NID Resolution 1-05 — To Call To Repentance …

Our post last night of an address by Pr. Gallup refers to this resolution, as found in the NID convention “Today’s Business” found here.

 


RESOLUTION 1-05 To Call to Repentance and Reform All Who Publicly Teach Contrary to the Well-Established Positions of Scripture and the Confessions in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

Referencing Late Overture 1-10

WHEREAS The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) has, in many past convention actions as well as in clearly expressed opinions by the Commission on Theology and Church Relations, consistent positions on the issues of women’s ordination, homosexuality, creation and evolution, the inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture, and proper methods for Biblical interpretation, and

WHEREAS all pastors in the LCMS pledge when they are ordained and installed their unconditional subscription to the Holy Scriptures and to the Lutheran Confessions as a correct exposition of Holy Scriptures and a correct exhibition of the doctrine of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and

WHEREAS events in the LCMS have made it evident that there are some that teach and advocate publicly against the established positions of the LCMS and in violation of their ordination vows, specifically and recently the case of Rev. Dr. Matthew Becker, currently an Associate Professor of Theology at Valparaiso University, and

WHEREAS the LCMS has established procedures for those who wish to express dissent, as well as for calling to repentance those who teach or advocate publicly against these positions or for expulsion of those who refuse to repent and reform their actions, and

WHEREAS there is frustration that some are ignoring the established procedures for dissent and correction of those in error, or refusing to abide by the outcome of such procedures, and therefore be it,

RESOLVED that the NID in convention reaffirm the consistent positions on the issues of women’s ordination, homosexuality, creation and evolution, the inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture, and proper methods for Biblical interpretation that the LCMS has held, and be it further

RESOLVED that all who teach or publicly advocate for positions contrary to the well-established positions of the LCMS be called to repentance and to reform their actions immediately, and be it further

RESOLVED that those who wish to express dissent on these positions or deal with specific individuals who are publicly teaching or advocating contrary to them be encouraged to use only the procedures for dissent, admonition, or removal that our Synod has previously agreed to use in such situations, and be it finally

RESOLVED that, the LCMS Commission on Handbook be requested by the Northern Illinois District in convention to review the existing procedures for allowing dissent to be properly expressed and bringing false teachers to repentance and for removing those who refuse to repent or who refuse to call others to repentance, to determine if any changes are needed to these procedures and if they are to recommend changes to the 2016 LCMS Convention.

The Northern Illinois District of
The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
March 6-7, 2015


Our information is that the following paragraph from the original overture was included with this resolution, then it overwhelmingly passed the convention. I’m not sure exactly where this was inserted into the resolution. You can view the entire overture on pages 32 to 36 here.

RESOLVED That in faithfulness to God’s Word and in Christian love the Northern Illinois District of the LCMS call the Rev. Dr. Matthew Becker to repentance of his false and divisive doctrines and that this be communicated to him by the Northern Illinois District President by sending him this resolution, and let it be further

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

NID Resolution 1-05 — To Call To Repentance … — 21 Comments

  1. The passed resolution included a “resolved” that explicitly called Becker to repentance and requested that President Gilbert contact him directly and with all pastoral care rather than just sending a letter.

  2. This isn’t the final resolution passed. It was amended, particularly following Pastor Gallup’s minority report, calling Dr. Becker to repent of his false teaching.

  3. Dear BJS Bloggers,

    This is an excellent resolution. You might notice that the amendment primarily differs from the original resolution in specifically naming Dr. Matthew Becker. Apparently the floor committee felt that was TOO specific, but Pastor Gallup rightly perceived that the real issue is not our dissent procedures, which are sufficient for normal cases, but rather one individual who is trying to tie those procedures into knots–an unusual tactic to be sure!

    I think that this resolution from NID gets to the heart of the Matthew Becker case. A similar resolution should be adopted by other districts, if possible, and also at the national convention, if there is no resolution of the matter by Summer 2016. Thanks to the brothers in NID for their hard work, faithful witness, and support of the public doctrine of the LCMS.

    Yours in Christ, Martin R. Noland

  4. I hope this resolution is sent to all LCMS high schools in the Midwest.
    And discussed with any Valpo recruiters.
    Perhaps Pr Becker should be placed on CRM status.

  5. Dear BJS,
    Perhaps the work is done slowly, but I thought we delegates did a good thing. Perhaps he will not recant, but we all resolved to walk together.

    We sent a message to leadership, we cannot tolerate error like this, so start to fix it. We (in love), mean it.

    As a delegate to 2016, I will work hard to make sure we do so.

  6. > Perhaps Pr Becker should be placed on CRM status.

    No, he’s not worthy of that. CRM is reserved for good men harassed by bad congregations and bad districts.

  7. This is a great resolution. The problem I have is that not all the District Presidents will be on board with this. Yet, all district presidents should signed documentation that they agree with this resolution. If not, then let the fighting begin….

  8. Allow me to be the dissenter in this discussion.

    This resolution is weak and toothless. It says and does nothing.

