“Like a General that Forgets about Defense, the LCMS is in Trouble of Being Routed,” Rev. Loren Zell, by Pr. Rossow

Often we get comments on posts that are succinct and poignant and sometimes we have time and energy to make them posts in and of themselves. I thought the following comment on the “Where there is no Love…” post was just one of those comments. It puts into words a conclusion that I have been mulling over for a couple of years now.

In the past year, I’ve been reading Luther’s Sermons, and these are well worth reading for anyone.

Anyhow, I’ve decided that pure doctrine is what I will spend the rest of my life upholding and teaching. A general leading an army has to first be concerned about defense, before he can go on offense. It seems that the LCMS spent about the first 100 years on mostly defense. This makes sense, considering the vast amount of false doctrine in America. Also, the New Testament seems to have a lot more to say about defense against false doctrine than it does about evangelism. IMHO, we have seemed to wandered away from our history, and now put most of our emphasis on evangelism and not very much on the defense against false doctrine. Like a general that forgets about defense, the LCMS is in trouble of being routed.

Rev. Loren Zell

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.

Comments

“Like a General that Forgets about Defense, the LCMS is in Trouble of Being Routed,” Rev. Loren Zell, by Pr. Rossow — 71 Comments

  1. @John Rixe #49

    Re labels:
    “American…Lutheran…Publicity…Bureau” seems a little overblown for a liberal propaganda machine, don’t you think? 😉

    But if you will admit that they don’t pretend to “pure doctrine”,
    I’ll concede their play name.

  2. David L. Adams

    Dr. David L. Adams is an associate professor of exegetical theology and secretary of the faculty at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Mo. In addition to teaching courses in Biblical Hebrew and Old Testament, Dr. Adams has also served the Seminary in the past as director of educational technology, working with the faculty to promote and encourage the use of technology-based tools to enhance instruction. He currently heads up the Seminary’s efforts in the area of Biblical archaeology as director of the newly-created Concordia Center for Archaeology, and in this capacity he has been engaged for several years as a member of the excavation staff at Khirbet Qeiyafa in Israel (associated with the place of the battle between David and Goliath).

    Before coming to Concordia Seminary, Dr. Adams served as executive director of the Office of Government Information of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. As the Washington office of the LCMS, the Office of Government Information monitored legislative, judicial, and executive branch activity that may affect the ministry of the church and worked to educate the church about issues that shape the society in which we live and serve.

    Dr. Adams is the co-editor of a volume of essays on the subject of civil religion and American society entitled The Anonymous God (CPH, 2005).

    Raised in Memphis, Tenn., Dr. Adams is a graduate of St. Paul’s College (Concordia, Mo.), Concordia Senior College (Ft. Wayne, Ind.) and Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Mo. (M.Div. and S.T.M.). A recipient of the Tyndale Fellowship, Dr. Adams holds a Ph.D. from Cambridge University in England (thesis title: “Deus Praesens: The Present God in the Patriarchal Narratives”).

    Prior to joining the Office of Government Information, Dr. Adams was assistant professor of Religion and Philosophy at Concordia College in Ann Arbor, Mich., where he taught Hebrew, philosophy, and biblical studies, and was director of the Pre-Seminary Education Program. Previously he served the church as Manager of Microcomputer Services for the LCMS Office of Information Systems. He has also served in the parish ministry as pastor of St. Peter Lutheran Church in Caseyville, Ill., and as vacancy pastor of a number of congregations through the years.

    His hobbies are reading, playing the guitar, and scuba diving. Dr. Adams and his wife, Lisa, currently live in St. Louis, Mo.

  3. David Adams is a good guy.

    His categorization of the LCMS is spot on. (That’s a saying I picked up in Iowa. 🙂 )

    Sadly, he and others look the other way when it comes to COWO and Small Groups at the St. Louis Sem.

  4. Neo-Evangelical Missouri

    I call this group ‘Neo-Evangelical Missouri’ because this group’s understanding of evangelicalism is more shaped by the theological perspective of American Evangelicalism than it is shaped by the theological perspective of the evangelicalism of the Lutheran Reformation.

