Everything I Needed to Know about Denominational Cooperation I Learned from my Mother: A Review of President Kieschnick’s New Task Force’s Opinion on Implications of the ELCA’s Heresy on Homosexuality, by Pr. Rossow

President Kieschnick appointed a commission to address implications of the ELCA’s recent heretical decision to allow and ordain practicing homosexuals into the Office of the Holy Ministry. You can read it here: http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=16740.

The  authors of the document are to be commended for being clear that the ELCA has violated the clear teaching of Scripture.

It would have been nice if they had taken a stronger position on implications. The authors are misguided in the way they  characterize Lutheranism.   The authors describe Lutheranism as being in a state of confusion and this gives an odd feel to the document. Lutheranism is not in a state of confusion. The ELCA is in a state of confusion and  long ago denied Lutheranism when they gave up on the inerrancy of Scripture.

It is also misguided to suggest that the LCMS should continue to cooperate with the ELCA in non-word and sacrament work. Can the church do anything meaningful that does not involve word and sacrament? This is an outrageous position that the Task Force takes.

If I have been hurt by a natural disaster and I have  a team of ELCA/LCMS folks serving me, will I not be confused about the LCMS’s theology if I then have the ELCA half of the team preach their heterodox “gospel” to me?

There is a time to be nice and cooperative and a time not to be. There is no compelling reason to cooperate with a denomination that spits on the word of God.

The authors of the document think there is a compelling reason:

In areas where we currently have working arrangements with ELCA congregations and entities, the status of those working relationships is dependent on policies and actions taken by the various entities from national to local levels. We do not believe the ELCA’s recent sexuality decisions should necessarily or summarily end our work together in these agencies. (p. 5)

Just because we have arrangements that are dependent on local or national levels does not mean that we should cooperate with people who deny the authority of the Bible and thereby deny the authority of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit who breathed the words of the Bible.

We would encourage brothers Lehenbauer,  Meyer, Nadasdy, Nafzger, Wenthe, Wohlrabe, Vogel and Kieschnick to adopt the spirit of Paul when addressing heresy and apostasy instead of writing from this position of weakness and confusion. Here is a sample of how Paul addresses heresy and apostasy:

Romans 16:17  I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18  For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites,  and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

Galatians 1:6  I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7  not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. 8  But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9  As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

The document takes a clear stand on Scripture but why these fine theologians do not have the gumption to lead us to cut off all cooperation  with the ELCA is an enigma. I know that many of the authors on the list know full well that doctrine and practice cannot be separated and that any good that there might be in cooperating with those who deny Christ’s word (I really can’t think of any) is cancelled out by the fallout from such cooperation.

When I was a child, my mother and father invested a lot of time in getting to know who I was hanging out with because they knew how important it was to my formation.   The same kindergarten wisdom  should apply to denominational cooperation.

Hey guys, it is not that hard to say it:

“Because the ELCA has taken another drastic step away from Scriptural truth, based on their faulty view of the fallibility of Holy Scripture, the LCMS shall cut off any formal ties of cooperation with this body that denies our Lord’s Word.”

We ask President Kieschnick and his task force to reconsider this. Where are the Biblical leaders in this Synod?

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.


Everything I Needed to Know about Denominational Cooperation I Learned from my Mother: A Review of President Kieschnick’s New Task Force’s Opinion on Implications of the ELCA’s Heresy on Homosexuality, by Pr. Rossow — 43 Comments

  1. “…In areas where we currently have working arrangements with ELCA congregations and entities, the status of those working relationships is dependent on policies and actions taken by the various entities from national to local levels. We do not believe the ELCA‘s recent sexuality decisions should necessarily or summarily end our work together in these agencies. (p. 5)…”

    Heh. Why does this remind me of some of the same verbiage in the totally unnecessary, strongly ecumenical ECT documents. Sure, there are travesties taking place (such as willful abortion of the unborn) in modern culture that we are strongly against, but in order to address them do we have to do it under the guise of the Church? Why can’t I and my Roman Catholic or Baptist neighbors team up as citizens to protest these things? Why does the Gospel have to be compromised by setting aside other denominations’ errors and marching under the united banner of conservative Christendom?

