Palin Interviews Bring to Mind Concordia-Chicago’s Questionable Ties to Terrorist William Ayers, by Pr. Rossow

Sarah Palin has been making the rounds on the cable talk shows promoting her new book “Going Rogue.” The more astute interviewers have actually read her book and are using this as an opportunity delve into her policy acumen. In her book she writes about her puzzlement at the McCain campaign telling her to keep quiet about things like Obama’s connection to terror-bomber, now University of Chicago socialist education professor.

That brings to mind our series of stories a year ago about numerous Concordia professors signing a petition in support of Ayers. The petition was not just of a personal nature but actually espoused Ayers liberal, socialist, and humanist education theory. In an e-mail exchange with Concordia President Johnson, BJS was told that it was the professors’ academic freedom to do such.

This is a reminder of how far the LCMS has slipped  from its historic roots as a conservative Biblical  denomination that actually practiced church discipline. Under President Kieschnick there  is little or no  evidence of church discipline practiced.  

For those newer to the BJS site you may want to click on the “Critical Synodical News” sidebar to see more stories from the past year of a synod out of control. You will also be able to access the string of stories on Concordia and Bill Ayers. (We regret that the link to the actual petition has been broken. We neglected to “take a picture” of the petition site for posterity.)

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.


Palin Interviews Bring to Mind Concordia-Chicago’s Questionable Ties to Terrorist William Ayers, by Pr. Rossow — 36 Comments

  1. River Forest hasn’t changed, even when the sainted President Barry was in office the students at RF had to deal with feminists, higher-critics, and lovers of the social-gospel in the theology and history classes.

    Rev. Matthew J. Uttenreither, SSP
    98 Graduate of CURF (I refuse to call it CUC)

  2. I wouldn’t tie Palin in with church matters. That doesn’t seem like a wise thing to do.
    Was there no action taken by Synod, their District, the Dean, or members of their congregations? In his time, were it now, that would be called…dare I say it….domestic terrorism? I may be 40, but I learned this in school in the 80’s.
    Was there action initiated by the confessionals in this, last year? If so, it may be another action that fell on deaf ears, but no accountable “reaction” by those who initiated the petition. You are able to demand answers, the Office is Divine, the men who hold them, are not divine!!!!
    If it doesn’t get an answer, you take a step further and so on. Words are great, but they do not take the place of action, abstaining is actually an action, a choice. Make a paper trail, facts & quotes on paper are very hard to disregard!

    Questions asked, must be answered, with more than, a it’s their right. Not when those are in charge of instructing those who will hold…A DIVINE OFFICE!

  3. Things are not just not so rosy at River Forest–we have professors in other schools who teach evolution as proven fact much better than the Creation account of Genesis, which they see as a myth. Yet they are not removed from their positions–and these are full professors! We have parochial schools who have as volunteers those who don’t even believe in God as well as some who hold a pastoral position in another church body–not ELCA and even in a couple of cases those who hold this pastoral position are female. TO be sure–they are not staff members but volunteers. one has to wonder! In younger years the guys were forbidden to dress in any thing female–it gave offense to God. Now it truly appears that we so attempt to please the society around us while forgetting that we often offend our God who will be the ultimate judge of all things.

  4. The parallels between secular politics and church politics are striking. And they both appear at our Concordias. The connections are rooted in the approach to language and, ultimately, truth. Chief Justice Scalia made this point in the 1990’s when he was a guest of the St. Louis seminary. We certainly must be careful not to mix the two Kingdoms, but we should not be blind to the relationship between the secular progressive elites and the rot of our churchly institutions. We have a common cause with those who embrace a traditional, Western approach to language and truth, and should act accordingly.

    This means the LCMS should unapologetically exclude leftists professors from our institutions. It also means we should applaud our allies in the “culture wars” – even as we carefully and most assuredly maintain the distinction between temporal and spiritual affairs.

  5. George Heider was a total disaster as president of Concordia. A lot of this garbage came in under his watch. He was so incompetent that he had to be removed. If I am not mistaken his wife was an ELCA priestess.

  6. “Under President Kieschnick there is little or no evidence of church discipline practiced. ”

    Unless someone says or does something that could impede Kieschnick’s agenda.