    It favors or practices more open communion.
    Like Moderate Missouri, Neo-Evangelical Missouri tends to reject the view that agreement in doctrine must be a precursor to reception of the Eucharist in our churches.

    It is strongly independent.
    Another characteristic of Neo-Evangelical Missouri is that it emphasizes the traditional Synodical affirmation of the congregation as the church-in-that-place to such an extreme that some seem not to care at all what the rest of the Synod thinks or believes. This reduces the Synod from being a covenant of love that places a genuine (if self-imposed) obligation upon those who pledge themselves to it to being a mere external association of loosely affiliated independent entities with no obligation to one another.

    It has a high view of Scripture.
    Like Traditional Missouri, Neo-Evangelical Missouri has a high view of Scripture. It unreservedly regards the Scripture as the inspired and inerrant Word of God. However, its practical use of Scripture is sometimes different from the approach taken by Traditional Missouri, emphasizing the Word as source of knowledge about self rather than as a means of grace, as we shall examine further later in this presentation. This difference in approach often leads to different emphases and conclusions about the way that Scripture is used in the life of the Church.

    It favors ‘church growth’ methods.
    Given its strong emphasis on mission and its highly independent attitude, it is not surprising that Neo-Evangelical Missouri should embrace the emphases and methods of the church-growth movement. This shapes both its theology and especially its practice of worship, generally in the direction of a ‘tent meeting’ theology to worship, as we shall consider further in the next portion of this paper.

    It embraces contemporary worship.
    Another of the most characteristic aspects of Neo-Evangelical Missouri is its embrace of contemporary music in worship and a corresponding de-emphasis of both liturgy and traditional hymnody.

    David L. Adams
    Evangelical Lutheranism and Lutheran Evangelicalism
    2005

  5. @T Rossow #3
    Sadly, he and others look the other way when it comes to COWO and Small Groups at the St. Louis Sem.

    David Adams has an impressive bio.

    That “looking the other way” comment explains the very careful phrasing in his description of the most liberal “missourians”. Smoke and mirrors words?

    Communion is either closed [no parens] and Lutheran,
    or “open” and “something else”. (I don’t believe there are degrees of “open”.)

    The pussyfooting “good guy” professor needs to re think that one. He’s got his bets hedged sufficiently w/o doing it in doctrine, too.

    Even Carl Braaten saw some of his errors… when he got old enough.

  6. Do not forget that there are voices in the Church that are far more powerful than any elected leader or thrology professor. Those are the voices of the laymen and laywomen who know and love biblical and confessional Lutheranism and refuse to have it compromised.

    In the final analysis, it was not theology professors who took the lead in reversing higher criticism in the LCMS back in the 1960s and 1970s. It was faithful Lutherans “in the pews”.

  7. The Midwest mentality of the average Missouri Synod layman: the average layman is perfectly willing to see suspended–immediately–anybody in the Synod, from the president of the Synod to Robert Preus to anybody, who denies that Adam was a real person. It’s as simple as that. That’s the way they are in the Missouri Synod.

    Robert Preus
    “Explosion of ’74”
    September 14, 1978

  8. @Daniel L. Gard #8
    In the final analysis, it was not theology professors who took the lead in reversing higher criticism in the LCMS back in the 1960s and 1970s. It was faithful Lutherans “in the pews”.

    And that is why the Lutherans in the pews have been led, or pushed, toward non Lutheran behaviors and catechesis has been studiously avoided for at least a generation, while Rick Warren, Beth Moore and other trash is used for “Bible study”. Get the majority of the laity dumb enough and they won’t revolt. They’ll go on settling for cotton candy instead of milk or meat and the renegade leadership can do as it pleases.

    @“LC-MS Quotes” #9

    More layman than not still believe as Robert Preus said.
    They are getting more and more discouraged about the prospect of actually seeing those suspensions.
    [For starters, JAO Preus should have done twice as many. Or more…]

  9. During this controversy on doctrinal issues, before the walkout, a St. Louis seminary professor was invited up to the Detroit area to give a paper on the historical-critical method to lay people. Detroit is a pretty conservative area, I suppose. You know how many people came out to hear him? 17. It was advertised pretty widely through the area. About a month later, I was invited–just another professor from the same institution–to come to Detroit and talk on the historical-critical method. They knew what our stands were before we came. You know how many came out to hear me on two nights? 1,900 lay people. That’s the Missouri Synod.

