(Submitted by Pastor Rossow, Bethany Lutheran Church and School, Naperville – Illinois.)
The Bethany-Naperville Chapter of the Brothers of John the Steadfast got together Sunday afternoon for some grilled hamburgers, chicken and brats and more importantly to discuss the recent apostate moves of the ELCA. We thank Bethany members Rich and Gail Sutis for their hospitality for the afternoon. After lunch and discussion of the ELCA situation, the afternoon was capped off with a Chicago Bears win that many of the group stuck around to watch on the big screen TV. (What a weekend – both Hawkeyes and Bears with big wins!)
My original plan was to have our ELCA discussion over a few beers before lunch but I was late arriving due to a needed drive into the city after church to visit a four month old member who was hospitalized for meningitis. I am happy to report that his fever has broken and the the prognosis is quite good.
By the time I arrived it was time to eat and much to my chagrin that meant missing the first half of the Bears game if we were going to have any sort of discussion at all. Maybe the group would decide to skip the discussion so we could catch all of the game. There was no such luck. We all gathered around the table on the deck and the questions started flowing. The point that I wanted to get across to the group was that the seeds for the recent apostate decisions of the ELCA began at least 50 years ago, and even longer ago than that. We discussed how the Higher Critical method of scriptural interpretation made its way into the mainline denominations, including the ALC, LCA and even the LCMS (thus the 1974 walkout at the St. Louis Seminary) and how that led to unscriptural decisions on miracles, women’s ordination and now homosexuality. That led to a discussion of Rudolf Bultmann and the existentialist reduction of the Gospel to mere emotional impact. The guys asked some great questions and most importantly we were able to renew our commitment to the inspired and inerrant Word of God. I tried to wrap things up quicky but the guys just kept asking more and more questions.
We have yet to plan our next get together but I am confident that chapter leader Kieth Luhrs will continue his fine leadership and send out some e-mails and get us all together again. We need to start thinking about our next Issues, Etc. Fund-raiser. It is hard to believe that our Oktoberfest fund-raiser was a full year ago. We will keep you posted and look forward to our other chapters chiming in on their activities here on the BJS Newsreel.
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