ACELC — Are the Errors We Face Serious?

Here is the latest email blast from the ACELC:

 

ACELC-LogoIt is Sunday morning, I have a few minutes before church begins, and I decide to look at Friday/Saturday’s mail. In my mail is the latest issue of the “Reporter.” I begin to read. I see in it that enrollment for our Concordias have hit a record 36,250 students. I think to myself, “that’s great since 2 out of 3 of my children graduated from Concordia, Seward, and another one will graduate this December.” I read on. I see that there was a conference in Fort Wayne where 170 pastors and lay leaders gathered to discuss disasters and how we respond to them. That, too, is wonderful. We always need to learn how to respond when our neighbor is in need. That’s part of our vocation.

If the truth be known this month’s Reporter is full of many interesting, informative articles showing a very positive side to our synod’s workings. I encourage you to read it if you haven’t done so already.

But, then I came to a section that troubled me. On page 5 of the Reporter the editors included a section entitled, “More Than Oversight – COP meeting spotlights training, mercy, outreach , mission.” In this article I read that the “COP meetings involve a lot more than oversight of administration issues – the council members evaluate weighty matters like theological training for church workers, mercy efforts and world mission…” The article went on to describe some of these “more than” issues. Licensed Lay Deacons, Lutheran Malaria, President’s Report, pt. 1, Mission Update, Reflections on “China mission” and the President’s Report, pt. 2 with all the sub-titles. I’m sure that all these causes are worthy of our COP’s time, no one would argue that, but I couldn’t help but notice some glaring matters that are missing. What about the errors we face in our beloved Missouri Synod…where are those being discussed, and if they are discussed why can’t those discussions be shared with the rest of us?

While I find the issue of “infant communion” a worthy study for our CTCR, one has to wonder why more pressing items aren’t included? The ACELC has submitted three dissents to the CTCR and they have yet to officially respond to any of them, except to ask us to hold all three in abeyance for an indefinite amount of time. To be fair they said they would respond to one of the three which we resubmitted last April, and we will hold them to that, but aren’t women serving as elders and presidents, laymen acting like pastors, and pastors participating with heterodox – and sometimes even non-Christians – in worship services worthy of news?

It almost appears that the errors we face in our synod are not important enough to be taken up by our leadership. China is, but not what we are facing as a synod.

As I read on I see that a special Reformation celebration is being planned for 2017. Great! Love to hear it! We need to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the Church’s Reformation. We should all be pleased with such an undertaking, but I fear that we are failing our forefathers and what they fought for – sometimes at the cost of their own lives – by not honoring the spirit of the Reformation. We seem to have forgotten that the Reformation was about the “truth that sets us free” and the errors that truth condemned.

If the Reformation only celebrated the pride we have in being Lutheran, then a celebration isn’t necessary. If it’s about raising more money for the LCMS, then a celebration isn’t necessary. But if the Reformation is about the truth that Martin Luther rediscovered, the truth that had been obscured by centuries of faulty doctrines, the “truth that sets us free,” then the Reformation does matter and needs to be celebrated.

But how can we celebrate this truth when we are refusing to deal with our own “faulty doctrines?”

Friends, the COP isn’t entirely to blame here. We are the ones who have let this happen to ourselves. We, as members of the LCMS, have allowed ourselves to be placed in bondage once again by allowing Satan to secure a foothold in our churches. Our plea, as members of the ACELC, is that we deal with our issues; deal with our errors and bring them to light so that God’s Word can have its way with us. It would certainly be in keeping with the spirit of the Reformation that we are about to celebrate.

Pastor Dan Bremer
Speakers Bureau Chairman of the ACELC

If you would like to join us in this effort, we encourage you to go to the ACELC Website, read the Fraternal Admonition and our “Errors” documents, watch the video, “If Not Now, When?” – and then join the ACELC either as a Full Congregational Member or as an Associate Member.

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, LCMSsermons.com, 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.

More of his work can be found at KNFA.net.

Comments

ACELC — Are the Errors We Face Serious? — 14 Comments

  1. Thank you and the leadership of ACELC for fighting the good fight. If we are truly Lutheran, then we must fight as Luther, by refuting false doctrine and calling to repentance those who teach and practice it!

  2. “Friends, the COP isn’t entirely to blame here. We are the ones who have let this happen to ourselves. We, as members of the LCMS, have allowed ourselves to be placed in bondage once again by allowing Satan to secure a foothold in our churches. Our plea, as members of the ACELC, is that we deal with our issues; deal with our errors and bring them to light so that God’s Word can have its way with us. It would certainly be in keeping with the spirit of the Reformation that we are about to celebrate.”

