Supporting resolutions for ULC stricken, “this” resolution is put to the MNS Convention. UPDATED

ULC during construction in 1949.
The entire MN District Convention took a recess to be part of it.


The ongoing struggle over ULC, showing the deepening divisions in our Synod has a new document.  ULC has released a critical evaluation of the resolution that will be put before the Minnesota South District Convention (Resolution 5-01).  Keep in mind this resolution is the one put before delegates for their pre-convention reading and so forth.  I would urge all delegates to the Convention also read ULC’s take on the situation as it greatly differs from the content of the printed resolution.

Here is the ULC critique of Resolution 5-01

If you would take a look at this resolution from the outside and consider what it says, consider that this is a resolution which names a congregation (member congregation of the MNS Distict) and its pastor (a member of the MNS District of the LCMS) and speaks very ill of that congregation and pastor in the contents of the resolution.  The District Convention planners under the MNS District thought it was appropriate to put such words to page and send them out as official convention correspondence.  The language and so forth only shows how this whole situation has been poorly handled from the start.


ALSO – please note all the financial language surrounding the resolution as though this is a financial situation.  If it is financial, why didn’t the District accept the offer for $300,000 more?

If you are a delegate, please don’t just blindly follow this resolution, but consider the position of ULC.  It is only fair and reasonable to do so.  There are obvious flaws in the statements coming out in this resolution.  Such flaws should have been reason for this resolution to not see the convention floor, but you will have to figure it out there.

UPDATE:  I forgot to include the letter to MNS Delegates by Pr. Kind, you may read it here.


For further reading:
Purpose of ULC-Convention Actions

Purpose of ULC-Official District Reports

Purpose of ULC-Gamma Delta

Who Paid for ULC

Correspondence of ULC’s Pastors

About Pastor Joshua Scheer

Pastor Joshua Scheer is the Senior Pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He is also the Editor-in-chief of Brothers of John the Steadfast. He oversees all of the work done by Steadfast Lutherans. He is a regular host of Concord Matters on KFUO. Pastor Scheer and his lovely wife Holly (who writes and manages the Katie Luther Sisters) have four children and enjoy living in Wyoming.


Supporting resolutions for ULC stricken, “this” resolution is put to the MNS Convention. UPDATED — 64 Comments

  1. @Warren Malach #49
    Well Pastor,
    I’ve written letters to Dr. Seitz, and his BOD, Pastor Fondow and his Circuit Counselors, and Pastor Harrison and his Presidium. I’ve donated some money to the ULC, and added them and their Pastor, the rev. David Kind, to my prayers and the prayers of my church in Anchorage, AK. I’m not sure that more letters will help, but I believe that more money and prayers will, and so I’ve also written on forums like this to try to recruit folks who value our Lord’s means of grace to do likewise. This string is trying to generate support for ULC for the MNS District Convention, and I think that in our fallen and broken world that’s also both helpful and salutary.
    As to the question of leaving the LC-MS, I have only St. Peter’s answer from John 6:68: “to whom shall we go?” I value the WELS/ELS, and see them as brothers in Christ, but I don’t buy their functional view of the office of the ministry, and much of the rot we see in the LC-MS appears to be taking hold there as well. As a classical conservative, I am an anti-utopian. There have been better times and worse times to be a Christian, but there was no perfect pure past, and there is absolutely no chance of a perfect pure future this side of Christ’s return. I don’t see a path of endless schism into smaller and smaller bodies as the apostolic model. As the LC-MS, the argument could be made that we have never split from another church body. Our 16th Century fathers in the faith formed their Lutheran churches, only after being expelled from the Roman Church, and condemned to death. Our 19th Century church fathers were similarly expelled from the church of the Prussian Union, many of them after serving jail terms. I’m a foot soldier in this war. While I have an LC-MS congregation led by a sound pastor w/in a reasonable commute I’ll stay, and help him “contend for the faith.” If the Schwärmer take over and expel us, we will form another synod around the BOC 1580, which will have its time in the sun, and follow the LC-MS, German territorial Lutheran churches, and Roman church of the West down the slippery slope.
    Are there other possibilities both w/in and outside of the LC-MS? Sure, and if you’ve got a plan I’ll listen to it.