    Robert Preus
    “Explosion of ’74”
    September 14, 1978

  10. @Daniel L. Gard #8: In the final analysis, it was not theology professors who took the lead in reversing higher criticism in the LCMS back in the 1960s and 1970s. It was faithful Lutherans “in the pews”.

    And from the 2001 Synodical Convention Proceedings (p. 173), some delegates tried to tout the ignorance of “many delegates” as well as “members of Synod”:

    The following substitute resolution was offered but did not receive the necessary majority vote to be considered:

    WHEREAS, Many delegates, members of the congregations, and members of Synod have not read C. F. W. Walther’s Die Stimme unserer Kirche in der Frage von Kirche und Amt, called in English Church and Ministry; and
    WHEREAS, Critical questions have been raised concerning the available English translations of Church and Ministry; and
    WHEREAS, There appears to be much confusion concerning the questions of the church and the Office of the Holy Ministry; therefore be it
    Resolved, That the two seminaries develop a document including a new translation of Kirche und Amt that answers our present questions on what we believe, teach, and confess according to the Scriptures and the Confessions concerning the teachings on church and the Office of the Holy Ministry; and be it further
    Resolved, That this document be studied by the Winkels, Circuit forums, and District conventions during the next triennium; and be it finally
    Resolved, That this document be brought before this body at the next synodical convention for approval as our position on the teachings on church and ministry.

    Does anyone know the names of those who proposed or seconded that substitute resolution?

  11. If the laity has been fed a diet of American Evangelicalism, that is the fault of the pastors. We do all that we can to form pastors who teach the faithful, reach the lost and care for all. I am confident that a vast majority of our graduates do exactly that although I know of some who have engaged in practices they were warned about as students.

    But it remains the right and duty of all Christians to judge doctrine and practice on the basis of the Scripture and the Confessions. Earlier I mentioned the 1970s – it was faithful lay people who stood up and demanded an end. Effectively, they kept the LCMS from going down the road now traveled by the ELCA. The Synod, in my opinion, needs that again.

  12. “LC-MS Quotes” :The Midwest mentality of the average Missouri Synod layman: the average layman is perfectly willing to see suspended–immediately–anybody in the Synod, from the president of the Synod to Robert Preus to anybody, who denies that Adam was a real person. It’s as simple as that. That’s the way they are in the Missouri Synod.
    Robert Preus“Explosion of ’74?September 14, 1978

    Laymen willing to see. Yes. Do District Presidents ever suspend anyone? No.

  13. Wow..if the LCMS sermon I just heard on KFUO is any indication, the LCMS has already been routed, by some very odd theology. The ‘preacher’, in a very emotional, affected and camp-meeting fashion was going on and on about how stuff is good, and our car heaters are equal to salvation. Creation of car heaters, money, xmas gifts, thermostats and such are as valuable as Jesus’ birth and death. Hmm. As a poor person, I wonder why God hasn’t given ME all the good stuff this preacher claims we should have and enjoy, as children of God? Oh well. That was the WORST sermon I have ever heard, and I am a fairly old person. Very bizarre.

  14. The avowed purpose of ELiM is not to divide The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod, but to stand up for those people in the Synod who are the victims of what they consider to be an oppressive legalism. To work at the same time for the healing of the rifts and the overcoming of the polarization that exists in the church. That, at least, is the avowed intention of the ELiM organization. As I know from some years of experience, it is a painful thing to be involved in controversy. And what you do doesn’t always result in what you hope to accomplish. The ELiM organization hopes that its efforts will support those whose ministry is in jeopardy and, at the same time, work for healing in the church.

    John Henry Tietjen
    “Address to the Springfield, Illinois Community”
    1974

  15. As someone else noted following another The First Premise” article, “God Bless the Yo-Yos,” by the “Rev. Dr. Anthony S. Thompson”:

    “There are some interesting quotes by this pastor, often sounding very Lutheran! Why can I not find him on the internet? Perhaps he’s a ‘First Premise’ creation, rather like, ‘Junker George’?”

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