    I agree with that to a point, but there has to come a time when the ecclesiastical authorities have to step in and say “This is beyond the bounds of Lutheranism; either repent of it or disassociate yourself from us.”

  3. @J. Dean #2
    And if that time does not come? Or, rather, how long? The errors have been going on for decades now. Like Koinonia, there is no time frame alluded to in your last paragraph.

  4. I don’t know if the Synod is past the point of no return (i.e., unable to repent, or call to repentance, those in error) but I am firmly convinced that as goes the LCMS, so will go the primary witness to Confessional Lutheranism in North America. This is a fight we need the LCMS to win, not only for our own sakes, but for the sake of a clear and robust orthodox witness to Christ in our time and place.

    Surely, if the LCMS falls into permanent heterodoxy, there will still be rag-tag congregations and fellowships trying to keep the flame alive. But with the one-two punch of the ELCA and LCMS falling (and the WELS dabbling in enthusiastic Church Growth as well,) I’m not sure anyone will hear a “Lutheran” voice without fundamentally pigeon holing them as either rank apostates or general schwarmerei. With little minority factions all attempting to speak for what “Lutheran” really is, the world will cease to care. The public defense of the Gospel and Christian orthodoxy will fall to less capable hands… and the 500th anniversary of the Reformation will be more of a mourning for what once was and could have been, rather than a celebration of the ongoing work of properly dividing Law and Gospel.

    Frankly, I think the LCMS is the last real gasp for Confessional Lutheranism in North America. If we don’t win this in our day, it may be generations before another iteration of “Zion on the Mississippi” comes along to water our land. It is worth drawing the line here, and trying to save this Synod, whether God shall ordain that we can or not.

    And if we cannot… then we need to prepare for life as the church in exile.

  5. @LadyM #3
    My time frame would be now, with a demand for an immediate response. And it would be made VERY clear that a delayed response would be interpreted as non-compliance.

    That may sound harsh, but read in the Scriptures how God expects His people to treat false teaching and false doctrine. There is no negotiation, there is no compromise, there is no “let’s dialogue.” There is “repent or be gone.”

    Heterodoxy tolerated eventually leads to orthodoxy eliminated.

  6. Hey Folks,

    Maybe I/we’ve been looking at the Koinonia Project (KP) the wrong way. If the Synod Leadership wants Koinonia then they should have it. Meeting once in a blue moon to “chat-it-up” about things we aren’t privy to see or hear “ain’t” the way. You want Koinonia in the LCMS, lets have it.

    Open Comment to the Synod President, Praesidium, and COP:

    What we fail to rebuke and admonish we should showcase. Let’s have Woolsey, FiveTwo, and the Texas DP immerse all of us in “their way” during the next Synodical Convention. Replace the Divine Service, Vespers, Matins with Woolsey and his Crosspoint praise band. Lets broadcast over the internet the Hymns, “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC and “Crazy Train” by Ozzy being played in the service. Let’s have laymen preach the message and pass around some “good wine and bread” for communion. Let’s run this thing up the flagpole and talk about it. If we don’t rebuke and admonish it, then it must be worth showcasing. If we take Koinonia seriously we really need to see what each side is doing. Let EVERYONE see what is happening.

    Randy

  7. @Randy#8,
    What you are talking about is revealing the schism that already exists, in a way that no one can ignore. This needs to happen. It is way past time to “Tell it to the Church.”

    Noye

  8. @Randy #8

    The only concern I would have with that is that it might give some in the synod the impression that it’s an endorsement of this stuff. And I also fear that (like pornography) showing it to people might actually attract them to it… not everybody, of course, but some.

  9. Randy, Vanessa, T.R. Diane, Tim, Matt, etc. – Their posts illustrate why laypeople should be involved in the polity of the LCMS. It is not just a “pastor” problem. Laypeople can be well educated and articulate; and besides, they sometimes have really great ideas! 😀 GREAT idea, Randy!

  10. @Randy #8

    Oh, how I love theological judo! I say bring it, and let it be crushed under its own heterodox weight.

    The people of our Synod need to be shocked, so that they stop slowly boiling into the soup.

  11. I’ve read that Randy Rhoads (co-writer and lead guitarist of the song “Crazy Train” mentioned above) was an LCMS Lutheran.

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