1. What do we hope to accomplish?
It is the hope of those joining together in the association of congregations that we make public the official and tolerated errors of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod in such a way that a productive discussion can be held within and around our Synod to address, correct and resolve those matters that are in dispute among us. This is done with a Christian, fraternal, and loving intent, to restore the unity of our Synod in its doctrine and its practice.
2. How do we propose to accomplish our goals?
First, it is our intention to make the errors within our Synod public through the publication of those errors in a letter to all LCMS congregations. Then, in connection with that letter, we will seek to bring about a group of congregations that intends to fraternally request that our Synod correct those identified errors so that the unity of doctrine and practice might be restored within our Synod.
3. Are the proposed actions by the ACELC schismatic?
No. To be schismatic means that one is seeking to break fellowship or separate themselves from the Church without sufficient doctrinal cause. The ACELC is not suggesting that we break fellowship or separate ourselves from the LCMS at all, and therefore is not, and cannot be considered schismatic in any way.
Rev. Dr. Francis Pieper, (Fifth President of the LCMS, President of the St. Louis, MO, Seminary, and author of Christian Dogmatics - the primary dogmatics textbook for all LCMS pastors), wrote in his well-known dogmatics work:
"By the term 'schism' we mean a division in the Church which God's Word does not enjoin, but which is begun by men for carnal reasons and therefore is sinful, e.g., a separation [emphasis added] because of differences in church customs, church terms, order of worship, etc. In practice it is important to distinguish between schismatics acting from spite and schismatics acting from weakness in Christian knowledge and prejudice. Such, however, as separate from a church body because it tenaciously clings to false doctrine are unjustly called schismatics, separatists, etc. This separation is commanded in Scripture (Rom. 16:17) and is the only means of restoring and maintaining true unity in the Christian Church." . . . (Read The Entire FAQ Document)