  7. Phillip,

    You read me like a book. That is exactly what I was trying to do. BJS has not interest in endorsing candidates in the kingdom of the left but that does not mean we cannot mention them or note such similarities as you describe.

    Dutch – does Phillip’s post make sense? Do you agree with him?


  8. It is obvious that the mention of Sarah Palin’s book was merely a segue into the thread’s discussion of the political atmosphere at Concordia–Chicago and the political loyalities/sympathies of numerous professors with leftist terrorist, Bill Ayers, who also ghost-wrote the book for another terrorist sympathizer, Dreams from My Father.

    Palin is not even Lutheran. However, President Johnson (who has his own leanings), Concordia’s Board of Trustees, and probably some of the terrorist-supporting professors are members of synodical congregations and even members of Synod, as are their ecclesiastical supervisors.

    The sad state of synodical leadership is abundantly evident.

    It should also be noted that not only did our synod’s university faculty sign a petition supporting a terrorist as well as his “liberal, socialist, and humanist education theory”, but also one of our official synodical publications recently published a disgustingly vile and obscene letter in which a rostered member of the Missouri Synod publicly boasts of being a member of a political party that for over thirty years has officially and actively advocated, supported, and elected politicians to legislate and fund the genocidal slaughter of over 40 million unborn children.

    Whether, as Phillip suggests, the LCMS should unapologetically exclude leftist professors from its educational institutions, the LCMS should definitely and unapologetically remove as synodical members those who do not publicly repent of their membership in and support for a genocidal and traitorous political party.

  9. Carl,

    Mmmm, intersting piece you point us to by Johnson. This paper by Johnson is a good example of why I campaign for abolishing the discipline of “Christian Ethics.” I do not believe the seven principles of just war that are outlined there are in keeping with Romans 13. St. Paul is much less willing to write a “Christian ethics” than to simply state the authority of the left hand kingdom.

    Christians can do ethics if they wish jsut as they can do science but I wish they would stop doing “Christian” ethics. Christian theology has a morality, not an ethic. A morality is intended for individuals and not the state. For sure, the state would do well to uphold the ten commandments but claiming that the seven principles he lists are somehow Biblical is really a stretch.

    Oh well, I had better stop now lest I rislk derailing the discussion on this string.

    Thanks for your post.


  10. Carl,

    Why don’t you send your letter to the editor of the Witless? You have a valid point. Even while I ask it I continue on to say he is not the only pastor in the LCMS who is a card carrying Democrate. one that I know voted with great joy for a senator who is so pro abortion that it is not funny. And he was proud of it. Even when the voting record was pointed out to him, he would continue to deny that anything this senator did in that area was far outweighed by his good that he did with other bills.

  11. The officials at Concordia University Wisconsin hosted the liberal pro abortionist Sen. Paul Simon on their campus back in the late 80’s. Unfortunately these things have been going on for a long time in the LCMS. Hopefully things are better there now that CUW has a different president.

  12. Who cares about abortion, anyways? Stalin’s question about the Pope, (“How many divisions does he have?”) becomes, in effect, “How many votes do they have?” On Issues, Etc. some time ago, a niece of Dr. Martin Luther King compared the burning of the aborted corpses to passing babies through the fire of Molech To look the other way at this slaughter, one has to compartmentalize his/her thinking, and sin, thereby becomes nothing but a hierarchy of preferential evils. We’re off on a tangent here, but it needs discussion.

    This may become THE defining issue of the age.

  13. “Why don’t you send your letter to the editor of the Witless? “

    I did a couple of weeks ago… and to the letter’s author, his ecclesiastical supervisor, the executive director of Lutherans for Life, and my pastor.

  14. I also wrote the (then) LW editor in early January 2003 about the fallacies in Johnson’s article in the Jan. ’03 LW issue. The article was discussed at the time on the old Lthrn-L listgroup. One poster, a Texas professor of history and philosophy, summed up Johnson’s article as “a full-blown non sequitur.” 😉

  15. No “leftists” professors at any Concordia. I think you will need to further define what you mean by “leftists”. Does that mean any Democrats? So if someone is for more government programs to assist the poor should they be out? Social Security, medicare, federal civil rights legislation, unemployment assistance from the government were all “leftist” programs. So is anyone who supports these ideas to be purged?

