Rev. Cwirla Chimes in with the Vocation Angle on the Issues, Etc. Lawsuit

(Editor’s Note: About a month ago I chatted with Rev. Bill Cwirla, president of Higher Things and well known in the blogoshpere, even beyond Lutheran circles. He agreed to write for us on occassion. With the business of the conference last weekend I have not had time to make those arrangements but I noticed that he commented on one of the lawsuit srings. As usual his insight gets behind the commonplace. I thought it was worth a post here on the homepage.)

It seems pretty clear to me.   LCMS, Inc. wants Todd to stop saying bad things about LCMS, Inc. because LCMS, Inc. has little to no tolerance for criticism.   Failing to curb Todd’s right to free speech with a gag order attached to his severance package, LCMS, Inc. is now attempting to accomplish the same by challenging their trademark application, which it certainly has a right to do as the former owner of the trademark.   This is LCMS, Inc’s “last strand” so to speak, the last bit of control they have over Todd.   Had LCMS, Inc. paid its trademark fees and kept its paperwork up to date, the ball would have been entirely in LCMS, Inc’s court.   As it is, the last string it has is to attempt to defend its trademark.


What’s interesting is to me is that the name Issues, Etc. is more closely associated with Todd Wilken than it is to LCMS, Inc.   Clearly, LCMS, Inc. did not continue the show under that name with a new host, and has shown no intention of doing so.   In challenging Wilken’s application, LCMS, Inc. is attempting to deprive Todd of a living in exchange for his silence, just as it deprived him of a severance package for the same reason.


That, not the veiled legal threat, is what is immoral and unethical about this action on the part of LCMS, Inc.


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.


Rev. Cwirla Chimes in with the Vocation Angle on the Issues, Etc. Lawsuit — 11 Comments

  1. I wander how many people in the LCMS are intimidated into keeping silent because they fear the unspoken threat of having their living deprived by LCMS, Inc..

  2. Ross,

    Given what we’ve seen during the tenure of the current PotS, and in light of the events of last week, I would venture that the answer to your question is, “a lot”.

  3. A quote from “Boyz In the Hood”

    “Either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s going on in the hood (LCMS)”

    How else can all the lack of supervision from the DP’s on up to the SP be explained? Where are the Seminaries’ voices? Why aren’t piping up? Are they more loyal to LCMS than the Word of God?

    It is frustrating to me as a laymen to see only a few pastors sticking up for Scripture and speaking against the hideous actions of LCMS. I hope more will come out of hiding.

    Kiley Campbell

  4. So is it the case that Pr. Wilken and/or Mr. Schwarz turned down severance because they would have had to agree to a gag order?

  5. Pastor Cwirla’s remarks certainly deserve to be respected.

    LCMS wants a gag order on a Pastor who hosts an online Radio program that had no audience on KFUO?

    Infuriatingly laughable.

    Hint to Pres. K– we will listen to the program no matter what they call it. Todd and Jeff can certainly come up with something more creative than “Afternoon Show”! Yawn.

  6. If this doesn’t make it crystal clear that Pres. K’s leadership, and his goals for LCMS, depend upon obfuscation and political maneuvering, I don’t know what will make it clear.
    This really has to be brought to the attention of congregations.
    We now have a nearly airtight case against dollars to Synod. I can’t imagine even the most oblivious, lukewarm Christian not becoming outraged over this mess–this outright injustice.

  7. You know, Susan, that brings up another point to make in any communications with them.

    “I want to bring this to my voter’s assembly but want to provide balanced information so that voters in my church understand what their synod is doing. Can you provide me with reasons why this action on the part of our synod was undertaken?”

    You are right; presenting this information to a voter’s assembly may produce a change in funding to Synod.

    Synod has stricken the first part of this, but we can still do the second in our own congregations!

    Keep the word straight Missouri, get the word out Missouri!

  8. “I want to bring this to my voter’s assembly but want to provide balanced information so that voters in my church understand what their synod is doing. Can you provide me with reasons why this action on the part of our synod was undertaken?” — Norm Fisher

    Can you provide reasons, acceptable under Scripture and the Confessions, why this action on the part of our synod was undertaken?”

    And how do you justify it in light of all those arguments against suing, (and persecution at the last convention of those who thought their suit had been closed?)

    One rule for the SP and another for the rest of us?

  9. From my readings here and observation in one of our Synod’s Concordia Universities, I have come to the opinion that there are very few in leadership folk in this Synod that can take criticism. This Concordia president has been known to many (students, faculty, and staff of that Concordia, as well as others outside of that community) to scour the Facebooks and blogs of people attached to the university to see what bad things they might be saying about him. In my time as a student, I was ‘caught’ opposing him and was firmly put in my place by him and his secretary.

    This Concordia also happens to have financial issues (I know…surprise, surprise) and has been doing drastic personnel cuts. In the first round of faculty cuts, those whose programs and/or positions were eliminated had in some way directly opposed him (openly discussed their displeasure with his work, were on the faculty board of the presidential search committee and firmly opposed him, etc.). Of course, he denies any correlation, but one cannot help but notice it! And when you attempt to discuss with him what you can’t help but notice, he berates you for breaking the commandments, being against the mission of the University, and threatening the Christian community.

    While Prez K. is not there, it might as well be! Financial problems, seeking to eliminate leadership threats, approving less than ideal programs…is all Synodical leadership the same?!

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