    The more all of this goes along the more I feel like giving up on the whole business…

  2. Pastor Rossow: Great and truthful comments. Thank you for taking a stand for the Word of God, and our confessions!

    George in Wheaton #1:

    How important it is to have a 2K theology at this time. If we don’t educate other Christians about the importance of 2K theology, (where the kingdom of God and the kingdom of man are both ordained by God, but separate) the politicians will soon be attempting to preach in our pulpits.

    Every time a politician tries to quote the Bible, we should say, “Shut up, we don’t care what you think about God, please go and run the country. We’ll hear from God’s Word from our churches, not you politicians.”

  3. The ELCA is no longer officially Lutheran or Christian. Do we do fellowship with Mormons, JWs, Islam? The reasoning of these folks leads me to believe that they are either gutless or sympathetic to these apostates. This is just another reason to consider leaving the LCMS as it is already leaving us.

  4. Egads, “mark and avoid” already in terms of working with the ELCA. Acknowledging yet another doctrinal error of the ELCA, when they have been burying their heads in the sands of secularism since the 1800s and prior is of no substance in helping them as a church body. Confessional Lutherans can help ELCA members who come to the truth and seek help from God in faith via repentance and contrition. However, the thought that the LCMS leadership can somehow has not and will not terminate working relationships with ELCA is tantamount to practicing synergism.

  5. Growing up in the ALC/ELCA and kicking the dust of my shoes 10 years ago, this is just apalling!!!! I drive 40 minutes to my LCMS church just to “mark and avoid” these apostates (the leadership). For the life of me, I cannot understand this. The only thing I can think of is the fact that there are some in our leadership who just have a love affair with these folks, or they just don’t have the theological backbone to biblically do what has to be done.

  6. Lloyd in #3: You mean like Minnesota’s 6th District Representative Michele Bachmann who was recently quoted in the Riddleblog’s “Who Said That” column by making the following statement?

    “…”I am convinced in my heart and in my mind that if the United States fails to stand with Israel, that is the end of the United States . . . [W]e have to show that we are inextricably entwined, that as a nation we have been blessed because of our relationship with Israel, and if we reject Israel, then there is a curse that comes into play. . . . We believe very strongly the verse from Genesis [Genesis 12:3], we believe very strongly that nations also receive blessings as they bless Israel. It is a strong and beautiful principle.…”

    Now, if this isn’t an obfuscation of the two kingdoms I don’t know what is. And yet, according to this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michele_Bachmann she’s also a WELS Lutheran. Does WELS teach and/or tolerate this kind of two covenant theology?

  7. Let’s see: “The ELCA‘s decisions stand in sharp contrast to this genuinely ecumenical Christian consensus. The foundational document for the ELCA‘s controversial approval of same-gender genital sexual relationships describes itself as ―a distinctly Lutheran approach‖ to human sexuality. 26 As Lutheran Christians, we find this claim to be deeply troubling” so write the authors of the implications of the ELCA’s most recent approved, adopted and embraced heresy.

    Didn’t the Synod in convention already declare the ELCA to be non-Lutheran? Why do we need to address the ELCA apostasy AGAIN? Doesn’t the ELCA already approve female clergy, have a quaetnus subscription to the Confessions and a higher critical understanding to the Bible, aren’t they in fellowship with the United Church of Christ, the United Methodist Church, the Episcopal Church of America – all who to some measure deny the efficacy of baptism and/or the Lord’s Supper?.

    You ask: Where are the Biblical leaders in this Synod? I think they have left Babylon.

  8. Now, if this isn’t an obfuscation of the two kingdoms I don’t know what is. And yet, according to this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michele_Bachmann she’s also a WELS Lutheran. Does WELS teach and/or tolerate this kind of two covenant theology?

    Rep. Backmann is WELS and we continue to pray for her as a political leader. She is a saint and sinner like us all and we hope and pray she seeks spiritual guidance if she is unclear on matters. However political and spiritual beliefs do not always align in ways we might think best. Rep. Bachmann is serving in a world filled with a reliance on government and a lack of a belief in God where it is easy to be battered for about any statement from an opposing point of view. It takes a strong character of will and faith to do that job.