    “RESOLVED that the NID in convention reaffirm the consistent positions on the issues of women’s ordination, homosexuality, creation and evolution, the inerrancy and inspiration of Scripture, and proper methods for Biblical interpretation that the LCMS has held, and be it further”

    Yeah? Which “consistent positions” is this referring to? While we can all assume what is meant by this, without actually specifying the “consistent positions,” it is left wide open to interpretation. We need clear statements of what we believe, not vague statements like this one.

    “RESOLVED that all who teach or publicly advocate for positions contrary to the well-established positions of the LCMS be called to repentance and to reform their actions immediately, and be it further”

    Yeah? Who exactly is this talking about? This is vague. The people who publicly teach these things don’t think they need to repent of anything or change what they’re doing. This ultimately says and does nothing.

    “RESOLVED that those who wish to express dissent on these positions or deal with specific individuals who are publicly teaching or advocating contrary to them be encouraged to use only the procedures for dissent, admonition, or removal that our Synod has previously agreed to use in such situations, and be it finally”

    Yeah? Well, that’s what Matthew Becker did. He used the dissent process that the Synod previously agreed to use. Obviously, that didn’t work.

    “RESOLVED that, the LCMS Commission on Handbook be requested by the Northern Illinois District in convention to review the existing procedures for allowing dissent to be properly expressed and bringing false teachers to repentance and for removing those who refuse to repent or who refuse to call others to repentance, to determine if any changes are needed to these procedures and if they are to recommend changes to the 2016 LCMS Convention.”

    Yeah? So IF this makes it to the convention floor in 2016, then a committee will spend three years reviewing the process, to perhaps propose changes or perhaps affirm what already exists–all of which will be decided at the 2019 convention. So this is asking for something to be done in four years.

    “RESOLVED That in faithfulness to God’s Word and in Christian love the Northern Illinois District of the LCMS call the Rev. Dr. Matthew Becker to repentance of his false and divisive doctrines and that this be communicated to him by the Northern Illinois District President by sending him this resolution, and let it be further”

    Okay, so this I can mostly agree with. It is good to call him to repentance. It is good that the D.P. be the one to follow up on this.

    But sending a copy of the resolution? That doesn’t seem to be an appropriate means of calling someone to repentance.

    So, in conclusion, the NID attempted to be meet, right, and salutary in their actions, and I do commend them for that. But seriously, have we gotten to the point where the best we can do is pass toothless resolutions, and then run around congratulating ourselves on taking a stand?

  9. @Reverend Mo #10

    Rev. President Gilbert assured us that he would deliver this, by voice and letter. I know he will.

    Does it have “real” teeth? No, but it IS the right thing. Teeth and action will come later, or at least all knowledge of what can be done will come to light.

    As for the nature of this. It was good to see the pastors and laity in agreement on the nature of these issues. Basically, NID as part of Synod is strong and committed to walk with God’s Word.

    Perhaps we lack the “how to” on the ways to correct error like this as quickly as we desire. I myself will learn more as a 2016 delegate, I need to know better.

    We ALL know there is more to do, and it will be done. But for now, all us pastors will go about doing God’s work in our Churches, and calling ALL people to repent from their sins.

  10. @Pastor Prentice #11

    “Teeth and action will come later.”

    How long do we allow the heretic to preach and teach in our midst, calling him to repentance? This isn’t a new problem. This is older than this current round of “dissent.” He’s been doing this for 20 years, and the NW District has been protecting him for as long as he’s been teaching like this.

    Should we refer this to another committee and let them decide how best to act? That’s already been done. It hasn’t acted.

    Well, maybe the next committee will get it right. If not, there’s always the next committee.

    Now is the time for congregations, circuits, districts, and synods to say, “Enough is enough. Matthew Becker, you are forbidden from preaching in our pulpits, presiding at our altars, and teaching in our classrooms.”

    Matthew Becker has heard the call to repentance. Repeatedly. For years.

    He has openly mocked the call to repentance and the ones calling.

    The time to act is now or never.

    Resolutions like this call for the “never” approach, while still feigning to be doing the right thing.

    The process has already been followed. He’s already been admonished by the Church and called to repentance. More calls to repentance are not the right thing. They just kick the can farther down the road and avoid real church discipline.

  11. @Reverend Mo #12

    Dear Pastor Mo,
    I understand your pain. A man like this, as so many others, they “get away” with it. And some, as myself who speak, even in love about what was once thought normal in the work place, like traditional marriage; well, I may be on the street. OK, the little Church I serve and God are always there.

    As for this resolution, in my mind, it sets a tone, we are in this together against the forces that the Adversary can toss against us.

    Whether you are left or right wing, middle of the road, etc. All stood together of one confession.

    Let us now wait for what he does with this.

  12. Way to go NID. this what we need and more of it. We need all the districts to state this at their conventions as we march toward the next Synod Convention. I pray that it will grow and swell into a tidal wave that cannot be ignored.

