LCA Issues Open Letter to LCMS Officials to Oppose False Teaching or Resign

The Lutheran Concerns Association has issued an “Open Letter to The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod,” in its newsletter, The Lutheran Clarion, vol. 7, no. 4, March 2015, available online here (page 3).

The Open Letter quotes the statement of Synodical President Matthew C. Harrison on January 26, 2015 concerning the failure of the Northwest District to discipline Dr. Matthew Becker for false teaching. In his statement, titled “Regarding a recent decision of a panel not to proceed with charges regarding a public false teacher in the LCMS,” President Harrison had written:Martin Luther, Denkmal, Marktplatz, Lutherstadt Wittenberg

When a public teacher on the roster of Synod can without consequence publicly advocate the ordination of women (even participate vested in the installation of an ELCA clergy person), homosexuality, the errancy of the Bible, the historical-critical method, open communion, communion with the Reformed, evolution, and more, then the public confession of the Synod is meaningless. I am saying that if my Synod does not change its inability to call such a person to repentance and remove such a teacher where there is no repentance, then we are liars and our confession is meaningless. I do not want to belong to such a synod, much less lead it. I have no  intention of walking away from my vocation. I shall rather use it and, by the grace of God, use all the energy I have to call this Synod to fidelity to correct this situation.

Matt Harrison

After quoting that statement, the LCA writes:

Simply put, the Synod is once again at a defining point as an “orthodox” church body. The Board of Directors of Lutheran Concerns Association calls upon the presidents of every District of Synod, of every Synodical institution of higher learning and every regent thereof as well as every member of every elected board/commission to publicly indicate their unqualified support for President Harrison in his statement above or resign their position forthwith. It is time to be as bold in the secular world of today as Luther was at the Diet of Worms: “Here I stand…..” We are in GOD’S CHURCH, not a secular semi-religious philosophical organization or in a governmental legislative body where too often the accepted practice in actuality truly is flimflamming constituents.

LCA Board of Directors,

Mr. Walter C. Dissen, President
Mr. Scott Diekmann, Vice President
Rev. Jerome Panzigrau, Secretary Treasurer
Rev. Dr. Kristian Kincaid
Mr. John Klinger
Mr. Scott Meyer, Esq.
Rev. Dr. Martin Noland
Rev. Andrew Preus
Rev. David Ramirez
Mr. Leon Rausch
Mr. Don Zehnder

If you would like to add your name to the open letter for publication in a future Lutheran Clarion, email Mr. Walter Dissen at [email protected].

About T. R. Halvorson

T. R. Halvorson was born in Sidney, Montana on July 14, 1953, baptized at Pella Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sidney, Montana on November 8, 1953, and confirmed at First Lutheran Church in Williston, North Dakota in 1968. He and his wife, Marilyn, are members of Trinity Lutheran Church (LCMS) in Sidney, Montana. They have three sons and six grandchildren. T. R. farms at Wildrose, North Dakota, and is Deputy County Attorney in Sidney, Montana. He has been a computer programmer; and an author, conference speaker, instructor, and consultant to industry in online legal information. He is among the authors of the religion column in the Sidney Herald at Sidney, Montana. He is the Editor of LutheranCatechism.com.

Comments

LCA Issues Open Letter to LCMS Officials to Oppose False Teaching or Resign — 21 Comments

  1. Dear BJS,
    I think the gauntlet was always down, but now; we shall see who stands firm with the Lord, who stands against.

    Or, we will see what people feel important to the Lord, how far has culture (hmmm, vanity?) reached in and tempted the faithful to sway?

    In a week, the NID convention, we shall see what comes. In a year, the big one.

    Things will change, oh they will.

  2. Hmmm,
    Exodus 32:26 I believe you refer to?

    Well, perhaps we need a rally cry from the prophet in charge? OK, we will not use swords, don’t go there people.

    But we will quickly get to a point, Caanan and culture of unbelief come in when we abandon the Lord’s teachings.

  3. I guess that I cannot understand why any Lutheran would NOT want to have their name added to such a call. For that matter, I keep trying to understand why such a call should even be necessary. Isn’t this what God’s Word (and our own Synod constitution if you think it necessary to appeal to that “authority”) already say? What lucid argument would oppose this? Please help me to understand. I am not trying to be all kinds of obtuse here — I just want to understand why any Lutheran would oppose this. Thanks in advance for your help!

  4. @Rev. Alan J. Wollenburg #8

    Politics, driven by certain egos. I have the privilege of serving the LCMS in various areas on different levels, and my opinion is the worst of it comes from Seminex era guys; those sympathetic to ELCA’s why of thinking and wish we would join them.

