process of dissent in our synod, a process on which the synod has placed no time restrictions. Moreover, Dr. Becker’s dissent does not rise to the level of rejecting any of the articles of faith, as these are clearly exhibited in the Lutheran Confessions. In fact, we think that the biblical and confessional content of Dr. Becker’s dissent ought to be discussed more fairly and given greater consideration within the Synod than it has been so far.

It was totally inappropriate for you to allow Rev. Roger Gallup, a member of the floor committee that brought this resolution to the floor, to give a special address to the convention in order to publicly accuse Dr. Becker of being a false teacher. Rev. Gallup even boasted that the entire floor committee that brought the resolution to the NID convention was unified in labeling Dr. Becker a false teacher. That committee had no standing, legitimacy, or authority to make such a public judgment against a member of the synod from another district. If individuals have concerns about Dr. Becker’s public teaching, these concerns should be conveyed to Dr. Becker himself and to Dr. Becker’s district president, who alone has ecclesiastical supervision of Dr. Becker.

May we remind you of Synod Bylaw 2.16.3c:

Even if the alleged violation of Article XIII of the Constitution is considered to be “public,” this provision of Matthew 18:15 shall be followed. The reputation of all parties to the matter is to be protected as commanded in the Eighth Commandment.

We have learned that no one from the NID ever met face-to-face with Dr. Becker to discuss their concerns with him privately. Dr. Becker’s reputation has certainly not been protected in your district. He was publicly attacked at your district convention, behind his back, and without any prior communication with him. And now your attack against Dr. Becker has been widely shared on the internet. We believe that you and your district have broken the Eighth Commandment. Rev. Gallup’s speech and the resolution against Dr. Becker are slanderous. Neither that speech nor that resolution should have ever been allowed at your convention.

Many people within our synod are putting the worst construction on Dr. Becker’s dissent (“He’s guilty of false teaching!”) rather than putting the best construction on it (“He’s trying to lead us to study the Scriptures and the Confessions more carefully and to evaluate current synodical practices and resolutions in light of the Scriptures and the Confessions!”). Like many professors at Christian colleges and universities, Dr. Becker is daily faced with young people who have given up on the church and may also be in the process of losing their faith. It is estimated that less than 10% of the Millennial Generation have any regular connection with church. Research has also shown that young people are particularly turned off by what they consider to be the anti-science, anti-women, and anti-gay positions of the church.

Dr. Becker shares with you the sadness that if this generation is not reached with the Gospel, such a failure will have eternal consequences for them and devastating results in our congregations. He questions not the essential doctrine of the church concerning God’s creation, our sin, Christ’s work of atonement, salvation by grace through faith alone, the means of grace, and the ongoing work of the Spirit. Rather, he challenges those peripheral, problematic positions of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, that are not clearly settled in the Scriptures and that have been decided merely by majority votes at synod conventions.

In your message to the delegates at the NID convention, you said that the definition of madness is to keep doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Thus, you advocate New Starts – New Believers. Many of us believe that now is also the time to revisit previous convention resolutions that we think are misguided and even harmful to Christ’s mission in the world today, especially as the mission relates to our children and grandchildren.

In Christ,

The undersigned,

Rev. Dr. Robert Schmidt
Deacon Dr. Douglas Morrison
Rev. Bill Warren
Dr. Don Soeken
Rev. Arnie Voight
Rev. Tyrus Miles
Rev. J. L. Precup
Rev. Dr. Hans Spalteholz
Dr. Elizabeth Goodine
Rev. Dale Koehneke
Rev. Paul Schmidt
Elizabeth McAdams
Marie Steinbeck
Rev. Richard Hill
Rev. Adam Kegel
Rev. Gary Koopmann
Rev. Roger Stuenkel
Rev. Dale Krueger
Rev. Richard Patt
Rev. Robert Martinek
Rev. Dell Schomburg
Rev. Dr. Norman Metzler
Rev. John Hannah
Atty. Myron Allenstein
Rev. Robert Burke
Dr. Jerrald Pfabe
Rev. Edward Scott
Rev. Dr. Christian Just
Rev. Thomas Van der Bloemen
David Domsch
Rev. William J. Meyer
Dr. William Oehlkers
Rev. Harold Hitzmann
Carol Schmidt
Ann Murphy
Tim Ihssen (CM)
Rev. Don Mulfinger
Georgia Schubert
David Crisi (CM)
Rev. Karl Wyneken
Rev. Douglas Johnstone
Rev. Nolan Bremer
Rev. Jerry Groth
Vida Stanton

