Leaving the ELCA and Joining the LCMS thanks to Issues, Etc., by Pr. Rossow

We were alerted this morning to  a very  interesting blog post that proves that the true theology of Issues, Etc. is the true hope of the LCMS.  It is the diary of a journey from the ELCA to the LCMS. The question is this. Will the LCMS be a brief stopping off point for folks like this  if it continues the downward slide into the emergent/church growth theology of President Kieschnick or will the LCMS become a more lasting home for refugees like this by embracing the theology represented on Issues, Etc.?  We believe that the election of Matt Harrison  to the presidency of the LCMS next summer will make for a more confessional synod and better guarantee that the LCMS returns to its grandfatherly roots as the beacon of true Biblical Christianity and authentic Lutheranism which attracted this gentleman (lady?) out of the heterodox ELCA. Here is what he has to say…

On Sunday, I will be entered into membership in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.   I will have officially left the ELCA, where I’ve been a member my whole life… (to read the rest of this post click here for the blog)

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.


Leaving the ELCA and Joining the LCMS thanks to Issues, Etc., by Pr. Rossow — 65 Comments

  1. Kristen: Thank you for your reply. Re: the LCMS’ shortcomings, I won’t even try to defend them. I have never thought of the plastic cup business, but I suspect more knowledgeable people than I have thought about it, and have some cogent answers.
    I don’t know what a “Jumbro-tron” is, but I suspect it’s a screen. A screen in the sanctuary/nave means that the medium will soon become the message, if it hasn’t already. It means entertainment, not worship. It has undoubtedly, a dumbing down effect on the worshipper. It is, in my opinion, an abomination. Period.
    Re: the sound system and rock band–well, all I can do is offer my sympathies. It gives you another reason to want to leave, and I can’t blame you.
    I assume you have tried to express your objections to what is going on in your congregation. I did that for several years, too, and became tired of being the resident “agin-er.” As I look back on things in my former life, perhaps I should have been much more strident and vociferous in my objections to whatever was going on. Perhaps yelling and screaming might have been more effective. Perhaps a little fear might have done some good. I don’t know. I can say that Pr. Stefanski makes a good point–fight this stuff or leave. But again, I repeat–I hope you can stay in the LCMS–someplace.

  2. Johannes, thank you again for your reply and for caring enough to want my family to stay in the LCMS. I have been through the “fight” before being an Episcopalian – I will never forget sitting across the desk from a Priest asking him if he performed same-sex unions at his church and thinking “this is so absurd, am I really asking this?”. I was trying to pick and choose my way through churches to find one that was suitable. Again … absurd. Do I want my kids to do this too?

    it is interesting to note that the recent changes made in my congregation occurred shortly after a large group of ELCA members joined our LCMS parish. I do believe our Pastor is a good man but the pressure put on him to “liven up” our worship was heavy.

    There is hope and reason to fight, leaving is the easy thing to do. I just would like to know if there is a majority of Pastors within the LCMS who will fight for the preservation of Scripture and Sacrament. Laymen can voice objections and made persuasive arguments but unless there is a strong, committed majority of Pastors who do the same we will continue to get large, flat screen TV’s in the sanctuary. And that CHANGES the church for my children and grandchildren.

    It is a heavy burden to put on Pastors, – they will play a large role of what is to come as ELCA members trickle into their pews.

    What’s done is done – we can not go back. But let’s hope for the future and do our part to defend Scripture and the Sacraments. Thanks again.


  3. Kristen– I’m sure it is very difficult for a pastor to fight the “liven up” worship. There are lots of pressures. I think many pastors have not thought thru the implications of screens, praise bands, etc., perhaps because they have not thought thru just what happens in worship (yeah, I know–hard to believe.). Some of the growth programs that synod is pushing–NCD and TC–encourage
    culture-friendly worship–that also makes things difficult.
    The majority of LCMS pastors is probably faithful to Word and Sacrament ministry, but it depends where you look.

    I hope you can sit across the table from your pastor and spell things out in plain english, firmly, unequivocally, and lovingly. If you can’t get anywhere, it is my prayer that you can find a “faithful” LCMS pastor & congregation.

  4. I just would like to know if there is a majority of Pastors within the LCMS who will fight for the preservation of Scripture and Sacrament.

    I was a pastor in the LCMS for 16 years. My observations during that time tell me that the answer to your question is a resounding “No.”