    Pax Christi+,
    -Matt Mills, ULC ’85

  2. Dear John and Matt, thanks for giving examples of what can be done on behalf of ULC.

    Matt, I grew up in Anchorage, 1956-1969, was there for Statehood and the 1964 Good Friday earthquake (we lived in Turnagain.) I graduated from West High. I wasn’t Lutheran then, but years later when I was at CTSFW, I visited different LCMS congregations during the summer and spent one summer doing services out at Redeemer (?) Chugiak when the pastor went back to school (I also visited the WELS congregations in east Anchorage and Eagle River.)

    The answer to your question “Where to go?” if one left the LCMS can only be answered by personal doctrinal study and research into the various options. For me, the restudy of Church & Ministry from Scripture Alone and not by way of any dogmaticians led me to the conviction that the WELS position was supported by Scripture and that the “old Missouri” position was supported by human tradition. Also, I learned that the LCMS has been tacitly PRACTICING the WELS doctrine of Church & Ministry at least since 1962, as Clyde Nehrenz in the LutherQuest form has documented, and as even Dr. John Wohlrabe’s doctoral dissertation MINISTRY IN THE LCMS UNTIL 1962 implies (Dr. Wohlrabe STILL believes that the LCMS hasn’t become completely “WELS” on the doctrine of the Ministry.) Obviously, if one believes that there is nothing “better” outside of the LCMS, then one will stay in the LCMS. For me, the modern LCMS is so FAR removed from the orthodoxy it taught and practiced until the 1940s that I consider it to be a completely different church body to that of Walther and Pieper, a “moderately conservative” church body in the way in which the “old ALC” (1930 merger) and the General Council were “moderately conservative.” That apparently is “good enough” for most of the members of the modern LCMS, but the LCMS “conservatives” are, in my opinion, apparently in denial about the state of their synod, probably because they haven’t studied the history of the LCMS from, say, 1935 to the 1960s. For most in the LCMS today, it appears that nothing happened between the Brief Statement in 1932 and the rise of the liberal movement in the 1960s which took over the synod and CSL, the liberal control beginning to be reversed in 1969, but THAT’S the very period when the LCMS began to move away from the orthodoxy which it had shared in the Synodical Conference with the WELS and ELS into its modern, more liberal fellowship practice, and by 1969 woman suffrage and office-holding.
    Since one hears very little if any discussion of these changes in LCMS doctrine and practice among LCMS conservatives today, it would appear that they have been accepted. Therefore, it would appear that the LCMS will remain for the forseeable future in the theological “middle” between the ELCA on one side and the WELS/ELS on the other. I cannot divulge my sources, but I have heard on good authority that President Harrison himself has privately acknowledged that this will be the situation even beyond his Koinonia Project. Speaking of President Harrison, at the Emmaus Conference in Parkland, WA, he apparently once said in public that the WELS was “right” to have broken fellowship with the LCMS when it did in 1961. My question to those in the LCMS is: “Is the WELS (or the ELS) STILL right to not be in fellowship with the LCMS, given that the LCMS HAS changed its doctrine and practice of fellowship and the role of women in the Church?”

    Sorry, I’m off-topic, but I wanted to try to respond to Matt’s points. Matt or anyone else with a REAL name, you’re free to contact me “offline” at [email protected] Thanks!