 

About Pastor Tim Rossow

Rev. Dr. Timothy Rossow is the Director of Development for Lutherans in Africa. He served Bethany Lutheran Church in Naperville, IL as the Sr. Pastor for 22 years (1994-2016) and was Sr. Pastor of Emmanuel Lutheran in Dearborn, MI prior to that. He is the founder of Brothers of John the Steadfast but handed off the Sr. Editor position to Rev. Joshua Scheer in 2015. He currently resides in Ocean Shores WA with his wife Phyllis. He regularly teaches in Africa. He also paints watercolors, reads philosophy and golfs. He is currently represented in two art galleries in the Pacific Northwest. His M Div is from Concordia, St. Louis and he has an MA in philosophy from St. Louis University and a D Min from Concordia, Fort Wayne.

Comments

LCMS Liberals Write “An Open Letter to Pr. Dan Gilbert of the Northern Illinois District of the LCMS,” by Pr. Rossow — 240 Comments

  1. @Phil Melanchthon #200

    Hey “Phil”,

    Becker also makes the following comment:

    It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that some of my accusers secretly desire the reintroduction of slavery in the US, just so that they could then insist, in a way they can’t do now, that slaves need to be obedient to their masters!

    Therefore, Becker has decided to use an accusatory race card against those who oppose his flawed theology. What say you, “Phil.” Do you suppose Becker has approached those he speaks about and confronted each of them face-to-face with this horrific accusation?

  2. @ Philip #200

    Dr. Becker has opened discussions about women’s ordination, homosexuality, creation and evolution, the inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture, and proper methods for Biblical interpretations and most recently the Athanasian Creed. I have discussed these issues with Lutherans my whole life. What Dr. Becker teaches is contrary to the discussions we’ve had and what I’ve learned from my Missouri Synod teachers.

    Much of Dr. Becker’s teaching/discussion is in agreement with the perspective I heard from many of my public High School teachers and public University professors who were not Lutheran or in many cases Christian. It is difficult to discuss God’s truth with somebody who is unwilling to humble himself before it, but rather puts human logic above it.

    The LCMS can and should have these discussions until the last day, but if we let people like Dr. Becker lead the discussion don’t be surprised when we slide down the same slippery slope as the ELCA.

  3. @Randy Yovanovich #201

    Dr. Becker has been persuaded that the comment you reference is inappropriate and has removed it. He is a sinful human being, as are we all. Have you ever written anything sinful which you later regretted?

    How about actually answering some of the questions I put forward in my post?

    I am attempting to engage the vocal members of this group who are so enraged by Dr. Becker’s comments that they want him “called to repentance” (which really means “ousted”) in figuring out exactly what his offenses are. You say, “False teaching.” I have said, “While he may or may not be correct in his thoughts, I don’t believe he is a false teacher.”

    Let me ask this again: Why do you take issue with what he says? Where is your rebuttal to what he has put forth? Is the issue of women pastors one that would prevent salvation?

    More importantly, and very plainly, please answer this: Do women pastors lose their salvation? Do people who attend churches served by women pastors lose their salvation?

    If your response to that is, “No,” then why are we attempting to kick a brother out of the ministry and out of the LCMS? If your response to that is “Yes,” then I challenge you to show me where Scripture says that.

