Coming on the heels of Pastor Noland’s article on What’s Wrong with the CCM, here’s news of a ruling by the CCM that was made without contacting the subject of the ruling, nor doing research to look at their website to find accurate information.
CCM opinion 11-2589 and the ACELC
“The sum of Your Word is truth, and every one of Your righteous rules endures forever.” Psalm 119:160
On July 15, 2010, the Association of Confessing Evangelical Lutheran Congregations (ACELC) mailed a “Letter of Fraternal Admonition” to every congregation in the LCMS. At that time the ACELC was not an organized group, but merely a collection of individuals concerned about their church, and a number of matters of doctrine and practice that seemed to be contrary to God’s Word and the Lutheran Confessions. Many responded favorably to that letter and several months later (March, 2011) the ACELC was officially formed.
On April 4, 2011, a pastor in the LCMS was concerned that someone actually wrote a letter to the congregations of the LCMS pointing out perceived errors of doctrine and practice, and shared that concern with the Synod’s Commission on Constitutional Matters (CCM). In September of 2011, the CCM issued opinion number 11-2589 (reproduced in the 2013 Convention Workbook, p. 288-297).
Please note that at no time did the CCM ever contact anyone in the ACELC to ask any questions or clarify any issues, and because of that made many false assumptions. It is also clear that the CCM did not read the ACELC documents (readily available on our website), which would have cleared up many of their false assumptions. We do not know the name of the Pastor who asked for this opinion and we have not been given a copy of the original letter of concern. We were also not notified that someone had asked for a CCM opinion regarding the ACELC, or even of the fact that an opinion had been given. It was only many months after the opinion was rendered that someone happened across it and made the ACELC Board of Directors aware of its existence.
There have been many voices in the LCMS that have called for the CCM to be revamped or even abolished. We do not wish to enter into those discussions at this time. We would, however, like to set the record straight. Since CCM Opinion 11-2589 simply does not apply to the ACELC, we must respectfully but wholeheartedly reject it. You may find CCM opinion 11-2589 (on page #170) and the ACELC response by clicking on these links.
If you have any questions regarding this CCM opinion or the ACELC response, please do not hesitate to ask. We would also like to take this opportunity to ask you to visit our website and examine our many documents and papers. From the beginning, we in the ACELC have worked hard to do everything in a very open and transparent manner. We sincerely desire your feedback and ask for your prayerful consideration and support. We also pray for God’s continued blessings upon the LCMS that we would one day be truly united in Christ, and that our unity would be truly expressed in word and deed.
Rev. Clint K. Poppe
P.S. While we have your attention we would also like to take this opportunity to announce the Fourth Annual ACELC “Free Conference” and Business Meeting, which is scheduled for February 25-27, 2014, at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The topic will be announced shortly, but we wanted you to be able to mark the date on your calendar now.