ACELC — If Not Now, When?

“I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame” Psalm 119:46

ACELCSeveral years ago, now LCMS President Matthew Harrison authored a paper entitled “It’s Time.” Appealing to Scripture, the Lutheran Confessions, and our Lutheran fathers, he outlined the strengths and beauty of Lutheranism, as well as the challenges we face today. He boldly called for a grass roots effort to identify these challenges and to offer meaningful ways to bring about true Koinonia in our midst. In answering that call, the ACELC was formed.

Since that time we have identified 10 of what we believe to be the most serious errors in the LCMS, as well as supporting documents and study guides. In addition, we have hosted four “Free Conferences” to address these errors in more detail, all with a goal of Koinonia.

In order for our goal to be realized and for more people to be aware of our work, two years ago we began the “ACELC Film Project.” I am happy to report that after much hard work and many generous contributions, the project is now a reality. With great joy, I invite and encourage you to view the fruit of our efforts. I pray that it will dispel many of the myths about the ACELC and open your eyes for the need for our ongoing efforts. The links to view the film are listed at the bottom of this e-mail.

“If Not Now, When?” is available in a number of different formats to allow you to view it in whole or in parts, and two study guides are currently available with several more in the works. DVDs will soon be available as well.

Please take a few moments to view our film. Use it for personal or congregational study. Show it during Bible Study time, in elder’s meetings, pastor gatherings, or wherever you think it might be helpful. I trust that you will find it thought provoking and at times challenging. I pray that you will find it faithful and God-pleasing.

In Christ,
Rev. Clint K. Poppe
Chairman, ACELC


“If Not Now, When?” (Full 68 Minute Video)


“If Not Now, When?” (Part One – Approx. 34 Minutes)


“If Not Now, When?” (Part Two – Approx. 34 Minutes)



The study guides will be posted within the next few days on our Website under the tab “ACELC Film Project

Note: While the Board of Directors of the ACELC has reviewed and approved the content of this message, it does not necessarily reflect the position of the ACELC member congregations.

About Norm Fisher

Norm was raised in the UCC in Connecticut, and like many fell away from the church after high school. With this background he saw it primarily as a service organization. On the miracle of his first child he came back to the church. On moving to Texas a few years later he found a home in Lutheranism when he was invited to a confessional church a half-hour away by our new neighbors.

He is one of those people who found a like mind in computers while in Middle School and has been programming ever since. He's responsible for many websites, including the Book of Concord,, and several other sites.

He has served the church in various positions, including financial secretary, sunday school teacher, elder, PTF board member, and choir member.

Norm has been involved behind the scenes in many of the "go-to" websites for Lutherans going back many years.


ACELC — If Not Now, When? — 154 Comments

  1. helen :
    …a traditional Lutheran church would probably fit the demographics in an area he’s familiar with, but this district “doesn’t do traditional” so a vaguely named CoWo is there instead.

    Now, Helen, I’m sure that’s just a fluke… 😉

    Has anyone else here witnessed this tendency for district officials to favor “special ministries” and discourage the planting of traditional, liturgical, confessional (you know, REAL!) Lutheran churches?

  2. Yes. Mid-South:

    -Rhythm City Church Plant, Nashville, TN (Church in a pub setting)
    -The Point, Knoxville, TN
    -New Tribe Memphis, Memphis, TN
    -Bridge City, Chattanooga, TN
    -Lakepointe Church Planting Training Center, Hot Springs, AR.

    None are Confessional/Liturgical Lutheran Churches (obvious by their name-they don’t even have the word “Lutheran” in their name). There are no Confessional/Liturgical church plants in the Mid-South District. The ones I listed are the ones funded, promoted, and pushed by the District.

  3. @Randy #1

    Sad. I’m troubled by the implication that we need a gimmick to sell the Gospel, that the Word of God is not strong enough, but needs our clever help…

    Has anyone here seen traditional, liturgical, confessional (you know, Lutheran!) missions funded by the powers that be? Can you make a short list like Randy’s?

  4. @Ted Crandall #2
    Has anyone here seen traditional, liturgical, confessional (you know, Lutheran!) missions funded by the powers that be? Can you make a short list like Randy’s?

    No. [We can make a list like Randy’s.] 🙁

    Confessional Lutheran missions in Texas are started by confessional Lutheran congregations.
    Faith, Plano, has a couple of “daughters”.
    Messiah, Keller, has one, I think.
    Zion, Tomball, has the latest I know of, in Waller.
    Waller filled two needs: there had been a long time desire for a Lutheran congregation; a CRM was designated missionary to build it. They are chartered now.

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