    If you cannot answer that question: “Will women pastors result in the loss or rejection of one’s salvation?” then we really have nothing else to discuss. You can write resolutions and open letters and calls for repentance until you are blue in the face, but you are not dealing with the issue at hand.

    If you do not choose to deal with the issue at hand, then what is REALLY the issue here?

  4. @LW #202

    I cannot speak to any of Dr. Becker’s other positions other than the discussion on whether or not Scripture prohibits women from becoming pastors. I believe this is a discussion he is trying to have through the proper procedures of dissent within Synod, and rather than being answered with Scripture, we are instead answering him with threats of excommunication and job loss.

    Any other issues that you all have with him should go through the PROPER administrative channels. He should tried neither by Facebook nor this board nor through grandiose District overtures nor speeches in support of such overtures.

    If you have other concerns about him, perhaps you should contact him directly in both the letter and spirit of Matthew 18.

  5. @Phil Melanchthon #203

    Why are you, “Phil” doing Becker’s bidding? His actions regarding his race comments are quite in line with that of a false teacher and one who wishes to manipulate. He posted his racist comments, but has not repented of that sin and false accusations. Instead, he deleted the comments after he was caught. Should he not apologize to all in the synod for such an accusation?

    You posted Becker’s words and your question:

    “1. No one has ever engaged me in extended theological discussion about the specific exegetical and theological conclusions I have drawn in my public essays on female theologians and pastors.”

    Why haven’t we?

    Emphasis added.

    Answer: Who would engage with one who would charge those who oppose his flawed theology with racism? Removing the comment only is a cowardice act and demonstrates that he believes he is accountable only to himself. Where is the public apology?

  6. @Phil Melanchthon #203

    “Called to repentance” does not mean “ousted.”
    A call to repentance means to call one to turn from their sin to Jesus. If they chose to cling to their sin instead of Jesus, they are excommunicated in hopes that the Holy Spirit will use that strong dose of the law to drive them to contrition, repentance and forgiveness. If Dr. Becker repents of his false teaching I can guarantee you that there will be much rejoicing on this site as well as throughout the Missouri Synod. We do not delight in watching people die grasping onto their sins.

    If we persist in denying God’s Word and doing things our way He may just chose to cut us loose and have it our way.

  7. @Phil Melanchthon #204

    Few in LCMS supervisory roles seem to want to speak about Dr. Becker’s other theologic positions not to mention his false teaching on priestesses. That is why congregations are bringing it up at their district conventions. We want to know where everybody stands on these issues. Are Dr. Becker’s ecclesiastic supervisor’s letting him publicly teach contrary doctrine to what our synod has taught without publicly refuting him because they agree with him or are they just afraid of something?

  8. @Phil Melanchthon #200

    You ask the related questions would someone who is either a female pastor or who holds to such doctrine and its subsequent practice risk their salvation?

    I grew up in the LCMS and then for 30 years I was an ELCA pastor, and back again in the LCMS. I was attending one of the Concordia Junior Colleges when the Schism occurred. I was all for the ‘moderate” side for many years.

    In the 40s through the 60s the other two major church bodies were using modern Biblical scholarship in their seminaries. The LCMS began flirting with that scholarship as well. I was taught it at Seminex. In Old Testament our prof told us we should use 4 different colored markers to highlight the different authors of the Penteteuch (J,E, D or P), as Mosaic authorship of the first five books of the Bible was denied. Following that, would that really risk eternal salvation in Jesus Christ? Or Jonah actually preached in Ninevah and before that great fish swallowed?

    Then what about divorce and remarriage? Everyone was hurting with divorced memebers in their families? Could divorce and remarriage,contrary to what Jesus said, really risk one’s eternal salvation, oh, yes, if you are not repentant. Yes, true. What about pastors divorcing and remarrying, would those who do so and those who said, God forgives, we must accept it, be really risking salvation?