  9. George in Wheaton,

    “Does WELS teach and/or tolerate this kind of two covenant theology?”

    We certainly don’t teach what Rep. Bachmann is quoted as saying. It’s rather appalling. Tolerate it? I can only hope that her pastor has talked with her about it since that interview and corrected her (assuming the quote is accurate).

    Apparently she has taken some flak for her WELS membership on an “anti-Catholic” front, since we do still hold to the Confessions that call the pope the Antichrist. That’s not too politically correct.

  10. I’ve asked this before, but should we participate in Thrivent? Are we saying that ELCA’s okay with our participation?

  11. What does Pastor Matthew Harrison have to say about this task force’s conclusions. I would expect a statement.

  12. Pr. Rossow states: “The authors are misguided in the way they characterize Lutheranism. The authors describe Lutheranism as being in a state of confusion and this gives an odd feel to the document. Lutheranism is not in a state of confusion.”

    The “state of confusion” that the Task Force references is in the context of homosexuality (and sexuality in general), it goes far beyond that envelope. Lutheranism is in a state of confusion, as the conclusions of the task force clearly show. The LCMS is very confused about worship, the church, the office of the ministry, and just about everything that is Biblical, confessional, and Lutheran. Pastor Rossow may not be confused, I may not be confused, and the BJS may not be confused, but Lutheranism is, any way you slice it.

    Johannes (getting confused)

  13. Last fall, the Central Illinois District Pastors Conference passed a resolution asking Pres. Kieschnick not to extend an invitation to the Presiding Bishop of the ELCA to speak at the 2010 Synodical Convention. During the debate, there was some concern about how this would effect some of the local cooperative (non-Word and Sacrament) relationships between LCMS and ELCA congregations. Some of the ELCA congregations in our area are more conservative theologically than some LCMS congregations in other areas of the country – they are still trying to save the sinking ship from within.

    The point was made during the discussion that the resolution is not one of chastisement or pronouncing of shame. Just as we do not invite the Papal Nuncio of the Roman Catholic Church or the presiding Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church or the President of the Southern Baptist Convention, neither should we extend an invitation to the leadership of a body that we have already determined to be heterodox and, since that determination, has fallen further afield from the teaching of Scripture. As far as I know, there has not been a response to that resolution.

  14. Johannes,

    My point is that there is no need for the leading theologians of the synod to complain about Lutheran confusion. They should speak in a clear, staright-forward manner and bring clarity to Lutheranism.


  15. > Where are the Biblical leaders in this Synod?

    People with fine education, position and title who will not demarcate truth from falsehood so as to warn the erring and comfort the faithful are not my leaders.

    There is no longer a synod.

  16. @Pastor Tim Rossow #18

    Pastor Tim Rossow :
    My point is that there is no need for the leading theologians of the synod to complain about Lutheran confusion. They should speak in a clear, staright-forward manner and bring clarity to Lutheranism.

    Good point. Well taken. It confirms my point. They are confused.



  17. boogie :
    I’ve asked this before, but should we participate in Thrivent? Are we saying that ELCA’s okay with our participation?

    I think that the joint community projects that Thrivent funds could be a problem if your have a mix of ELCA, LCMS, WELS, ELS folks contributing to projects that go against conscience. Thrivent is changing their funding mechanism to be matching grants to congregational projects, which is better IMHO.

  18. How far does a Formerly Lutheran Synod (church) have to go before it is considered Pagan?

    You are either righteous because of the Imputed Righteousness of Christ or you are Pagan in trying to establish your own righteousness. As the Jews now are, who worship an Idol, when in denying Christ’s Godhood, as the Messiah and His work of Redemption, His Person, Nature and Work, they no longer worship Jehovah of the Old Testament.

    And so as the ELCA in it’s official pronouncements and actions in theology and practice proclaim a God and worship having nothing to do with Christ and Biblical Soteriology, and so no longer Lutheran and no longer Christian, in that they no longer retain as much truth as is needed to convert souls to Christ?!, do we need to consider then as pagan?

    As far as the Official church body is concerned.