  13. Sunday the account of our Lord driving out those who would defile His house was taught. I don’t recall. Perhaps I missed it. Did Jesus first write a resolution? Did He worry about the politics? There is a wolf in the sheep pen! He has been allowed to roam freely, devouring whomever he can sink his teeth into, for how long? Fifteen years of false teachings seems like a large enough sample doesn’t it? Where are the Shepards? Who is tending the sheep? Who is going to stand up for Christ? Who is going to abide in the Word? Lord save us!

  14. @Reverend Mo #12

    Reverend Mo, I have one question: Have you identified yourself clearly and specifically in this forum at another time? If not, you have no “standing” to be talking about whether such a resolution “has teeth”, since you are not willing to be publicly identified with your criticisms.

    To make absolutely sure: Rev. David *R* Mueller, Goodland, Indiana. (Since there are several other Rev. David Muellers in the LCMS.)

  15. Dear Steadfast Bretheren:

    As we all seem to be getting our collective undergarments in a wad over this resolution, it would seem to me that we have lost sight of several things that make the LCMS near and dear to our hearts. Chiefly among those is our systematic processes by which we have all agreed to walk together. Our processes include the following:

    “Whether made by the district president or the Referral Panel, if the determination is not to initiate formal proceedings, the district president shall in writing so inform the accuser, any other district president involved, and the involved member, which shall terminate the matter.” (Synod Bylaw 2.17.5.3)

    The undisputable facts are these: Dr. Becker was cleared of the only charge that was brought against him. The spirit and letter of Bylaw 2.17.5.3 were grievously violated by the SP when he chose to, instead of considering the matter closed, continue to rant about it both through official channels and his own social media postings.

    Anything beyond that is irrelevant in this particular case, but more troubling is the one which finds those of us in the Missouri Synod incapable of a discussion of dissenting opinions. One of the hallmarks of our synod, which should also be revered by all of us who have agreed to walk together, is to provide a process for dissent. It would seem that we are rushing to deprive those who dissent from our own opinions of the very dissent process at the heart of the synod.

    I implore you all to refrain from judgment unless YOU know the facts personally, not just the story as relayed to you by a fellow brother in Christ, or on a blog post. I certainly don’t know all the facts personally, but I do know that according to 2.17.5.3, the matter is closed, and according to 2.16.3c, Pastor Gallup certainly shouldn’t have been offering such condemnations when he is not involved in the matter personally, nor should this resolution be passed. You would not want the FL-GA district or the TX District passing resolutions about things that may or may not be happening in the Northern Illinois District, would you?

    It saddens me that we must be focusing on things such as these when there are many people in the Northern Illinois District’s territory who have yet to hear the name of Jesus Christ. Perhaps if we spent more time on simply proclaiming the Word of God (since He promises it will not return empty), and less time worrying about matters which have already been concluded, our activities would be more pleasing to God.

    Our heavenly father is most interested in what is in our hearts. At the end of the day, Jesus says, “Whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved.” He said to the thief on the cross, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” It would seem to me that we should fix our eyes (and hearts) on Jesus, and proclaim the Gospel, rather than beating a fellow brother with law, even after our own procedures say the matter is over.

    I will not concern myself with the specific charges. I neither support nor object to them. I am not paying attention to them since I am not involved in the matter. I would urge you to join me in moving on to the exciting future that God has in store for His Church.

  16. @Phil Melancthon #17

    Are you aware of Becker’s teachings? If so, would you consider him a false teacher? If you aren’t familiar with Becker’s teaching then why are you defending him or the decision to not proceed further? Closing our eyes and letting it all go, as you seem to desire, isn’t how scripture instructs us to deal with a false teacher, but you must know that……..

  17. #18 Randy, I think you will find that #17 Phil Melancthon is not a true handle. this post is very likely written from a stooge of Mr. Linnerman and the NWD.

  18. @Phil Melancthon #17

    *If* you belong to a congregation of the LCMS, you most certainly *are* involved in the matter. That’s the entire point. Becker, as a public teacher of the church–as a rostered LCMS man, who most certainly teaches very publicly as a prof at Valpo (which is technically not entirely pertinent, but not entirely “unpertinent”, either), as a vacancy/interim pastor at a church in Indiana, and in his open, public electronic discourse, represents the teaching of the *entire* LCMS. That’s what a synod is–a *confessional* fellowship/communion. What I preach and teach here in Indiana represents LCMS Lutherans in Alaska and Florida and Nebraska. If I am publicly teaching things contrary to our confession, the entire fellowship has a responsibility to correct me.
    As for the response of the SP, he is given by the Handbook to report the results of this case which involves us all to the Synod. That is what he has done. He has reported also what the CTCR has said in connection with this case: Becker is teaching false doctrine.
    As for the FL-GA district saying something about what happens in the NID–first of all, *this* particular case has long ago crossed district boundaries–it has most certainly affected the Indiana District, clearly (not to mention what I say above). And yes, I *would* want another district to make statements about false teaching that stirs up division *in the entire Synod*.

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