    Then about the same time, ordination of women was taking hold, especially in the other two major Lutheran church bodies, the Lutheran Church in America and the American Lutheran Church (eventually in ’87 merging with the breakaway denomination from the LCMS to form the ELCA). Yes, women should keep silent in the worship assemblies, but that was a time-conditioned practice from the unenlightened St. Paul: would having women pastors really risk salvation?

    How about inclusive language in the liturgy? Bible translations? Preaching? Wouldn’t that be more accepting of women? Again, risk salvation? Jesus is all right by me.

    What about apostolic succession of bishops in the ELCA for an ecumenical agreement with the Episcopalians? Or communion of all the baptized? A few Scripture texts seem to stand in the way, but would it risk salvation?

    Gay people: why can’t they get married, and if called to be a pastor, openly gay and married be ordained? Could that lose one’s eternal destination?

    Sir, on many of the ‘issues’ above I had been in dialogue about them for months, even years. The ELCA, the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, recently the Presbyterian Church USA all have dialogued themselves into doctrinal death, that is the “sound doctrine” of salvation in Jesus Christ as taught in the inerrant Word of God. For instance: I read an outline of a lecture by Marcus Borg gave at the Presbyterian Church here in Lexington, VA (where “Stonewall” Jackson was a member) in which he argued that the main point of the Church is social justice not the justification of sinners by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Initially, no, those various viewpoints, like women’s ordination, do not risk salvation, but eventually salvation is not from the Savior but someone’s enlightened viewpoint. In a letter to Dear Abby years back in which she was asked, Can you get pregnant from a kiss? And Abby answered, No, but it’s a good way to start. I have seen it happen when false teachers only want a “dialogue”and then the final outcome: preaching the pure Word of God ends and yes salvation is risked and lost. It started off with a friendly peck on the cheek, but becomes the kiss of death.

  9. @Randy Yovanovich #205

    Why are you, “Phil” doing Becker’s bidding?

    Let me be clear: I do no one’s bidding. I am bound only to the Word of God.

    Removing the comment only is a cowardice act and demonstrates that he believes he is accountable only to himself. Where is the public apology?

    I do not see how removing something one writes once he sees it as inappropriate is an act of cowardice. Please help me understand how removal of the offensive language is cowardly. While you’re at it, please illustrate how it demonstrates that he believes he is accountable only to himself. I believe you are stating things that are simply not connected. I’m very curious to know how his actions demonstrate that he believes he is accountable only to himself.

    So…if a “dialogue” is the kiss of death, then why do we in the Missouri Synod have a procedure for dissent? Why are we so careful to document that Synod is an advisory body to the congregations?

    Which way is it? Why is our own SP interested in overturning the procedures and policies established by our Bylaws because he didn’t like the outcome of those procedures.

    It seems to me that the only crime of which Dr. Becker is accused is that of suggesting that Synod revisit some of its teachings to see if they ought to be reconsidered. For the LCMS to simply say “No, this is our belief, and there is no discussion on the matter,” sounds like the LCMS is becoming sectarian.

    Is that the desire of those of you who would call Dr. Becker to resignation? (Let’s be honest, you’re not calling him to repentance, you’re calling on him to resign.) Do you want people to stop asking questions? Do you want to stop discussing why we don’t ordain women? What are you afraid of? If the Word of God is on your side, you should fear no discussion.

    If you are committed to the workings of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, and you subscribe in your heart to the bylaws and procedures, its time to leave Dr. Becker alone. The policies and procedures for determining whether or not he was a false teacher have commenced and concluded, and a panel determined that no further action was warranted.

    When did it become okay to rewrite the procedures to say, “If someone is not happy with the determination of the panel, they can blog about it, speak about it, and use their office to try to get the action overturned in the court of public opinion.”?? It seems to me that our SP wants to pontificate until things swing his way. Shall we just convene the LCMS papal conclave now in lieu of the 2016 convention? It doesn’t seem like you’ll be happy until that happens.

