New Column: “Church-Wide News and Commentary”

(Editor’s Note: We welcome Pastor Robert Niehus to our list of columnists. Each day as a part of his normal routine Pastor Niehus scours the secular and religious news to see what is going on in the church and the world. With this column he will be bringing the fruits of that daily routine to the Brothers of John the Steadfast on a regular basis. The beat will be the world, the synod and even his local district and circuit. We hope this column will keep the Brothers in the know and help them practice discernment based on Pastor Niehus’ commentary. In this first column Pastor Niehus sets out the boundaries that will mark his commentary on the news around the church. Pastor Niehus is pastor of Christ Lutheran Church, Oak Park, Illinois where he succeeded the Reverend Dr. Martin Noland.)

Boundaries, are they Necessary?

The ancient Romans are said to have worshipped the false god “Terminus.” Terminus was the name of the god who watched over boundaries. Property lines and boundaries were of great importance to the Romans, particularly to farmers and landowners. We all know the importance of boundaries in our society. Pets have boundaries, children have boundaries, motorist and athletes have boundaries, and yes, Christ’s Church has its boundaries.

The English word determine is derived from its Latin roots (de + terminus) which can be translated to limit or set the boundary. Today, many pastors and congregations in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod have chosen to become their own god as they establish and create new boundaries for the sake of mission work and church growth. Sadly, these new boundaries go well beyond, and even violate the boundaries Christ has established for His Church. The Church has not been given the authority to determine the boundaries set forth by Christ, but it has been given the authority to establish guilt or innocence in accordance with the boundaries He has set. (Matthew 16:19).

As a parish pastor, I am both a student and teacher of the Augsburg Confession. I believe, teach and confess, that this precious time tested document teaches us what the Holy, inerrant and infallible Word of God teaches us. As for those men whom at the time of their ordination vowed to uphold this same confession of faith, but have now chosen to create new teachings and set new boundaries, this column will be cutting and sharp, but always with the goal of bringing the erring brother to repentance and restoration in the name of Christ our Lord.

In future articles, it will be my goal to use contemporary examples of boundary violations and encouraging stories of those staying within the boundaries, both from within our Synod, and throughout Christendom. Some issues will be black, others white, and others grey. Agree, or disagree your insights and comments are always welcome.

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.


New Column: “Church-Wide News and Commentary” — 4 Comments

  1. Without boundaries chaos reigns. Largely chaos reigns in the Missouri Synod. One my lay such chaos at the feet of many – including DP’s, The synodical president, our Seminaries, bureaucrats, and many pastors.

    It’s not that there are no shepherds – it’s that the shepherds are snoozing when they are supposed to be defending the flock.

    Sad, sad, sad!

    I look froward to your articles.

  2. Sounds very unloving. I look forward to hearing it. 😉

    PS For those who have no sense of humor, I’m taking a jab at those who harp on love, love, love all the time & yet refuse to acknowledge that it is a very loving act to call someone to account when they are doing something which may hurt themselves or others.

  3. “What the world needs now is Christ’s boundaries
    It’s the only thing that we just don’t pay attention to.
    What the world needs now is Christ’s boundaries
    No not just for some but for everyone.”
    [Sung to the tune of ‘What the world needs now is love’]

    Catchy, huh?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.