    There are some good pockets…such as the tiny Wyoming District…but even the other ‘good districts’ in the LCMS are far from good, far from united.

    On the other hand, Missouri is not the only Lutheran body there is, and there are hundreds of ‘displaced’ solid Confessional Lutheran pastors who would be thrilled to work at your local Wal-Mart while starting a truly Lutheran mission (instead of working at their local Wal-Mart wondering why ‘God is through’ with them).

    If there is no faithful congregation where you live, it’s time to start one.


  5. Rev. Stefanski,

    Do you have any suggestions about how to go about connecting these people who can’t find confessional pastors with confessional pastors who are ready for a call?

  6. Why are conservatives seeking personal justification through condemnation of others? Is it that it is too hard to follow all the laws of the bible, so you look to easy things that do not affect you? Jesus speaks of love, kindness, and humbleness… and if I am not mistaken, Jesus is in the bible too… as well as some crazy laws about how to eat meat… why not follow those. Hate is such an easy emotion… and Satan constantly temps us to overlook love and doing the work of Christ with hatred of people whom we judge are different.

  7. But joining the LCMS does not mean that your ELCA church has to abandon contemporary worship services. My LCMS church offers two Sunday services: 8:00 traditional, and 10:45 mixed (In a mixed service, traditional hymns alternate with contemporary hymns led by a praise band. The projector also runs during contemporary services.)

    Are “Worship wars” a part of the problem in the LCMS. Can an LCMS church hold contemporary services, yet remain confessional in doctrine??

    What do you propose to stem the decline in LCMS membership? My thoughts are that most former LCMS Lutherans have chosen to listen to “pastor pillow” give a sermon on Sunday mornings. How do you get the newly unchurched to return?

  8. I was baptized and confirmed in the LC-MS. We left. Years ago our AELC church and others were assured the LCA liberals would not out vote the moderates of the AELC and ALC. BUT IT HAPPENED! I am shocked and appaled (as well as embaressed). I surmize I will return to the LC-MS sooner than later. Sin is sin and calling it natural or normal or alternative does NOT change that. I still love the LUTHERAN CHURCH-MISSOURI SYNOD! I remember some from the Lutheran Church in America referin to the LCMS as “the big bad Missouri Synod. Keep holding on to the Truth. I’ve visited my old church over the years and Immanuel Lutheran is sorta like going home. Probably home again. I don’t have to be anonymous, you can publish me if you want.

  9. I think the only law of God that the synod of the Elca holds firm to now days is the law of tithing. The church is obviously being led by a hierarchy that wants the best places at the feast for themselves and has little regard for addressing the word of God through the Bible. The ELCA is a hollow shell with no substance. It is a supper club with a steeple. It stands for nothing and to be associated with it is now the height of nothingness. I no longer want people to associate me with the ELCA or its leaders. This is very hard when I am still a member of my church and when that church is a member of the ELCA.

    It is very important that individuals stay firm to their own beliefs on this matter and do not conform to the ELCA. Do not fund the ELCA with your dollars and do rest until the matter is resolved. If your church’s answer is to leave the ELCA support the departure. If your Church remains with the ELCA elect board members who will fight them bitterly! I can think of no greater honor today than to be thrown out of the ELCA. STAY WITH YOUR LOCAL CHURCH, BE VOCAL, AND DO NOT ACCEPT “POLITICALLY CORRECT” EDICTS FROM A HIERARCHY THAT CARES ONLY TO CLIMB THE LADDER IN THEIR HIERARCHY. DO NOT GIVE THEM YOUR SUPPORT!!!!!!!

  10. “Sin is sin and calling it natural or normal or alternative does NOT change that.”
    Your current pastors are without sin? No wonder they’re so quick to cast those stones: Jesus commanded them to. It’s a tough burden that the sinless carry, but what else can they do?

  11. Darryl,

    I think you are confusing unrepentant sin with repented sin. I am a pastor. I take it you are accusing me of casting stones? I am a sinner, but I confess my sins, receive God’s forgiveness and renewal and work to defeat the old sinner that lives inside of me every day. The problem with the ELCA is that they have now asserted that what God calls sin is not sin. When you deny God’s word about sin you can no longer repent of that sin and receive forgiveness.


  12. @Darryl #63

    > Your current pastors are without sin?

    Nobody is without sin except Jesus, but it is a sin to keep silent about public false doctrine.

    That’s what any comments here on elca are about.

    The admonitions are intended to lead to repentance/faith/everlasting life.

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