  10. @Mark Schroeder #208

    Thank you for your response. I believe that there is a danger of which you speak, but I do not believe that should be a reason for refusing to have the discussion. Whenever we wrestle with the Word of God, we will be blessed. Whenever we seek the truth from Scripture, we are blessed. I cannot fathom an instance where I would NOT wish to have a discussion about what the Scriptures do or do not say about any particular subject, and to try to discern that which the Word of God says to us.

    It feels more like the discussion is being stifled, which is contrary to the spirit of our Synod. If we don’t want the discussion, we should move to a more sectarian group like the WELS or the ELS. There is always room for educated and respectful discussion and dissent within the Missouri Synod, as long as it is not contrary to the Word of God.

    I do appreciate you identifying your fears, particularly that we might go the way of the UCC and other bodies that espouse some of those same things. I believe that God’s Word will prevail, and we should not fear the dissent or the ensuing discussion from Dr. Becker. If you are truly reaching out in Christian love, you will WANT to have this discussion with him.

  11. I too believed that with endless dialog on settled matters that God’s Word would prevail in those matters. UCC, ECUSA, PCUSA, and the ELCA would also say that God’s Word prevailed and yet they are contrary to that very Word of Scripture about those settled matters, including ordination of women. The Synod I left said No to the false doctrine of the errancy of Scripture. Even though at the time I disregarded the warning, nevertheless, they stuck to their guns and I appreciated that. No, there has not “always” been dialog in the Synod. These matters are not simply my identification of my fears, but facts. Pelagius, Arius, the Gnostics, those who said the resurrection already occured would probably concur that by “wrestling with the Scriptures”, they were “blessed”, but they were no source of blessing. 1 Timothy 6:3-5

  12. @Phil Melanchthon #209

    Friend,

    You certainly beat about the air quite a bit on Dr. Becker’s behalf, for someone who claims to be doing no one’s bidding. And in defending Dr. Becker, you do not demonstrate yourself to be particularly bound by the Word of God.

    Dr. Becker has not, from my analysis, offered any new scholarship to support his conclusions of women’s ordination, sexual deviancy, evolution, and higher criticism. His positions are pretty mundane, and safe within the pale of liberal Protestantism. And, to be frank, the weight of evidence is on him to provide whatever he thinks is novel for consideration of changing the Church’s historic understanding of the Scriptures. The LCMS CTCR has done a pretty solid job of publishing critiques of these subjects, using the standard references of Holy Scripture and other related seminal texts. If you (or he) believe a new bit or evidence or deduction is available on these subjects, it is incumbent upon the one who antagonizes for change, to bring with him such evidence and clear reason.

    So, if you really wish to defend this fellow, bring out his best arguments for women’s ordination, sexual deviancy, evolution, and higher criticism. Perhaps, if you are charitable with this site’s administration, they will grant you opportunity to present Dr. Becker’s case on his behalf, article by article. Otherwise, because he denies Holy Scripture on each of these points and teaches others to do the same, he stands condemned as a false teacher by the same Word of God which he denies.

    The case is closed.

  13. @Brad #212

    I’m not interested in making his defense. I’m interested in HEARING his defense. I don’t see anyone actually quoting his writings and teachings and holding them up to the Word of God to see whether or not they pass muster.

    What I see is that someone brought charges against him, those charges were referred by his DP to an inquiry panel, which determined that no further action was warranted. Am I missing something here? Do we get to second-guess the panel?

    The case is closed.

    Yes. It was closed when the panel decided not to take further action. Unless you were one of the three people on that panel, you have absolutely no right to stand in judgment of them. And the SP certainly has no right to blog about it, publish it on his Facebook page, and speak about it from whatever public platform he finds convenient.

    It is the process which concerns me. More accurately, it is the complete disregard for the process (to which we all in Synod have agreed) that concerns me. It may be that Dr. Becker is proven wrong. But if we’re going to call him a false teacher because he advocates his position in a dissent, we’re not abiding by the spirit of Article X of the Formula of Concord, which everyone claims to cherish so highly.