    One could make an argument that Republican policy is anti-Christian on many levels, especially, it’s economic policy which favors a wealthy oligarchy and promotes usury and the exploitation of others for personal gain. Read Luther’s sermons and writings against usury. He would not be a Republican or capitalist.

    The last Republican president also began an unnecessary war on false pretenses (Iraq) in which thousands of people have died needlessly. Should we purge those who voted for him? That president spoke at CUW. Should that have been allowed?

    BTW, I am definitely not a “leftist.” I think Bill Ayers should be in jail and it disappointed me greatly that professors at CU-C signed that petition.

    Additionally, should we never have someone speak at a university who does not agree with our doctrine or apparently our approved political philosophy?

  16. Pastor Rossow,
    Just got back on, hubby left for a tree stand, a thermos, & a grand hope of a stocked deep freezer! It’s Wisconsin, what can I say.

    I totally agree w/Phillip’s post! Probably, more than you realize. Do I think that the current climate in governments, are parallellling church climates? You bet. The EU just elected (today) it’s first President. He is an EU federalist. He believes all sovereignty should be abolished, one flag, one currency, one national anthem, one centralized government, for all of the EU. Do I see that mindset & goal in my country? Of course. Do I see the centralization of church governance in all denom’s, that parallells the world’s? yep. Do I see those who choose to say no, being villified? Yep. But hey, this isn’t a surprise, it was said 2000 years ago or so. The only surprise I have is I am seeing it with my own eyes, on this side of the fence & not on His.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t grieve or get angry or God forbid, NOT ACT OR SPEAK OUT? No, now is the time to do that, the clock is ticking. I don’t want to be caught sleeping or be asked, “why did you not speak out, did you not read, understand, or hear these days would come?” That is not something I want asked of me, that is why I write here at BJS. I think it is why we all do. Or at least should.

  17. C.S. #11–Having had a son and daughter both attend Mequon, I don’t think things have become better. My son’s two roommates, both not Lutherans in fact one was a Mormon took Communion on a regular basis. My son attended off campus because of same.

  18. “The last Republican president also began an unnecessary war on false pretenses (Iraq) in which thousands of people have died needlessly”

    Dutch, if this is what you believe, and more importantly, what you publicly (through the world-wide internet) accuse President Bush (as well as those in Congress who voted for H. J. Res. 114: Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002) of doing, then do you believe these people should brought to justice? Should they be charged and tried for manslaughter? Murder? Violating the Constitution? Treason?

  19. Oops. You are correct, Steven. I should have directed my questions to Matt, who I quoted.

    I’m sorry, Dutch.

  20. Matt,

    I didn’t say “Democrats”; I said, “leftists”.

    Do you need a definition? Your rejection of Ayers suggests you don’t.

    Let me know if you are serious.

  21. Phillip….If you meant “Communist terrorist” then say so. “Leftist” is way too general.

    Regarding Iraq: It’s not what I believe or what I am “accusing” anyone of doing…it’s the fact. It was an unnecessary war and was based on the false pretenses of “weapons of mass destruction.” Or have we found some weapons of which I am unaware? The USA invaded a foreign nation preemptively without having been attacked by that nation. I don’t think that was a good decision for the USA or our military. In many ways the presidency of George W. Bush was an absolute disaster for this country. This is just one of them. I voted for him twice because of his pro-life stand and he acted like a conservative in 2000.

  22. “It’s not what I believe or what I am “accusing” anyone of doing…it’s the fact.”

    It is what you are publicly accusing President Bush of. And now you publicly claim it is “fact.”

    So, do you believe President Bush should brought to justice? Should he be charged and tried for manslaughter? Murder? Violating the Constitution? Treason?

    Given your public accusations, Matt, these should not be hard questions for you to answer.

  23. Everyone,

    Please return the discussion to one of two threads here: 1) the problem of Concordia-Chicago profs signing the Ayers petition or 2) the relationship between the left hand and right hand kingdoms. We ought not to use BJS as a vehicle for discussing party politics.


  24. Scott & Pastor Rossow, thank you for putting a stop on that turn here. That is kind of the problem with the prof’s signing that petition. Carl, no sweat, done that a few times myself. FYI-Just be a bit more respectful in your questioning.