  19. George in Wheaton # 7:

    WELS’s theology on the 2K’s is in line with our Lutheran confessions. You will never hear 2K confusion from the pulpit. There are idiots in every synod!

    That is exactly my point on the 2K’s. The minute a politician brings God and the Bible up, Christians need to tell them to, “SHUT UP.” They were not voted in for their views on the Bible. In the kingdom of man, Mitt Romney may be a good candidate, and he is a Mormon!

    The more that Christian (idiots) bring God and the Bible up in politics, the more they are inviting the government into our pulpits. Shame, shame on the James Dobson types that confuse the two kingdoms!

    Luther on this mess: “You fool and miserable dunce, take care of our own calling, and do not preach; let your pastor do that. Conversely, the sectarian spirits will not stop and stay with the sword of the mouth but will, as seditionists, reach for the temporal sword and desire to rule in the city hall. The devil does all this. He takes no holiday until he has mixed the two swords. That the devil brews everything into one mess is nothing new. The devil always wants to cook and brew these two kingdom into one mess.”

    Luther, as always, is at least 1,000 years ahead of us in his thinking!!!

  20. Perhaps MB is a WELSINO. She sounds more like a AOG member. Israel is about as corrupt as is the rest of the Middle east.

  21. How can be that the two Seminary Presidents and Wohlrabe(conservative Lutheran?), can but will not give the good confession, as did Christ before Pontius Pilate?!

    How is it, if we give but a half of confession, is that a confession at all?

    If Christ has said that those who will not take up their cross and follow Him, have no part in Him,

    and those who do not confess Him, will be denied before the all the Holy Angels and God the Father.

    What if Athanasius had given only half of a confession against the Arians and therefore revealed only half of their soul destroying heresy and therefore only half of the consequences of following such a false teaching?!

    If a little leaven, leavens the whole lump and only half of the lump, so poisonous, is shown to people, will these souls think that the ELCA is only so bad but not to be avoided, to the salvation of their souls?!

    If an office is given by Christ and all the benefits that accrue from that office are enjoyed, salary, benefits, retirement funds(pensions and such like), travel, honor, position, and yet those who have these offices refuse to fulfill that office or hide behind nice sounding words that exempt them from calling Apostasy what it is and save some souls?

    I think come Matthew 25 there could be some surprises as to who finds himself on what side of Christ at His 2nd Coming, if they do not repent of their laxidasial confession and really fulfill their offices as Christ has said they should.

  22. Mike A,
    Have a bit of care, before condemning Israel…look who’s sitting in the white-washed house of “The People’s House”. They don’t care for you & I much either.

  23. Dutch,
    I mean to say that Israel, the fabricated country, is not the Israel of God (people of God). THis 2K understanding is based on errant theological under pinnings and any Lutheran who professes it is not much of a Bible student. Modern “Jews” are as sinful as any other nation. The Lord used Israel as the linage of The Messiah and for nothing more. They are not special, in fact, if anything, they are a microcosm of the whole sinful human race.

  24. M Ames,
    I disagree, and apparently, so did Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
    “was excoriated in the German Press by an S.S. journalist, who said that, “he (D. Bonhoeffer) dares, even in the year 1936, to represent the world’s Juda, as the “eternal nation” , the true “noble people” and the “people of God”. -online reference

    If you like, read up on Operation 7, Bonhoeffer & Dohanyi in the Abwehr & Bonhoeffer’s lecture, The Church and the Jewish Question. (Cambridge has the lecture, available for download. (8K)

    I guess, to you, D. Bonhoeffer, was “errant” theologically, and not much a Bible student.
    You should try to separate “Jews” in ancestry from “Jews” who practice the Hebrew faith.
    I am Lutheran, but I’m still Jewish, in ancestry not in practice, Mike.

  25. Dutch,

    I really don’t know and am not that concerned. If I were to make a top 50 list of most important Lutheran theologians he would not be on it.

    How would you answer the question?


  26. Pastor Rossow,
    I would probably answer by looking at the entire chapter of Romans 11. I’m part Jewish and part “Gentile” (no, I don’t use those words in referring to people). If the Jews are to be saved, it is by Grace not lineage, is it still preserved? I think Romans 11:28-29 says what I believe best (whole chapter, really)

    “Concerning the Gospel, they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election, they are beloved for the sake of their Fathers. For the gifts of God are irrevocable”
    Romans 11:28-29 NKJV.