  14. @Phil Melanchthon #209

    Phil,

    It seems like you know Rev. Dr. Becker. Regardless, if I were you I’d contact him and ask him to publically repent for his racist statements before supporting him any further. Becker is an ordained man and a professor with the vocation of teaching. I have a hard time believing that a man with such credentials is unaware of what he should do in a case where he falsely accuses others. It doesn’t bode well for a man who questions Lutheran doctrine to be so inept at something so straight forward.

  15. Becker remains an unrepentant and inveterate heretic: http://thedaystarjournal.com/for-the-record/

    He even writes: “Why not begin with an examination of the nature of God within a social-egalitarian-perichoretic model of the Holy Trinity and the implications that such a model could have for our understanding of men and women in creation and in the church?” [End of Quote]

    He tries to appeal to the ecumenical creeds in that paragraph, yet elsewhere he has revealed that he believes those creeds to be riddled with errors: http://matthewlbecker.blogspot.com/2013/02/one-more-response-to-hrc.html?showComment=1360462160246#c1875406929959943482

  16. @Nicholas #216

    @Randy Yovanovich #214

    It seems like you know Rev. Dr. Becker.

    I do not know Dr. Becker, personally or professionally. I can tell you that I am not in agreement with all of his positions. But I am willing to discuss them with him, and talk about Holy Scripture and what it says. I believe that in doing that, we will both be blessed.

    What is wrong with “…examining the nature of God within a social-egalitarian-perichoretic model of the Holy Trinity?” What is inconsistent with God’s Word in doing that? I fail to understand why we cannot do that. I question whether or not we are CORRECTLY reading Holy Scripture. I question whether or not we are CORRECTLY understanding it. God’s Word may be inerrant, but that does not extend to our understanding of God’s Word. In our sinful nature, we cannot always rely on that.

    Dr. Becker’s ideas may, in fact, be proven wrong. I think that it would be much more beneficial to the church if his dissent, and his detractors’ responses, were published and made available for all to read.

    Seeing something like that would impress me far more than grandstanding overtures to the 2016 Synodical Convention to call Matt Becker to repentance. Luke 18:9-14 comes to the forefront of my mind.

  17. I recall the story of the Apostle John fleeing the baths in Ephesus when Marcion (I think) came in. That seems a pertinent image at the moment.

    Why do you, Phil, want to drag us back through all the misery that we went through in the 70’s, as though that misery was for no purpose?

  18. “What is wrong with “…examining the nature of God within a social-egalitarian-perichoretic model of the Holy Trinity?” Answer: There is no “social-egalitarian-perichoretic model of the Holy Trinity” in Scripture. We make models, the Lord made us and gave us His Word. There are no models of God in the Bible. Only the Lord’s revelation of Himself which is obviously insufficent for many and sadly it seems for you, “Phil”. And again, these heretical professors want to bend the Bible to come to their own foreordained conclusions about WO, marriage, the veracity of the Bible. Theology professors like Mr. Becker crank out interpretative models by importing hermeneutics alien to the Scriptures, the Scriptures as confessed in the Creeds and the Lutheran Symbols, by dazzling the gullible with their scholarly vocabulary and their own piety, instead of following God’s Word. From Luther’s House Postil, Epiphany: “…if we want to seek and find this Child, we must believe the Word, stick to it,and not allow ourselves to be diverted from it…if they(the wisemen) are to find the child, they must follow the Word, which is the right star and the beautiful sun pointing to Christ…If you do not stick to the Word, you cannot find God or Christ, and you are lost…to be a Christian we must cling firmly to Christ and His Word and let nothing of a spiritual or secular nature deter us…whoever willfully abandons the Word and follows his own thinking will soon lose Christ because he regards Him not as a gracious, merciful Lord but as a judge and flees from Him as from the devil.”
    “Phil”, I think you are perilously close to being lost.

