Signatures for the Manifesto are Slow but Website Activity is Brisk

We have had “A Lutheran Manifesto” up for 24 hours and there aren’t many signatures on the petition  but it has created a lot of activity on the website.

We had over 1,000 visits yesterday which is the most we have had in the last two weeks and is  the busiest Thursday we have had in several weeks. More importantly we had over 300 brand new visitors yesterday and that number will continue to grow in the next few days due to the Manifesto and the articles from our excellent bloggers and columnists. (Pastor Preus has prepared a new series of posts on communion fellowship which will be coming  soon.)

The primary goal of the Manifesto is to educate us and stimulate discussion and is not so much about getting signatures. Since Dr. Baue invited people to signal their approval if they desired, we decided to attach a petition to it.

We encourage people to sign the petition. If you agree with the document take a moment and show that agreement with a few keystrokes. If you do not agree, do as some have already done and share your comments with Dr. Baue on the original post (or this post if you wish).

Why are signatures slow to come in? I am not entirely sure but it is probably due to the length of the Manifesto. It is longer than what we have become  used to reading on websites. Among other reasons is that some  believe that there is no need for another such statement and instead are calling for action. We believe in action as well and encourage all of our readers to get involved in their local congregation, circuits and districts to make a difference. We believe that the Manifesto is a great, simple, asserting/rejecting document of confessional theology that you can use to call your pastor, fellow members and district to the cause of restoring the Lutheran Confessions as the fundamental basis for how we preach, teach and confess the faith. It also does an effective job of addressing current challenges such as the church growth movement and “contemporary” worship in a clear and simple way by applying the Augsburg Confession to these blights on the church. Imagine the progress that could be made if our 1,000 website visitors from yesterday took the Manifesto and showed it to their pastor or fellow congregation members and asked them if they agreed with it. Of course much of that progress would come by way of conflict and disagreement – but even identifying that disagreement is the first step toward resolution.

We encourage you to read the Manifesto, wrestle with it, sign the petition if you agree with it and most of all, use it in your parish as a means of bringing people back to the Augsburg Confession and the full Book of Concord.

May God bless us in Christ Jesus and may the Holy Spirit keep our eyes fixed on the cross as we continue to fight the good fight.

Pastor Rossow

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.


Signatures for the Manifesto are Slow but Website Activity is Brisk — 12 Comments

  1. For me, my signature is slow to come because of the length of the manifesto. I haven’t had a chance to fully read it because it’s been a busy week of hospice visits. And even if I did have a chance to read it, I wouldn’t sign it after first read. It’d take me a while to process it.

    Perhaps it’d be better to close the manifesto to signatures until after people have had a chance to digest it for a while, offer comments on it & any criticisms if necessary, & for it to be revised after this time of review.

    But hey, that’s just me. 🙂

  2. Perhaps it’d be better to close the manifesto to signatures until after people have had a chance to digest it for a while, offer comments on it & any criticisms if necessary, & for it to be revised after this time of review.

    If revgeorge had a petition to sign stating the above, I would sign it immediately. When The Augustana Ministerium constructed its Statement on the Ministry, a group of men who had been asked by a larger body to do so came up with more individual preliminary drafts than there were men…then corresponded and fought over sections…then met in person to do the same…then submitted it to another several score for public debate, finally arriving at a finished document and mutual understanding…only to find a year later that some who had not been at the meeting misunderstood a certain reference, so that TAM’s Plenary unanimously affixed a paragraph clarifying the intent behind some of the language.



  3. Rev. Rossow,

    As a lay- person, the reason I believe the signatures are coming slow is as follows.

    · I don’t randomly sign petitions without the understanding of its contents.
    · With the Issues Etc. petition it was straightforward. Someone was getting stung and the issue was plain in your face wrong.
    · The manifesto is a long read with a lot to be digested.
    · The massive content of the manifesto needed to be explored, and as a layperson I was watching the comments by my trusted Pastors and knowledgeable lay people on BJS and other sites.

    Perhaps discussion before petition would have been in order. Additions may have also been included. One area I found lacking (IMHO) was thesis nine on Baptism.
    Some certain Churches have been re-Baptizing and additional statement regarding that aspect could be included in what we reject. I also understand you can edit a document to death.

    Dr. Baue is definately much wiser and articulate than myself, that’s why it takes a guy like me so long to decide.

    Being conservative can be by its on nature slow to react. Maybe part of the reason we are where we are today.

    I guess I wanted to see what stuck to it and what fell off.

    That’s just my observation of the situation.

    John Hooss

  4. Joseph,

    The discussion on the manifesto itself is going on at another post. The posts here so far have been focusing on why we haven’t signed the manifesto yet & for what reasons.

  5. Pastor Stefanski,

    Thank you for reviewing for us the process of how TAM’s Statement on the Ministry came about. Very helpful & pertinent to the discussion on the manifesto. I think the statement “That They May Be One” came about in similar fashion, i.e. it was done as a joint process.

  6. On the advice of men I trusted, and as much reading as was available, I signed TTMBO.
    After a long while, with nothing visible to this pewsitter happening, a small group had a session (and a nice dinner, no doubt) with our SP. “All was forgiven”, if you want to believe it. The rest of the signatures were in the waste basket.
    Again, on the advice of trusted men, I contributed to a lawsuit.
    Eventually four men “settled” that, with about as much notice to the rest as was given before writing this “manifesto” but with repercussions for some at the next convention.

