Yesterday morning the petition to ask the LCMS Board of Directors, which includes President Kieschnick and First Vice President William Dinkelman, to stop haranguing Issues, Etc. with threatened legal action reached 2,000 signers. In just nine days over 2,000 people have said to the President of the synod and to the Board of Directors, stop harassing Issues, Etc. and let them get on with the important work of bringing the pure Gospel to the world.
We have not seen anything in print but the word is out that the board is backing down from their threat to make use of the synod’s law firm to take action against Issues, Etc. As soon as we have anything in writing we will post it here. By all means however, keep signing the petition. We need to send the strongest signal possible to the LCMS that we will not tolerate this sort of foolish expenditure of time and our offering dollars.
We should also clarify something. The petition says that Todd Wilken and Jeff Schwarz are threatened personally with a lawsuit. When you read the letter this is clearly implied even though it does not explicitly use the term “lawsuit.” Some, including President Kieschnick and members of the Council of Presidents are making semantic hay out of this by claiming that there never was a lawsuit nor was one threatened. This sidesteps the issue and makes it seem as if President Kieschnick is innocent. He is not. He is a member of the Board of Directors and could have put a stop to this silliness back in November. To claim now that he is innocent of threatening a lawsuit is a cowardly act of trying to shake blame for something he was very much involved with. Besides, a clear case can be made that a lawsuit was threatened. The letter says that if Wilken and Schwarz do not come to the negotiating table (this in itself is ridiculous because there is nothing to negotiate) the synod’s law firm would be forced to take further action. What would that action be, another call to come to a make believe bargaining table?
There will certainly be more to come on this matter but in the meantime you may find these quotes from the petition site interesting. Be sure to read all the way to the end to hear about the token Anglican that we have in the Brothers of John the Steadfast group. We thank Scott Diekmann from the blog Stand Firm who co-sponsored the petition with us for digging these quotes up:
I am a Baptist pastor outside of Memphis, TN, and I truly enjoy listening to Issues, etc. I have learned a great deal about church history, modern issues, and in particular, the Lutheran faith. I have come to appreciate the theological clarity of the Lutheran confessions. But I must admit, your actions in this situation are not Christian. From the broader body of Christ, please drop this and let it go. Allow Issues, etc., to continue its ministry to the catholic church.
Prof. Dr John Warwick Montgomery, Esq.
I am thoroughly ashamed of the central administration of my church body for its actions in this matter. Orthodoxy of doctrine is one thing; ordinary decent treatment of others is another. Can you not exhibit a modicum of legal and ethical integrity in your relationship with Issues, Etc.–particularly after treating Wilken and Schwarz so shabbily in discharging them?
Pastor Wilken and Mr. Schwarz are doing excellent work for the Gospel. Please recall the words of Gamaliel in Acts 5: “take care what you are about to do with these men…. keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” I pray that you desist from your petty struggle over the lapsed “Issues, Etc.” trademark immediately. Those of us in the pews are growing increasingly dissatisfied with your rather worldly leadership of the synod.
Rev. Jon C. Olson
Every second wasted on this lawsuit is a precious second wasted that could be spent delivering the Gospel to people without it.
The actions of LCMS in all matters pertaining to Pastor Wilken and Mr. Schwarz and Issues Etc. as a whole have been reprehensible and a black eye to the mission and work of the LCMS at large. This current action rings loudly of vindictive bitterness considering the facts of the case. Please reconsider your actions.
As a Reformed Christian, it is disappointing to learn that some leaders of a confessional Lutheran denomination are as embarrassed by their most effective evangelists as they are apparently enamored of the most non-confessional movements in our day.
Rev. Peter C. Bender
President Kieschnick, as a delegate to the last synodical convention I heard you rightly deplore lawsuits in the church and among brothers in our synod. Why the change of heart? Are you and the board of directors exempt from Scripture and your own admonishments in this regard?
1464 Craig Parton As a trial lawyer for the past 20 plus years, I plan on supporting Todd and Jeff in every way possible…..
As a recent convert to Lutheranism from an inconsistent and works-righteous faith (being a direct result from the ministry of Issues, Etc.), I plead with you as a fellow reformation brother that you allow this wonderful outreach to maintain its namesake that we know and have come to expect. Unless you show the producers and the audience good cause for requesting the trademark (other than sabotage or vindication) I see no justification in this pursuit. The letter in this position marks my sentiment exactly, and goes against the clear teaching of scripture concerning litigious behavior. Please, repent.
Leonard W. Stadler Jr.
Peace, peace, they say, when there is no peace. Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. Jer. 8:11-12
Issues etc brought me such a fuller understanding of the Gospel! There is nothing like it. I am one of the orthodox Anglicans who left the Episcopal Church. I know about lawsuits by the “corporate church”. LCMS leaders should stop acting like the liberal Episcopal leaders and suing their brothers in secular courts. I love my confessional brothers in LCMS, and am a “token Anglican” member of the Brothers of John the Steadfast. . You are in my prayers.