    When you mix, your PERSONAL politics, with the denom or Faith, you represent, you can create a problem. You can use analogy, but mixing, that is a mistake the evangelical conservatives have made. Their Faith in Christ is now tied to party politique. Considering, the WUO, Ayers interviews & views since (not really what we call repentant folks), it speaks volumes as to what the Prof’s may well be teaching & the spin attached. You make a political statement, using position, you say much about yourself. You attach your Faith or the Denomination you represent? Mistake! Personally, the prof’s should have been dismissed. Now…we call it (faith based) political activism. You cannot mix left & right. They are separate, but when the governance of both MIRRORS each other? That, is something Scripture calls us to watch for, why? Time is getting short.

    Our ideology & opinions should MIRROR what Scripture speaks, not stand in opposition of It. What are we called to do in Scripture in regards to those placed in authority over us? Did your vote put them there? Did your non vote stop it? No, God Himself does that, He said so. Did Ayers & the Weather Underground do what Christ commands? NO!! The prof’s who signed that document, opposed Scriptural command by signing in support of Ayers & what he represents & believes & is rather unrepentant in doing.
    Is the error w/Scripture or with men? With Scripture, NO, it can’t be. It’s innerrent & God breathed & God inspired. It lies with the ones who have knowingly or unknowingly misdiscerned the Word for Word translation of Scripture. I.E. the error is that person’s not the Bible’s. That is where the world errs, and now where the denom’s err, the mixing of oil & water. The pen is mightier than the sword, & we all know, those who live by the sword…

  25. When we talk of the right hand kingdom, the rules change dramatically. Jude, 2nd Peter Chapter 2, James 4:1-10, the list is long. When we are dealing with boastful, errant, willing & wayward brothers & sisters, elders or shepherds, do the rules change!

    Where & to what did Christ lay His hand, upon a weapon? Was it in the halls of Rome? Was it in Herod’s Hall? No, He took it to those who defiled & decried His Father’s house. The letters/messages in Revelations Chapters 2 &3, were not written for the governments, they were written to the Churches, and those who dwelt in them. That means us & those who have departed from the Sola’s. Little different ballgame is played in the right hand kingdom.

  26. Matt :
    Additionally, should we never have someone speak at a university who does not agree with our doctrine…?

    I think that is a good question. One way to answer that question is by asking another, “Why would we have someone who does not agree with our doctrine speak at one of our universities?” I would hope the answer is obvious, to uncover theological errors and use them as examples in teaching the truth. Unfortunately, we see false teachers invited to speak at our seminaries and universities in the capacity of instructing Lutherans in “better ways of doing church”. Emergence Church guru and heretic, Leonard Sweet, has been invited to teach our students at the St. Louis seminary on several occasions now and I have as yet to see even a position paper against Sweet’s teaching of panentheism. When fellows like Sweet are presented to our youth in a position of authority, with no mention of their theological errors, what signal is being given to them? Isn’t the false teacher, along with his teachings, being given a rubber stamp of approval?

    Of course, more goes on in our Concordias than doctrinal training. I don’t think there would be an issue bringing in a top notch chemist, who is also not a Confessional Lutheran, to give a lecture in his field as long as it didn’t touch upon doctrine. On the other hand, though, if the same person was a well known public advocate of abortion rights that becomes a problem. Why would we want to parade such a person before our youth in any teaching capacity?

  27. [[political statements removed]]

    Jim…when it comes to theological instruction I understand your point. However, I think seminarians or college students should have the opportunity at academic institutions to hear divergent views (even though we should clearly identify what we believe, teach, and confess.) I have no problem with having Leonard Sweet if he’s challenged and not embraced. Additionally, I don’t think we should not allow someone to speak on a subject like chemistry simply because they disagree with our position on abortion. I would allow political officials to speak on campus if it was relevant to a club or course, even if that official was pro-choice on abortion. I would NOT allow an official club advocating “abortion rights” on campus.

  28. Matt,
    Was Leonard Sweet challenged rigorously when he appeared at Concordia StL? Was Rob Bell rigorously challenged when he spoke at Concordia Milwaukee? Was Dan Kimball, rigorously challenged at the Youth event in Texas when he spoke?