  3. @Warren Malach #52
    Again Pastor,
    Thanks for your concern, but I’ve got a great LC-MS pastor and a great LC-MS church ( ) and I’m not going anywhere. I also believe things are more nuanced than your WELS/ELS on one side ELCA on the other and LC-MS in the middle characterization. There’s even a trickle of Confessional WEL/ELS pastors coming to the LC-MS who seem to see WELS/ELS as “in the middle,” and drifting faster than Missouri. Hopefully you’ll understand if I still prefer my leaky boat to your leaky boat. Thanks for any and all prayers for the ULC on the campus of my alma mater.
    Pax Christi+,
    -Matt Mills

    P.S. My son graduated from West, where my daughter will be a senior next year.

  4. Dear Matt: Everyone has their own perspective, of course. The only “confessional” Lutheran pastors whom I have heard have left the WELS for the LCMS are the “hyper-Euros” who are Loehists rather than Waltherians on the doctrine of the Ministry, such as “Father” ***** (name removed by Associate Editor at BJS); them the WELS can well do without. Perhaps you have different examples. I’m sorry for what has happened to CTSFW; it was a pretty good seminary when I was there, when Dr. Robert Preus was president.

    I thought that you had been asking me for my suggestions/observations on the LCMS vs. the WELS; I certainly didn’t mean to be trying to tell you what to do.

    Of course, there is no perfect church body, but some are MORE “orthodox” than others. For me, the LCMS falls into the category condemned in the Brief Statement, being a church body where errors are taught and tolerated and not removed by doctrinal discipline, a situation which has been in effect since the 1940s. For me, that is no longer an “orthodox” church body. That’s no judgement on the individual faith of any LCMS members, only that the synod itself has lost its orthodoxy. When one has to inquire about other congregations and pastors in one’s own church body when moving or traveling because you don’t know what their doctrine and practice are, I DON’T think that that can be considered to be an “orthodox” church body. The “disconnect,” as I see it, is when one says that one’s OWN pastor and congregation are “okay” so one stays in one’s church body, as if it’s “okay” to remain in fellowship in a church body with those pastors and congregations who AREN’T “okay,” as long as the ones who AREN’T “okay” aren’t YOUR pastor and congregation. That’s NOT the Scriptural doctrine of fellowship (Amos 3:3, 1 Cor. 1:10, Rom. 16:17.) The LCMS did NOT publicly tolerate such a situation in the days of Walther and Pieper, but it does NOW.
    And for that matter, just what DOES “conservative” MEAN in the LCMS today? The same thing as it did 50 years ago? No, 50 years ago LCMS “conservatives” OPPOSED woman suffrage and office-holding, NOW they SUPPORT it, or at least tolerate it. “Conservative” is a RELATIVE term, it CHANGES meaning over time. Throughout my own 30 years in the LCMS I almost NEVER heard or read a term which I frequently encountered in older LCMS writings: “orthodox.”
    It was always “conservative” or “liberal,” but the terms kept CHANGING meaning! I was trained to believe that the Bible DOESN’T change, and therefore that Scriptural doctrine and practice SHOULDN’T change with the times and with society’s changes. And yet, the two MAJOR changes in doctrine and practice in the LCMS (fellowship and the role of women in the Church) have been in the areas where the WORLD puts pressure on Christians: ecumenicity and women’s rights: “let’s all just get along” and “women should be able to do whatever men can do in the Church.” I’m sorry to say this, but I sincerely believe that the LCMS “gave in” to SECULAR pressure when it changed its doctrine and practice of fellowship and the role of women in the Church. Both changes were made under “liberal” influence, and now they have become the “status quo” which apparently most LCMS “conservatives” have accepted.

    I’d better stop, as I’m just going to be accused again of “attacking” the LCMS. If anyone wants to contact me offline and explain to me from a DOCTRINAL point of view how I am wrong in my perceptions, I’d be VERY happy to hear from them; I’ve already posted my email address. But my experience in the past has been that the usual response is (1) Silence; or (2) Attacks on me for daring to criticize the LCMS from “outside.” Sorry, but those AREN’T convincing “answers”!

