Guest Post from Pastor Bolland — It’s Time for the ACELC

This was original added as a comment on another post.


We watched it all happen. Over the decades we watched it all, from the misled ecumenism of the Statement of the 44, in 1945; through the 70’s Battle of the Bible for the veracity of the Word of God; past the Charismatic Movement within The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod; through the introduction of Folk Services; Polka Masses; Clown Worship; Liturgical Dance; and we were dismayed that no adequate response was provided to correct error in our Synod. We watched again as The Church Growth Movement with its theology of glory approach to the mission of the Church and the resultant abandonment and/or pollution of our liturgical heritage was not corrected. We watched as unionism and syncretism went on display at Yankee Stadium and Newtown without real rebuke. Yes, we watched how the deterioration of faithfulness to the Word of God and our Lutheran Confessions had sadly become a fact of life within our Synod.

We watched as our altars were put on wheels to get them out of the way when desired for a more human-centered worship. We watched as multi-media projection screens began to change the center focus of our worship away from the cross and altar – sometimes covering the altar itself – the very symbol of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. We watched as Praise Bands began assaulting our ears importing music from theological traditions that contradicted Lutheran theology, importing their errors into the Synod which once sought the greatest possible uniformity in our worship forms.

We watched as finger-snapping Synodical officers implied that unless we accomplished our evangelist task with greater zeal and commitment that every time he snapped his fingers, another soul would end up in hell who otherwise shouldn’t be there, and it would be our fault. We watched as Synodical conventions passed resolutions granting women roles in the worship and leadership of the congregation that were reserved for pastors and other men.

We watched as Synodically unaccountable “graduate schools” for Church Growth methods and principles were established and attend by hundreds of LCMS pastors whose work in their home congregations often split them and took them away from understanding what it means to be Lutheran. They establishing practices in congregations which taught our Lutheran people that being “Lutheran” really wasn’t that important and if they wanted to change denominations it simply wasn’t that big a deal because we look just like them anyway.

We watched as faithful, orthodox pastors were run out of their own congregations by misguided parishioners who insisted that these men violate their sacred vows of ordination to conduct their ministry in accord with God’s Word and the Lutheran Confessions. We watched as some District Presidents aided and abetted their removal. Then we watched as some of these same District Presidents virtually “black-balled” these same pastors to ensure they could not again have calls to another Missouri Synod congregation, and we watched their families suffer.

We watched as some pastors and congregations welcomed to Christ’s altar communicants from other from Lutheran church bodies who do not believe as we do and even welcomed non-Lutherans to kneel together in their disunity of faith as though they were in union with the teachings of our Lord. We watched as the very unity of the Triune God was mocked by the disunity at our altars.

We watched until we could watch no more without acting. Silence was no longer an option.

I believe it is time for all faithful, Confessional pastors to to cease their silence and to publicly speak up to rectify the errors of our Synod. It is now clear that the LCMS needs to find the corporate will to address the issues that are tearing our Synod apart and has been since 1945. Literally generations have come and gone in the LCMS since we walked away from the will to address the errors that divide us. It is time for the ACELC. The ACELC provides a common voice to individual pastors and congregations. As we have seen in the past, individual pastors and congregations have been ignored when they raised their concerns. The ACELC is not going away, and we will not be silent. We publicly speak truth to error. As a Synod we we cannot address and correct the errors unless we first identify them. This the ACELC has done. Together we can be heard especially if we continue to grow our numbers and thus the volume of our voice. Our speaking is a measure of our Christian love to our Synod. It is not mean spirited. It is the voice of a brother who understands that we are indeed our brother’s keeper. Will you please consider joining your voice with us?


Be sure to read about our conference next Tuesday through Thursday in Kansas City, Missouri

Watch our movie, If not Now, When?, or better yet use it during bible class at your congregation.

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