    To any practicing Jew, I am no longer a Jew. I even knew someone who converted to Judaism from German Catholic. Even to her, I’m no Jew. People like me, have been “cast out”. I am grateful & thankful God, hasn’t “cast” them out, at least, that isn’t what Paul appears to be saying in Romans 11. Do I believe all Israel will be saved, no I do not. Many, yes, but only by Grace, through Faith in Christ.

    I don’t boast about “being” a Christian & I don’t boast about “being” of Jewish decent, who would? I can’t boast about anything I didn’t do. Christ did both.

  27. Dutch :
    Pastor Rossow,
    What did D. Bonhoeffer believe?

    Dutch, what did Bonhoeffer believe about, say, creation and Biblical inerrancy?

    “When the Bible speaks of six days of creation, the term “day” may well have been meant in the sense of a day of morning and evening. Even so, however, it did not mean such days as periods of time that one could just count up; instead what is being thought of is the power of the day, which alone makes the physical day what it is: the natural dialectic of creation. Where the Bible speaks of the “day,” it is not at all the physical problem that it is discussing. Whether the creation occurred in rhythms of millions of years or in single days, this does no damage to biblical I thinking. We have no reason to assert the latter or to doubt the former; the question as such does not concern us. That the biblical author, to the extent that the author’s word is a human word, was bound by the author’s own time, knowledge, and limits is as little disputed as the fact that through this word God, and God alone, tells us about God’s creation. God’s daily works are the rhythms in which the creation rests” (Creation and Fall, 49).

    You really want to trust a guy who could write that? It’s like saying, “The facts aren’t important, just the implications I can draw.”

    If Bonhoeffer’s theology had remained the same and he had lived ’til today, and he had come to America, he would be in ELCA; in Germany, he would not be in SELK, but in the state church. If he were in ELCA, he might well be a dissident, due to the moral issues, but, still, his theology is not to be trusted. In fact, I wouldn’t call it theology so much as devotional theistic philosophy…but you know that I’m rude that way.

    No, God’s calling is not able to be revoked, but the calling was always in connection with Christ. Modern Jews complain against Rome’s old doctrine of ‘supersession’–that Christ’s Church has superseded Old Testament Israel. I would complain about something different: Old Testament israel’s primary role was as Christ’s Church, and was a physical nation for the safeguarding of the Gospel…but, just as once the Perfect Rest (Christ) had come, the Sabbath was fulfilled and that shadow was no longer necessary (since now we have the body; Colossians 2:16…and if your translation says ‘substance’, ‘reality’, or something like that, it should say ‘body’, soma, as the Holy Spirit has St. Paul use a wonderful ‘hide-and-seek’ analogy here), so, also, the physical nation is no longer necessary and “the israel of God” are those who “follow this canon”: that neither circumcision nor uncircumcision is anything, but only being re-created in Christ, in whose cross alone is our boast (Galatians 6:12-16).



  28. The promises to Israel were fulfilled in Christ and the Church. Peter in 1 Peter 2:9 & 10 says this, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

    Paul in Galatians 6:16 calls the church the “Israel of God.”

    Hebrews 12:22 says this about where the new Jerusalem is located, “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering.”

    There is no more national Israel. The church is now Israel. Personally, I like Israel, but what goes on in the middle east is nothing more than political situations, and not Biblical prophecy.

    Paul says in Ephesians, that the wall that seperated the two men (Jew and Gentile) was taken down by Christ at the cross, so that the two men would now have bold access to God the Father the same way, and that being faith in Christ.

    This is the Biblical, historical church view, and not the newer stuff as imagined by the Dipsy’s.

  29. Pastor Stephanski,
    I haven’t seen you post lately, glad to see you! I never said, I agreed whole heartedly with everything Bonhoeffer, ever said. He was on his way to Gandhi, when he was arrested. Bad idea!!! But, as you posted some of his words, I will post just a few of Luther’s. This is quite a dichotomy for me & people who just happen to be of Jewish decent in the Lutheran Church. There are quite a few, as I know quite a few. They can’t all reside in WI.