  5. @Warren Malach #54

    J. A. O. Preus II: I’m not suggesting anything resembling ordination of women. I stand very firmly with the Scriptures and with the Synodical position on that subject. Nor do I think really that any of the women in leadership echelons in the church that I’m acquainted with feel that way either.

    I think that the role of women in the church needs to be looked at and studied–not with the idea of elevating them into or putting them into positions that God did not intend them to be put into. But I think that much more can be done with the power and the influence and the–I guess I’m trying to think of a word–with the role that women do have as God has given it in creation to use this role in the life of the church. I’m thinking of things like the Women’s Missionary League as a very important entity in carrying out the mission of the church. The whole study that needs to be made of the family–which is one of most deteriorating elements in our society–women, I think, could be used much more effectively in helping in this area of the church’s ministry than they have. Well, maybe that’s enough. I don’t know. I’m not fighting with St. Paul a bit.

    “The Synodical Situation”
    Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois
    March 1976

  6. What a “political” statement! I don’t remember where President Preus was on the subject of woman suffrage and office-holding at the time of the Denver Convention in 1969, but I know from personal experience that years later he didn’t believe that it was “expedient” to try to rescind it once it had been accepted.

    Obviously, there IS much that women CAN do in the Church WITHOUT having to “exercise authority” over men contrary to 1 Tim. 2. And yes, I will concede that 43 years of woman suffrage and office-holding in the LCMS did NOT lead within a few years to efforts to pressure the synod into accepting women’s ordination, but we all know that there ARE elements in the LCMS which support women’s ordination, and I’m NOT just talking about “radical feminists.” As more and more women “exercise authority” over men on the congregational, district, and synodical levels in the LCMS through suffrage and office-holding, the climate of acceptance of the exercising that authority grows with it. If women are NOW tolerated in the LCMS as both congregational officers and especially as elders, then ordination is the ONLY “domino left to fall.” Other “conservative” church bodies were eventually able to “change their minds,” so let no one in the LCMS today think that it COULDN’T happen in the LCMS!

  7. @Warren Malach #56

    J. A. O. Preus II: Going back to the Galatians 3 passage—when you speak about how that has to do with the order of redemption and how it applies to our relationship with God—it did not result in the abolition of marriage. Even today, with everybody looking the same and dressing the same, it has not resulted in the abolition of sexualness. There are some people who are still male and some who are still female; some who are still Jewish and some who are still Greek; and there are different stations in life. I don’t see how that passage can be treated as having created new orders in creation. It obviously did not.

    In closing on this subject of women, I’d like to say this—we have to strike a few blows for the good sides of the Missouri Synod, not just talk about the problems.

    The Missouri Synod leads all Christian church bodies of any size in the percentage of women who are in full-time ministry, in full-time public professional church service. We have thousands of women, both young and old, who are teaching in the public ministry of our church as parochial school teachers. We spend several million dollars a year at three teacher’s colleges training hundreds of these young ladies every year to go out and fill the classrooms of our Synod. We’ve done this for several generations, and we consider this a very honorable form of public ministry.

    I think we should, in discussing these concerns with other churches, suggest that they perhaps try to see things the way we have been seeing them, rather than our suddenly having to shift gears and go into full reverse over positions we’ve held regarding ordination of women.

    The whole question of the authority of Scripture is involved here. As has been said, the issue with The American Lutheran Church is not simply a matter of ordination of women. That’s important but it is not all important. You can certainly be saved and go to heaven regardless of your position on this subject. But I think it does point out the fact that what we need to seek, perhaps more diligently than the solution to this problem, is to come to a common understanding of what we mean by the authority, the clarity, the inerrancy of God’s holy Word; the role of the Scripture in the establishment of the doctrine and practice of the church.

    “Issues Confronting the Church – A Dialogue”
    Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois
    December 1972

  8. Well, did the LCMS EVER come to a “common understanding” of the things which President Preus mentioned almost 40 years ago? I would have to say “No!”

