This conclusion to my experience with the Wiki15 conference is extremely delayed. One of the reasons is because I didn’t know where to go from here. The men and women gathered at the conference are not terrible people, nor do they desire to destroy the Church. They are our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who have the desire to proclaim the Gospel to the lost. They have the desire to share the love of Christ that they have. This isn’t a bad thing. This isn’t a terrible and heretical thing. This is a good intention and as they understand it, the fulfillment of the Great Commission. We are given to reach the lost with the love of Christ. This is why I can’t say, “What a bunch of heretics. They are the worst thing that has happened to the church since Arius arrived on the scene.” Our prayer shouldn’t be the humiliation of our brothers and sisters, but that we all walk together as guided by the Word Of God which is a lamp unto our feet and a light for our path.
So, where do we go from here? We have to first stop pretending that there isn’t a massive division in our church body. The issue isn’t one of practice, nor of relevance. The issue isn’t that I have the best practice and you have one that is good as well. The issue is that some are faithful to their Ordination Vows and others are not. The issue is that some churches are guided by the Scriptures and the Confessions and others are not. We have a real division not just of practice, but of Doctrine and Proclamation. This is the first step. We are not reading the same book, let alone on the same page.
After we admit this, both confessional and relevant alike, then we can begin to talk. We have to take the two documents that we swear to at our Ordination, the Scriptures and the Book of Concord, and study those. We need to meet and pray, meditate, and suffer according to the Word together. We can’t have a massive division of teachings. We can’t expect one Pastor to be reading the Formula of Concord as opposed to reading John Piper or Beth Moore and expect them to both be Lutheran. One is Lutheran and other one isn’t. Or we can’t expect one pastor to be reading the Large Catechism in opposition to reading John Calvin and expect them to both be Lutheran. We have to meditate, pray, and suffer together. This isn’t the Koinonia project, but a real dialogue about our division. This isn’t a critique of the Koinonia Project, but just an honest statement that we aren’t there yet. First we have to confess together that we will be guided by Holy Scripture and the Book of Concord.
After this, if there are those who don’t desire to have this dialogue, then they must be excluded. Meaning, they should be disciplined by our theological supervisors. If that is not happening, then we have to warn our flocks to stay away from churches within our own LCMS that are poisonous and heretical. Since I posted my first two articles and done some interviews, I have had some very fruitful conversations with some brothers. However, I have also had some pretty terrible talks with some brothers. To have this discussion there has to be a maturity level that I just don’t see in our beloved LCMS. We don’t have men like Luther and Chemnitz, but more like the bratty little girl from Willy Wonka who wants her golden egg now and if she doesn’t get it she is going to scream until she does. No matter the fraternal spirit or calm reasoning from the other side one group just won’t listen. We have some of the most immature clergy on both sides and it is sickening. We must grow up and act like who we are, Stewards of the Mysteries of God.
Let’s act like we care about each other. Let’s look out for each other. Let’s talk and strive for unity in both doctrine and practice, not according to a compromise, but in accordance with Holy Scripture and the Confessions. Let’s study and grow together in faith and love towards one another. If this doesn’t happen, then God help us come to repentance and receive holy absolution for our lack of compassion and love for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.