  19. The more digging you do with Becker the worse it gets. In this blog post where he attempts to blur the distinction between humans and animals, Becker favorably recommends promotes an article by one Carol J Adams, author of a perverted book entitled “The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist-Vegetarian Critical Theory”: http://matthewlbecker.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-human-animal-and-other-animals-in.html

    Becker’s own post provides us with a link to Adams’ own website, which reveals that she is a pro-abortion advocate and former abortion clinic worker: http://www.caroljadams.com/aboutme.html

    So someone like Adams thinks its wrong to eat animals but that it’s okay to murder preborn human beings. This is the kind of person that Becker sees fit to draw theological insights from and steer his students toward. This vile and satanic.

    Becker has been called to repentance enough times. Since he refuses, the only Biblical thing to do is to defrock and excommunicate him (Titus 3:10-11). The same goes for DP Paul Linnemann, who has known of Becker’s false teaching and has protected him for decades, with Becker still being under Linnemann’s jurisdiction even though Becker has not resided in the Northwest District for some time. The same also goes for the three “judges” who under Linnemann’s influence have approved of Becker’s false teaching and acquitted him of charges.

  20. It appears that Rev. Dr. Becker has drawn the line in the sand. You can believe him or Scripture. Let me see……….does faith come from Becker or from the Word of God? Thank the dear Lord that it’s NOT my decision!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. I highly doubt that Rev. Dr. Becker will ever come clear regarding this comment that he made and deleted!:

    It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that some of my accusers secretly desire the reintroduction of slavery in the US, just so that they could then insist, in a way they can’t do now, that slaves need to be obedient to their masters!

  22. @Randy Yovanovich #205

    @Phil Melanchthon #203

    First off, this isn’t true. The CTCR of all things has responded to his false theology. But Dr. Becker did not deem their answers sufficient.

    Also, the pastor who filed the complaint engaged him, face to face mind you, and then began the agreed upon synodical process to formally engage him further.

    In the 1990’s there were complaints filed against him over his false theology and on and on.

    Over at alpb, a professor at at Synodical institution, CU-Portland, reminded him of their discussion where that professor made the case for a qualified male pastorate. This was seen by Dr. Becker as a nice internet conversation.

    On and on, to the great harm of those who study under him.

  23. @Pastor BT Ball #226

    Thank you Pastor Ball. So, Becker has been heard, but doesn’t like the response from the synod. He has engaged in a discussion, but doesn’t like the outcome, except for his Top Cover in the NoW District. Becker doesn’t offer dissent, but instead his ultimatum.

  24. Another Becker quote: “Sometimes, as Luther correctly noted, one must urge Christ and Christian love and justice AGAINST the Scriptures. Many biblical passages have become outdated, set aside, undone by the historical development of the impact of the gospel and Christian love.” http://matthewlbecker.blogspot.com/2011/06/harriet-beecher-stowe-1811-1896.html?showComment=1311117260793#c6322795493862681405

    Of course, Luther never said any such thing, but it reveals Becker’s own point of view and why no amount of reasoning from the Scriptures with him will lead him to repent of his numerous heresies. He knows what the Scriptures say, he just doesn’t care. The Scriptures command us to expel false teachers like this, not wait and hope that they will leave of their own accord.

    Here’s two more rostered LCMS apostate clergymen: http://thedaystarjournal.com/the-article-on-which-the-church-stands-or-falls/

    http://thedaystarjournal.com/confessionex/ Tom Hahn is currently pastoring an LCMS church, like Becker was until recently.

  25. @Nicholas #228

    Correct. And remember, Becker altered his post on Daystar without indication that he did so. He is a true False Teacher. He changed his own words to best match society with no indication that he altered his text. What a joke.

  26. @Phil Melanchthon #213

    Friend,

    Dr. Becker has made his defense, and done so quite publicly. He does not hide his teachings. What he defends is leaving the Scriptures for various conclusions that the Church has never concluded, and offers no substantive evidence from the Scriptures for why we should do so.