  9. @Warren Malach #58

    J. A. O. Preus II: We now have in connection with The American Lutheran Church established fellowship. This was done in 1969 by a vote of about 54 percent to 46 percent. I think that hindsight, being an exact science, would indicate that we should have set some kind of stipulation indicating a 65 percent or 75 percent affirmative vote. Because it has cost us scores of congregations and pastors and has not brought the kind of joy that a fellowship declaration should bring to either The American Lutheran Church or the Missouri Synod.

    Not everyone in the Synod is getting joy out of it and there are many areas of the church where very little practice of the fellowship has been undertaken.

    This problem was exacerbated by what I said then and say now was an absolutely unnecessary action on the part of The American Lutheran Church. Namely, the undertaking of the ordination of women. It’s a well known fact that not all of their theological candidates were given calls. It’s a well known fact that the Lutheran churches have slowed down tremendously in the establishment of new missions, so that in no church is there a real drastic shortage of ministers.

    So there was no pragmatic reason for saying that at this particular time in history we’ll have to ordain women in order to fill the pulpits. This was done in Germany at different times in connection with World War II. But, rather, it seems to have been merely an attempt on the part of the both the ALC and the LCA to follow in the footsteps of the European Lutherans and some of the American Protestants. I think it’s notable that as liberal a church body as the American Episcopal Church has not as yet undertaken the ordination of women. And the Roman Catholic Church, despite the defections of nuns and the militancy among some of their women’s lib groups, who are much more militant than Lutherans, is holding firm on this and doing so on biblical grounds.

    I think our discussions with The American Lutheran Church, since their action of ordaining women, has indicated that we have been unsuccessful in disabusing them of this idea. We held a good number of meetings with them and most of the meetings only resulted in further argumentation about the authority of Scripture, the interpretation of Scripture, the doctrine of the church and the ministry, and all kinds of ancillary subjects. But the action of the 1972 ALC convention in Minneapolis indicated by a vote of 1,000 to 1 that The American Lutheran Church believes that the ordination of women is biblical and proper.

    “Issues Confronting the Church – A Dialogue”
    Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois
    December 1972

  10. What would the vote in the LCMS today be for the ordination of women? What would the vote be to rescind woman suffrage and office-holding? I believe that the first vote would be larger than some conservatives would like, and the second vote would be smaller than some conservatives might like.

  11. @Warren Malach #54
    What I said Pastor was: “if you’ve got a plan I’ll listen to it” and I have.
    Thank you. Yours is a fine Lutheran Synod in our fallen and broken world, but when I consider the issues that divide our two synods historically, I still firmly believe that the historical LC-MS positions are the Biblical/Confessional ones. As to the sad reality on the ground today in our two synods: I can concede that WELS/ELS held the post-modern crap that has sneaked into the LC-MS at bay for a bit longer than we did, but it’s coming for you as well Pastor and it’s coming fast. I am also convinced that where we differ, the historical LC-MS positions will prove to be more effective weapons against the post-modern Schwarmeri in the end than yours will be. I appreciate your advice pastor, but I like the “WELS Magpies” a bit more than you seem to, and it sounds as though you’d be happier w/o me.
    Pax Christi+,
    -Matt Mills

  12. J. A. O. Preus II: There has been this consistent refusal to talk about our doctrinal issues … and the use of political power to solve religious and spiritual questions. Now what you’re witnessing, of course here, is a extrapolation and escalation of the use of political power. One district president gets up and says, “We’ll withdraw funds.” The next one says, “We’ll quit.” A third one says, “We’re going to place candidates whether they’re certified or not.” This is not only lawlessness but it is the use of political power. And this goes on.

