And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20) NKJV
Jesus’ words in verse 20a are important to His Church on earth. Any church body should be mindful of it. An honest question about it may be: has the LCMS kept this verse in mind? Do we teach all things? Do we need to repent? As the Psalmist laments, How long O Lord? Lord, have mercy upon us.
Recently, while attending the Minnesota North District Convention, another brother under the yoke of Christ came up to me and said, “This isn’t about theology. It’s about politics.” My stomach ached. I was sick. I asked him, “Are you kidding me? We are churchman gathered together to talk about the Church. Since when does politics dictate to the Church?”
I may be naive. I may be ignorant about many things. There are a few things however I am confident about. One thing I know for sure is that I believe Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God. I know that the One I confess to be Lord is the same One who called and ordained me into His holy service to teach His people to observe all things [He] has commanded. I know it’s about theology. It has to be. If the Church is all about politics, then what are we doing with the Holy Bible and the Lutheran Confessions? If it’s all about politics, then these precious books are nothing more than books with mere common words written on their pages.
The Church must be about theology. If Church is about politics, it becomes a business. That would make everyone in this “business” we call church nothing more than businessmen who are directed by politics. When I was confronted with the reality that the LCMS is not about theology but politics, my conscience was burdened.
How can I, as an under-shepherd of the Good Shepherd, teach them all things He has commanded us when it’s not about theology? I began to think that’s probably why we got ourselves into the situation we’re in today; it’s because of politics. The LCMS got herself into trouble because she cast aside the Word of God and the Lutheran Confessions and replaced these things with politics which has resulted in By-Laws, open communion, contemporary worship, dancers, screen, projectors, women preachers and teachers, etc.
On that fateful day, April 16, 2012, when I was told that the Minnesota North District Convention is not about theology but politics, I came to the realization that The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod will never repair the wrongs she has committed and continues to commit.
IT’S TIME! for reformation! IT’S TIME! for confession and absolution. IT’S TIME! that NO means NO once again in the Church. IT’S TIME! to return to the command of Jesus that we, the Church be about theology and teach them all things He has commanded us.
Associate Editor’s Note: With this post we introduce Pastor John Wurst, who will be writing occasionally in a category called “Steadfast Office” where he will work on matters pertaining to the pastoral office.
Pastor John F. Wurst was born in Walled Lake, MI. He served 21 years in the US Naval Service retiring A.D. 2001. He studied at Detroit College of Business, earning his BBA in Management A.D. 1997. In 2003, he then began his studies toward ordination into the Office of the Holy Ministry at Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, IN. He served a summer vicarage at St. James in Archbold, Ohio and a second vicarage at St. John + Bingen in Decatur, Indiana. Pastor Wurst now serves the Christ at The Lutheran Church of Christ the King in Duluth, Minnesota. He is married to Tamara. He has two step-children, Amanda and Benjamin and also two grandchildren, Evelyn and Dominic.