    As for the pastors and teachers of the Church, they are well within their right to critique public teachers against the standard of Holy Scripture… and the baptized laity are free to hold their pastors and teachers to the same standard. The fact that a local panel decided not to prosecute him for false doctrine, only puts the panel decision up for public review against those same Scriptures (just like local councils of the historic Church are up for public review against the standard of Holy Scripture.) No matter how Dr. Becker might want to flee from the light of Scripture, the Church is always free to hold every Baptized member of the Church to those Scriptures, since Christ’s Word alone is our life and fellowship with each other and the Blessed Trinity.

    Even our LCMS dispute resolution process instructs that a matter resolved the way Dr. Becker’s was, is open for the Church to discuss. Our Synod President has done nothing contrary to Scripture, the Confessions, or Synodical process, by publicly warning the Synod under his charge, of a false teacher who continues to endanger the faith of those he teaches.

    Regardless of the sophistic process by which Dr. Becker arrives at his positions on women’s ordination, sexual deviancy, evolution, and higher criticism, these are his conclusions. He has chosen to set himself against the Prophets and Apostles of God, and by doing so, has set himself against God and His people. This is why his case is closed– he has abandoned the faith, once for all delivered to the saints. All that is left is to call him to public repentance for his very public sins, and if he refuses, follow St. Paul’s advice for what to do with unrepentant false teachers of great public scandal.

  27. @Randy Yovanovich #224

    If it were not as serious as it is, someone might find it pretty funny (in an oxymoronic sense) that a writing titled “For the Record” would be surreptitiously edited after publication. 🙂

  28. @Mark Schroeder #219

    The problem with Becker’s ilk, Seminex, Daystar, the CoWo bunch, is that they don’t believe a very simple, clear Scripture: There is nothing new under the sun. The Church dealt *painfully* with the articles on the Trinity and the Two Natures in Christ in its earliest days. There is no truly new heresy. But Becker, et al., think that the “new” thoughts they’ve had concerning the Church’s catholic teaching *are* new. It’s very “American”, to be sure. A concurrent thread comes to mind: Trying to learn about evangelism from the Mormons–a truly “American” (not in the good sense) religion–which is simply Masonry and Islam regurgitated. There is nothing new under the sun.

  29. @Phil Melanchthon #203

    Again, I object to someone using names of Lutheran church fathers as pseudonymns on this website, especially when “Phil Melanchthon” is a supporter of Matthew Becker and refers to BJS as Pharisees on the Daystar blog.

  30. @Phil Melanchthon #217

    I suspect that the overtures to the 2016 convention will no longer be calling him to repentance. They will be calling for his expulsion, since the convention has the authority to do this. Calls for his repentance, and prayers for such most certainly ought to continue, now, then, and afterwards. With fear and trembling, knowing our own weak flesh, pray that our dear Lord would snatch him from the flames he seems so determined to reach.
    And make no mistake–that is precisely the nature of this discussion. It is *not* pure “academic freedom” or anything like that. Efforts to “keep the Message straight”, doctrinal discipline, conflict, etc., this is true spiritual warfare–truly for the sake of souls–Becker’s, his students’, pastors and congregations of the synod, and the folks who have not yet heard the *pure* Gospel of Christ-crucified.

  31. @Tim Schenks #233

    Do you find the Pharasaical label misrepresenting in any way? How so?

    I rather feel my observation is spot-on. If you’d REALLY like some examples, I’d be happy to provide them. I think most can come to their own conclusion on that observation, though.

    I am a supporter of due process. My entire line of responses to this post is supporting the process of dissent.

  32. When a person is losing their argument common ways to divert attention from the loss:

    1. Play the Pharisee Card
    2. Play the 8th Commandment Card
    3. Fight over the process and procedure (or “tone”)

  33. Even the later Melanchthon would never have abided the things Becker and his defenders have said. I play the 8th commandment card in defense of Late Melanchthon!

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