    And then this leads then to really the third area where I think there is a crisis and that is authority in the area of church life. We live under the Gospel; we surely do. And so did the apostles, but yet you read the epistles to Timothy and Titus and other places, and you will find that the apostle Paul–like in his letters to the Corinthians where you had a rebellious, factious situation–there is a great deal in Scripture about how we are to conduct our spiritual, religious lives among ourselves. The freedom of the Gospel does not mean that I have the right to poke you in the eye. The freedom of the Gospel does not mean that we can simply say of the Fourth Commandment or any other, “Forget it. It doesn’t concern me.”

    The apostle Paul says, “Everything should be done decently and in order.” And those are a part of the inspired, inerrant Word as well as the fact that Christ died for our sins. The grace of God which bringeth salvation hath appeared unto all men teaching us that denying godlessness and fleshy lusts we should live piously under the grace of God.

    “Address to Springfield, Illinois Laity on St. Louis Seminary Problems”
    Concordia Theological Seminary, Springfield, Illinois
    February 6, 1974

  13. Dear Matt: Let every person’s conscience be convinced by Scripture, and may they always act according to a Scripture-enlightened conscience. It is demonstrable that the LCMS has changed its doctrine and practice on fellowship and the role of women in the Church since the days of Walther and Pieper. The difference between us appears to be: (1) Are the changes in LCMS doctrine and practice contrary to Scripture? and (2) Do the changes in LCMS doctrine and practice mean that the synod has become heterodox and therefore, according to Rom. 16:17, must be “avoided”? After 30 years in the LCMS and 25 on the clergy roster, I finally had to answer “yes” to both questions and obey Scripture and leave the LCMS. Let everyone search their own conscience according to Scripture and act according to Scripture.

    In joining the WELS I had to study the Scriptures to find out whether or not I agreed with the WELS position on Church & Ministry, because I had been trained in the LCMS to oppose the WELS position. I have heard of people leaving the LCMS and joining the WELS simply because they wanted to be in “a more conservative church body,” but I believe that that is not to be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11. No church body should want members who are there for convenience rather than for conscience’s sake.

    That the WELS and every church body are vulnerable to heterodoxy is of course a fact; that is why, in choosing a church body, I believe that one must seek to find out IF a given church body IS orthodox or not. That is not to pass judgement on the personal faith of any individual Christian who, according to their ability, is personally responsible for their own denominational membership in the Visible Church upon the basis of Rom. 16:17.

    I certainly don’t want to leave the impression that I believe that the WELS is immune to the forces which, I believe, have made the LCMS into a heterodox church body which I had to leave upon the basis of my understanding of Scripture. I pray to remain a vigilant watchman in the WELS, just as I tried to be in the LCMS for 30 years. I must repeat, however, what I said before: In the 50 years of the “modern conservative movement” in the LCMS, I have NOT seen any significant evidence of a return to orthodoxy in the LCMS BEYOND what happened in the 1970s when the liberal “faculty majority” at CSL left and other LCMS liberals left to form the AELC, now in the ELCA. I have rather seen the widespread acceptance of what I believe to be heterodox changes in the LCMS doctrine and practice of fellowship and the role of women in the Church, even by “conservatives.” For me, this is demonstrable and self-evident. For me, the Brief Statement condemns the LCMS as heterodox upon the basis of Scripture, and I had to apply Rom. 16:17 to it. For me, Jude 3 no longer applies to the LCMS, but rather Rom. 16:17. Let everyone decide for themselves according to a conscience informed by Scripture.

    Dear President Preus: I really don’t see any reason to continue to comment on what you say in this forum. While you were alive, you “talked and wrote good,” but your practice appeared to be that of a pragmatic and expedient politician rather than a true churchman who always followed Scripture. Thanks for translating Chemnitz, though!

  14. From SaveULC Facebook page:

    The rollercoaster court ride continues. Friday the judge ruled not to send ULC through an eviction trial and basically put protections back in place for us. There was great rejoicing at ULC yesterday as we thought we had been given some breathing room. 

    Today, June 4, the judge (again) reversed her decision. Now we’re back to having an eviction trial this Wednesday. We ask for your prayers.

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