    Again, a man who can’t find a way to grow religiously outside the company of pseudo-pastors wants to “lead” somewhere.

    If people won’t teach and follow the Confessions, why yet another piece of paper?

    You wondered why signatures were slow….

  7. Helen,

    Please be sure to keep the facts straight. There are no TTMBO signatures in the wastebasket. There was no dinner with the Synodical President. (I know, I was one of the four who were there.) There was no claim that all was forgiven. Here are the facts.

    The Northern Illinois Confessional Lutherans (NICL) published TTMBO as a clear call to synod that President Benke was in error at Yankee Stadium. President Kieschnick called the signers of TTMBO schismatic. President Kieshcnick then used the synodical beaurocracy to kill any dissent. The conservatives did not have the votes in convention to do anything about it. NICL then asked to have a face to face meeting with the president. After 5 years a meeting was finally granted. In that meeting the president confessed his sin of calling the signers schismatic. He was forgiven for that and that only.

    The meeting was not about the events of Yankee Stadium. It was about members of NICL and other signers of TTMBO wrongly being called schismatics. Until there are enough conservative votes in convention to do anything about it, Yankee Stadium will remain what it is.

    And now comes the Manifesto. It is a simple yet comprehensive statement of problems in the LCMS including the errors of syncretism and unionism that we saw at Yankee Stadium. It is a good example of how we will not keep silent about these matters.

    If you are tired of making noise about these things that is understandable. We are all getting tired because the conservatives are in a minority in the synod. You are welcome to voice your opinion here on this website but please do not twist the facts to serve your pessimism.

    I thank you for your participation on the website and I encourage you to keep the faith. Hopefully time will bring some more tangible ways to address the problems you and I agree cannot be tolerated in the synod.

    Pastor Rossow

  8. EJG #2,

    Documents such as the Manifesto have come to us in all sorts of different ways through the years including our own Lutheran Confessions. Certainly the process used to write TAM’s “Statement of the Ministry” is a godly one but it is not the only way these things come to us.

    I am sure that Dr. Baue will listen to all the comments on this site and if he chooses, amend the Manifesto. I look forward to the end result of a few thousand of the smartest Lutherans I know (the readers of this website) contributing to such a document.

    Pastor Rossow

  9. I’m on board with revgeorge & Grabauski. After reading the entirety of the other thread, I’d need to see some revisions go into the document before I could even start to think about signing a petition. And then there’s the whole STS question, which, like it or not, does matter.


  10. Pr. Rossow, wrt #9:

    Certainly the process used to write TAM’s “Statement of the Ministry” is a godly one but it is not the only way these things come to us.

    Indeed, nor did I say or wish to imply that it was. WRT our Confessions, however, outside of the Catechisms, they were the result of specific meetings and written at the behest of those who had an office so to request by those so appointed. Generally speaking, those not written by Luther were a result of collaboration to one extent or another—the Apology be the one that was least so. Nonetheless, I was merely being descriptive—although I would suggest that in an age where we do not have to send messages back and fourth by mounted courier, more collaboration, rather than less, ought be considered a positive development.

    I am sure that Dr. Baue will listen to all the comments on this site and if he chooses, amend the Manifesto. I look forward to the end result of a few thousand of the smartest Lutherans I know (the readers of this website) contributing to such a document.

    I would like to see that, too, but his response in that regard so far has been so underwhelming as to leave one rather negative—e.g.:

    If my writing helps to clarify issues and bring about unity, I shall be gratified. If the critics—whose evaluation is now longer than the manifesto!—wish to produce manifesto of their own that is superior to mine, I shall be happy to read it. Meanwhile I am reminded of Haldir’s words to Legolas in The Lord of the Rings: “Indeed in nothing is the power of the Dark Lord more clearly shown than in the estrangement that divides all those who still oppose him.”

    If I were the only one with a comment, I would shrug that off, but to put that out against the well-reasoned comments and suggested improvements of those who are actually in Missouri leave me, again, with a negative outlook…though I certainly would rejoice in being proven wrong. Again, I suggest that you pull the signature collection for a couple of weeks, let folks on BJS contribute, re-publish it as a finished work, have it mentioned on Issues, Etc., let CAT 41, Lutheran Info Net, and so on let it be known that it exists, suggest to pastors that they print it out for their non-netted members, and watch the signatures take off. I’m going to say that I think you’ll then have between 500 and 2,000 by the end of the second week.



  11. If people put out their own ideas to be “signed” by the pewsitters, they might at least be polite when the activity meets with some questions. The Rev. Baue was not.

    Whatever the four of you in NICL did, TTMBO is now a forgotten issue. Whatever the “Four” misrepresenting others on the lawsuit agreed to, it didn’t work out so well for some of those others at the next convention, I’m told.

    If “making noise” will help, I’ve made some noise.
    I’d like to be able to trust the “confessionals” (so self described), a little further than lcms, inc.

    So, what is this “Manifesto” supposed to accomplish?
    If we want to abandon the BOC for the latest broadsheet,
    [because it’s “contemporary?] how can we criticize the liberals for their innovations?


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