The Rev. District President Terry Forke, of the Montana district, sent this email to Pastors and lay delegates of Montana District:
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am writing to inform you that the case of Dr. Matthew Becker, (on which so much time was spent at our convention), has been brought to a conclusion. President Linnemann decided to suspend him, and Dr. Becker writes, in the blog post cited below, that he will not appeal the suspension.
Since Dr. Becker has made it public, (in this blog post) I am now free to clarify matters, about which I could not speak at the convention. I am the one who brought charges against Dr. Becker, but, due to confidentiality issues, I could not reveal that. For the past 27 months I have been working with President Linnemann and Dr. Becker at trying to bring Dr. Becker to repentance. I know that some of you were concerned about whether anyone had actually talked to either or both of them. I did spend hours with both of them separately and together. I went through Genesis 1-3 verse by verse. I addressed specific confessional texts. I want to assure you that every effort was made to deal gently, yet forthrightly with the brother. I did ask him to repent, face to face. In addition we carried on conversation through numerous letters and emails.
Knowing all this, and knowing that you were really struggling with trying to do the right thing, made the convention a very emotionally difficult time for me. I believe the convention made wise and pastoral decisions, two of which, 5-03 and 5-04 are now moot. Nonetheless, through those resolutions you made the good confession that the Word of God is true, and that the false confession must be confronted.
Earlier today I wrote both Dr. Becker and President Linnemann. I will be praying for their strength of faith and their commitment to the confession of the true Word of God as found in the Lutheran Confessions. I ask that you do the same.
“There is no other name, under heaven, given among men, by which we are to be saved.”
PS At this point, (Betty has this information in her computer), I cannot contact the lay delegates to the convention. I would appreciate it if you would give a copy of this letter to your delegate. Thanks.
In His Service,
President Montana District LCMS
Pastor, Trinity Harlowton
“Let us hold fast the confession of our faith without wavering for He who promised is faithful” (Hebrews 10:23)
“Therefore everything in the Christian church is so ordered that we may daily obtain full forgiveness of sins through the Word and through signs.” (Large Catechism)