  29. Matt,
    Do me a favor. Go on the LCMS website, and in the search bar, type in Leonard Sweet. Hint, it is going to light up like a Christmas tree. PK has shared the keynote speak spot with Leonard Sweet. Does that sound like challenging, or embracing, welcoming, & asking Sweet to teach? I wonder how many sign copies of Aqua Church, Perfect Storm, or Postmodern Piligrims walked out that weekend.

  30. FYI….Postmodern Piligrims is recommended reading for seminarians taking Homiletics (preaching) courses. Anyone is promoted at the sem as long as they make some “helpful” point in their book. Rob Bell is quoted in a sermon in the current Lutheran Witness in a way that promotes him also. There is a strange fascination with heteroxy and heresy today.

  31. @Matt #30

    Hi Matt,

    I absolutely agree that seminarians and college students should hear divergent views as long as false doctrine is clearly corrected. Dutch is right in pointing out that the teachings of these men haven’t been publicly corrected, but they have been allowed to speak. What message does that send to our young scholars?

    Regarding my remark concerning a non-Lutheran “chemist” speaking on the topic at one of our Concordias, I was careful in writing that if they are “a well known public advocate of abortion rights” that they should not be invited to speak. Inviting such a person to speak without publicly rebuking them for their public position on child murder and genocide would smack of complacency toward their unrepentant sin.

  32. Matt,

    I didn’t say “communist terrorists” because I don’t think ANY sort of Leftist should be teaching at our Concordias. Not just communist terrorists. Jim’s example of an abortion advocate is but one obvious example.

    You seem fixated on the Democrat party, but, as Pastor Rossow said, this thread is not about party politics nor is there anything partisan in my point. (Indeed, what in the world does the former President’s Iraq policy have to do with ANYTHING on this???)

    So, let me try to help you out here. I’ll admit up front that it is not easy. Defining a Leftist is a little bit like defining pornography. So with the caveat that all depictions of nudity are not necessarily pornographic, let me offer you some common-sense depictions of what political scientists and historians would characterize as “Leftists”:

    If one is so committed to egalitarian ideals that any means to such ends are justified….then one is a Leftist.

    If one takes a relativist approach to language, defining truth claims as assertions of power rather than objective observations……then one is a Leftist.

    If one views history as a progressive working out of conflict between impersonal, dialectical forces – wheter of class, race, or sexual orientation…..then one is a Leftist.

    If you find yourself involved in a “Popular Front” with all sorts of others who have minor distinctions in priority or identify but are united in the establishment of a social utopia via politcal means……..then one is a Leftist.

    To be clear, let me also speak of what a Leftist is NOT:

    Just because you shop at Whole Foods, ride trains, or avidly recycle does not mean you are a Leftist.

    Just because you belong to a union does not mean you are a Leftist.

    Just because you want the government to provide for the least among us does not mean you are a Leftist.

    Just because one critizes the Republican party’s tendancy to value efficiency over most other values does not mean you are a Leftist.

    Just because one objects to a particular war our government may decide to fight does not mena you are a Leftist.

    I hope that helps. It really isn’t about party politics. To burnish my cred on this, Matt, I’d like to add that I’ve actually worked dozens of volunteer hours in the campaign offices of candidates from different parties in US Congressional elections in my day: Bob Gammage, Democrat and Dick Armey, Republican. I don’t care if someone is from Monty Python’s “Very Silly Party” if they are right on the issues and of good character.

    So, it is not individual policy positions or party loyalty that are determinative here. What matters is how one understands the world. I want those who teach at our Concordias to have a Biblical understanding of the world.

    Such a Christian “worldview” is simply not consistent with those who get their philosophy from Hegel or Nietzsche, their economics from Marx, their linguistics from Foucault, their pedagogy from Dewey, their etiology from Darwin, or their inspiration from Mao.

    Sadly, the current Democrat Administration is filled with many who are Leftists, but that does not mean that all Democrats are leftists or that my criteria would have anything to do with membership in that party. (Though Carl Vehse does have a point re: abortion & the Democrats).

    Instead, I’m concerned about what these professors BELIEVE and TEACH. How they act and how they might vote are simply incidental to that core question.

  33. Phillip, well done!!! Kudos & cheers! Kingdoms, who are polarly different, at their core, cannot, do not, nor can ever mix!!! Well said!!!

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