  5. At our recent Conference, the ACELC thanked and commended the LCA for their “open letter” and encouraged its distribution. Thanks for posting it here!

    Clint

  6. @Pastor Prentice #12

    Dear Pastor Prentice,

    Re. your comment #12 I believe that the delegates can change the order of resolutions. I also believe they need to do that at the time when the “Agenda is accepted” at the beginning of the convention. Talk to some of the guys in your circuit who know Robert’s Rules to make sure on that–I think the pastor in River Grove will know.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  7. Any one in Synod who publicly supports the ordination of women, homosexuality, the belief that THE BIBLE IS NOT INERRANT, open communion etc. and who refuses to publicly confess the orthodox teaching of Scripture on these issues should be shown his error on the basis of God’s Word. It is one thing to be in error, to be admonished, to accept correction and to change your position. It is quite another to be admonished, stubbornly refuse correction and continue to hold to your anti-Scriptural position. If such is the case, then such a person should be asked to resign whatever position he holds in Synod and also removed.
    Also, in my opinion, if someone is holding to these anti-Scriptural views, then why not be upfront and mention such a person by name if you know for sure that their position is anti-scriptural?
    I offer this suggestion since it is impossible to deal with these people in an evangelical manner if they remain nameless.
    Rev. David V. Dissen,
    Cape Giardeau, MO

  8. @Rev. David V. Dissen #14

    Well I could think of a few at the seminary who have a problem with the innerency of the bible, who think that this verse or that verse should not belong in the bible. That the textual apparatus is the holy words of God. Instead of changing their views, they become leaders of the seminary or asked to be on theological radio shows.

  9. Making or taking a stand, to uphold what is good, right, and true, should never be a question. Laity do it, in their jobs, social circles, with family. Just trying to put this, into a certain perspective: there is an article, in the Daily Mail, under the News section, that exposes, one of the stores, I use when I’m in the UK & I have ordered from, online.
    They made a choice, to ban Jesus & Christ, from online message orders.
    In ’07, I & my Christian penpal, were denied service, in a small town, in England. For what? Praying the Common Table Prayer, in public. My friend, was afraid & wanted to leave. I said “No. I’m not leaving. I’ll go up, to the bar (was a pub) ask after our order, if we do not get it, more water, or drinks, then, we leave, and ask to pay for our bill.”

    If laity, are trained up & taught rightly, and then take these stands, at work, socially, politically, to such risks, how is it, that those above us, refuse?

  10. Dear BJS,
    I did more digging, NID Committee 1 (I am not the best on all the rules), will not have Resolution 1-10 in the proposed business, they have 1-06.

    I sent the following letter to the pastors on the committee, requesting they think about what they bring to the table, before we wrestle in convention.

    Greetings again Pastors on Committee 1,

    After I did some more digging and understanding procedures, the resolutions being brought forward from you committee seem to exclude any discipline being requested to Rev. Dr. Becker. Yes, 1-10.

    Yes, I see 1-06, and it needs to be discussed, we have had a great breakdown in discipline for a rogue pastor publicly espousing false doctrine. Between all of us, no pastor worth his weight in the Lord’s service would allow such a travesty to occur, especially as it may afflict the souls of the weak and “little children.” The Lord is not happy with error, we all know that!

    How to fix, we sometimes disagree. I do believe we must make a public statement to request Dr. Becker to recant and be called to repent.

    I myself have spoken to our Rev. President of Synod and expressed full support of him, and prayer for him in this troubled time.

    If we cannot stand with the Lord in following His doctrine and rules for conduct, what do we then have? You all know.

    You and I must stand with the Lord and make a tough stance against blatant false doctrine and practice.

    Reverend David L. Prentice, Jr. – Senior Pastor
    Faith Lutheran Church of Westchester

  11. After I did some more digging and understanding procedures, the resolutions being brought forward from you committee seem to exclude any discipline being requested to Rev. Dr. Becker. Yes, 1-10.
    You see all overtures never make it to get voted on. They get bounced even before they see the light of day…

  12. Thank you Pastor, for your diligence, in #18.

    I think, it is & I pray better be, simpler, than resolutions & bylaws. As a simple member, of the common laity, all most of us have, are Sola Scriptura & our Luther’s Small Catechism.

    I think the Book of Jude, covers this issue, from beginning, how we are to act & what our Heavenly Father, expects of us. He said it would come, how it would come, and what we are to do, once it does.

    Simple & quite clear. At least to me. Many laity, have stood steadfast & firm, risked everything, from their livelihood, friends, family, etc. Without a resolution or bylaw, in sight. Why? Because He, the Author of our Faith, said so. Jude, no one ever refers to, in public, far to big a risk. What do we risk, if we refuse? Everything. What changes if we don’t? Nothing.

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