    “If I find a Jew to baptize, I shall lead him to the Elbe river, hang a stone around his neck, and push him into the water, baptizing him with the name of Avraham!….I cannot convert the Jews. Our Lord Christ did not succeed in doing so: but I can slose their mouths so that there will be nothing for them to do, but lie on the ground.” Martin Luther (online source)

    I remember the Phillip and the Eunich, in this quote, does Martin Luther remember them? Anyone, no matter who, race or whatnot, which asks to be baptized, must do so, in belief by the Holy Spirit (not by decision), in Faith, in Christ Jesus.
    In the quote above, what does that speak to a Jew coming to the Lutheran Faith or Lutheran Pasto? My Grandmother would be at the bottom of the Elbe, if it were based soley on this quote. Instead, she made sure her boys, went to the Lutheran Sunday School, every Sunday with a nickle. (Grandpa was a true Socialist, so she wasn’t allowed to ‘waste her time’, but she made sure her boys heard the Gospel) She had to wait, until Grandpa passed away. Her son’s in laws, took her, a more ardent Lutheran, you’d be hard pressed to find. However, she never forgot anything, she was never asked to change her heritage. Who can? That is what makes a heritage a heritage. God did that, why would would you change or be ashamed of what anything God did?

    The most steadfast Christians, in our family, are the Lutherans (loose Catholic also). We fight to protect the Solas & Lutheran Confessions, sometimes, at painful partings & at a cost. Luther converted no one, the Holy Spirit does that, through Christ Jesus. Jesus didn’t convert a nation, he converted people. Not a nation, not the Sanhedrin, but, the “little people”. His followers, were not the good, great or learned, they were the simple.
    Luther doesn’t mention, Alexander & Rufus, the sons of Simon of Cyrene. Simon, after carrying the Cross, couldn’t partake of the Passover. He was rendered “unclean” for the doing. Libya on foot is a long way to walk, for something, you cannot take part of. But, something must have happened that day, as his sons Alexander & Rufus, carried the Gospel (Acts & Romans).
    Me & mine, understand to the core of our being, what it means to be freed from the Law! Christ Jesus, did the impossible! All I ask, is that a degree of charity, be given in regards to Israel & Jews. Faith & Race, are sometimes different.
    If we condemn all, we shut doors of hearts to the Gospel. Those are not doors, they nor we, can afford to shut. Change the Solas or Confessions, no! Luther’s writings on the Jews are not in the Confessions folks!!!!
    I can’t change, the bits & pieces, that make me “what” I am, but, it is Christ Alone, that makes me “who” I am. Apart from Him, none of us are anything. No matter what you may came from.

  30. Concerning those on the task force: Yes, there were some good men on that committee who should have said some stronger words. But when it came down to the vote, were they outnumbered by Kieshnick cronies? Take a look at the whole number of the committee. Same thing went for some of the previous statements by the CTCR in the past 10 years. It’s not that there weren’t good people on the committee, it’s just they were outnumbered and had to submit their dissent(s) to the “official” documents.

    The same things goes for the hymnals. Why do we have LSB hymn # 806? Because it speaks the word of God faithfully and clearly or is it because of back room dealing (ie. if you want that one in there then I get to put in one of mine that you don’t like)?

    Let’s get out of working with the ELCA once and for all and stop helping them along.

    In the same vein, let’s get our pastors out of “ministerial alliances” in their local communities. It’s pretty similar. If we are in fellowship with them let’s work together, if not, let’s do our own work and preach the Gospel.

  31. Dutch #36:

    Just a few things on Luther and the Jews: First of all, I am a German, and my mother was from Dusseldorf West Germany. My mother loved the Jewish people. But, she was forced into being a Hitler youth, against her will. I love both Germany (I am a huge German soccer fan), and I love Israel and the Jewish people.

    You are correct, when you state that if you want to know Lutheran theology, you must read and study our confessions. Luther is not the final court of arbitration on what Lutherans teach, but the Bible is, as summerized by our Lutheran confessions.

    Now, I am a huge, huge fan of Luther, and I read and study his writings everyday. What blessing it is to do so!

