It looks like all of the temporal aspects of the Issues, Etc. trademark case have been taken care of, now we just have to hope and pray that the far more important spiritual matters are handled in a godly manner by President Kieschnick and the Board of Directors.
We want to thank Alex, one of our readers, who just left us these three links to the United States Patent and Trademark Office that prove that the temporal chapter is concluded. I have never felt so pleased reading official government documents. These documents clearly spell out that the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, our synod, has dropped its challenge to the trademark application.
Thanks to all of your prayers, e-mails, and petition signatures President Kieschnick and the Board of Directors have changed direction on the trademark issue. We thank God that finally the right thing has been done. It was not right to fire Todd and Jeff during Holy Week last year. It was not right for President Kieschnick and the Board of Directors to try and stop a free and open application for trademark but it is right that the matter has now been dropped.
We now ask the Board of Directors and President Kieschnick to bring a churchly conclusion to the matter, confess this sin, come clean on how much it cost the synod, and then consider resigning their posts for having put the synod through this. The synod has been wronged. We need to have reconciliation. President Kieschnick and the Board need to confess the sin of using lawyers to do something that they should have done personally. They also need to confess that what they tried to do was wrong in the first place. It was wrong to try to leverage the trademark issue against Todd and Jeff, leverage that actually didn’t even exist. The synod cannot stand to have such unrepented sin in its midst. The synod may not be able to stand to have folks like these running things.
I have a personal story that relates to this matter. A few years ago our church council decided to dismiss me from my call. They had no grounds for this. Even my liberal district president supported me against their efforts. Get a load of this, we had a voters assembly with 710 people in attendance. I can share more on this some other time. What is important for this synodical issue is this. We went through a time of reconciliation in our congregation and the church council confessed their sins to the congregation. All but one of those church council members have moved away or left the church since losing their cause, but they did stand before the parish and share their shortcomings and the parish forgave them. (The one who is still with us was the one who took time every week to talk to me personally during that difficult time, even though he disagreed with me. That is also a story for another time.) Since that time of reconciliation and since they have left their leadership positions we have experienced unity like never before. Our elders have also just approved some very impressive goals for the congregation in the next few years and God-willing we will be able to accomplish them. We are unified behind the Gospel and the Lutheran Confessions and are advancing the kingdom of God.
Personally our local church struggle showed me that even though I had to stare down the worst a pastor can be faced with, trust in the authority of God’s call, the support of numerous confessional laymen and the power of God’s Gospel, got me through this severe tentatio. Corporately our local church struggle showed that we needed confession and absolution and we needed for new leaders to step in. The LCMS needs the same, or at the very least some soul searching honesty on behalf of the President and Board of Directors.
President Kieschnick and the Board of Directors owe the church a confession and an explanation as to why they pursued this issue in the first place. It is clear from the attorney’s letter that they were trying to leverage the situation to get something out of Wilken and Schwarz. That is ungodly and has brought sin into our synod that needs to be repented.
It seems odd that we have verification from the usually slow-moving government on the temporal aspect of this matter before we have heard or read anything from the Board of Directors. Maybe they have to consult their lawyers for the proper verbiage. Since they are still writing, we hope they will take this post to heart and include a confession to the synod and ask us for forgiveness. Is there some good reason they would not do this?
We thank God that the temporal aspect of this issue has been resolved. We pray now that those involved will clean up the the far more crucial spiritual aspects that need to be taken care of for the health of the church. Memos that use semantics to sidestep the real issues will not bring the honesty and healing called for in this situation.