    Here are a few of my opinions on Luther and the Jews: Luther’s statements concerning the Jews, often represented in abbreviated form, can be evaluated in unbiased fashion only when we first take into account the Jewish situation in the West on the eve of the Reformation, and next, when we evaluate the context in which Luther made his comments. If those factors are not observed, access is obstructed to historical understanding as well as to a critique, with any basis, of Luther’s position. The attempt at hastily uniting Luther’s position with later developments leads to misrepresentation of Luther.

    Luther frequently attacked the Jews for their legalism and self-righteousness. The reproaches had to do with the attempt to establish one’s own righteousness before God, with the false trust in one’s own works. On this subject Luther often set the Jews in a light with other heretics and schismatics who trusted in the own righteousness before God.

    Luther actually defended the Jews as well. Here is one quote by Luther on the Jews: “If I had been a Jew and had seen such dolts and blockheads govern and teach the Christian faith, I would sooner have become a hog than a Christian.”

    Luther undoubtedly said many things that he shouldn’t have. I believe that we all have said many things that we shouldn’t have.

    One big difference with Luther, was that wherever he went, he would have hordes of reporters and students quoting everything that he would say. They probably quoted a bunch of things that he said, that he wouldn’t have wanted to have quoted. And, he was probably misquoted much of the time also. But, I do believe that people have to look at the context of what he said, and the conditions at the time in our world and in the church when he would make his comments.

    Also, I believe that at the time of the Reformation, and with Luther leading it, he was under incredible attack by the Devil, that would be incomprehensible to us today.

    Personally, I am not to much into reading about Luther, but, I am much more into actually reading Luther. How much Luther loved the Lord really comes out when you read and study his commentaries and his works. There you will find the real Luther!

  32. Dutch.

    I do not know DB’s escatology but if he believed in lineage as salvation he was wrong. IN Christ, says Paul, were all of the promises of the Law and the Prophets fulfilled. The modern state of Israel does not inherit eternal life because someone in thier family tree may have been of Abraham (himself not a jew but a Caldean of Ur). As the Lord Christ once said “God can make children of Abraham out of these stones…you are not circumcised in your hearts.”
    As I stated earlier the Israelites are a perfect example of the sinful human race and not a special people for us to emulate. YET, God in His mercy brought His Son into this word on our behalf us through this defiant, sinful rebellious tribe, who often acted in worse ways than thier pagan neighbors, even as we do. Praise be to HIM.

    From a grafted member of the Israel of God.

  33. Lloyd,
    Don’t ever apologize for being German!!! I don’t. My great Uncle, died in a Russian POW camp. (Grandpa’s brother in law). I’m German, & had relatives there at the time & still do, Lutheran/Christian, not the Jewish side. Don’t apologize & you should never feel you have to justify what people that were there, had to or were forced to do. I had family on both sides of the issue, I know from them, what happened there, from both sides.

    Lloyd, that is exactly my point. It’s the Confessions, that we hold & use his commentaries. Not the pamphlet on the Jews, not personal letters or quotes. Those aren’t always in the same context as the Confessions. Luther had a bad day or two, and he was fallen flesh and bone. I’m not much into biographies or commentaries “on” people either. I prefer the orginal source. Most of “jewish” stuff, is taken from his pamphlet on the Jews. I understand why he wrote it, frustration, anger, and trial, tend to cause us all, to say, write & do things, we wish we never had. Understand, but don’t excuse. That is the way I look at that pamphlet. But, Lloyd, not everyone does. They take every word Luther wrote or a contemporary quoted him, and hold it up as if it were included in the Confessions. It shouldn’t be.

    We don’t condemn a nation, for the acts of a few. Israel, Germany, or at this point, the US. Luther, Bonhoeffer, and BJS (Confessional Lutherans) do have a similarity or two. They did or are, fighting to keep, culture, progressive ideas, falsehoods & heresy, from devouring and destroying the Lutheran Church. In the end, we know, as they did, who will win the day & take the field: Christ.

  34. Kurt,

    You make a good point about the make-up of the committee although it is such a small group that you would think Wenthe, Meyer and Wohlrabe could have had more influence.


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