It is Sunday morning, I have a few minutes before church begins, and I decide to look at Friday/Saturday’s mail. In my mail is the latest issue of the “Reporter.” I begin to read. I see in it that enrollment for our Concordias have hit a record 36,250 students. I think to myself, “that’s great since 2 out of 3 of my children graduated from Concordia, Seward, and another one will graduate this December.” I read on. I see that there was a conference in Fort Wayne where 170 pastors and lay leaders gathered to discuss disasters and how we respond to them. That, too, is wonderful. We always need to learn how to respond when our neighbor is in need. That’s part of our vocation.
If the truth be known this month’s Reporter is full of many interesting, informative articles showing a very positive side to our synod’s workings. I encourage you to read it if you haven’t done so already.
But, then I came to a section that troubled me. On page 5 of the Reporter the editors included a section entitled, “More Than Oversight – COP meeting spotlights training, mercy, outreach , mission.” In this article I read that the “COP meetings involve a lot more than oversight of administration issues – the council members evaluate weighty matters like theological training for church workers, mercy efforts and world mission…” The article went on to describe some of these “more than” issues. Licensed Lay Deacons, Lutheran Malaria, President’s Report, pt. 1, Mission Update, Reflections on “China mission” and the President’s Report, pt. 2 with all the sub-titles. I’m sure that all these causes are worthy of our COP’s time, no one would argue that, but I couldn’t help but notice some glaring matters that are missing. What about the errors we face in our beloved Missouri Synod…where are those being discussed, and if they are discussed why can’t those discussions be shared with the rest of us?
While I find the issue of “infant communion” a worthy study for our CTCR, one has to wonder why more pressing items aren’t included? The ACELC has submitted three dissents to the CTCR and they have yet to officially respond to any of them, except to ask us to hold all three in abeyance for an indefinite amount of time. To be fair they said they would respond to one of the three which we resubmitted last April, and we will hold them to that, but aren't women serving as elders and presidents, laymen acting like pastors, and pastors participating with heterodox – and sometimes even non-Christians – in worship services worthy of news?
It almost appears that the errors we face in our synod are not important enough to be taken up by our leadership. China is, but not what we are facing as a synod.
As I read on I see that a special Reformation celebration is being planned for 2017. Great! Love to hear it! We need to celebrate the 500th a
nniversary of the Church’s Reformation. We should all be pleased with such an undertaking, but I fear that we are failing our forefathers and what they fought for – sometimes at the cost of their own lives – by not honoring the spirit of the Reformation. We seem to have forgotten that the Reformation was about the “truth that sets us free” and the errors that truth condemned.
If the Reformation only celebrated the pride we have in being Lutheran, then a celebration isn't necessary. If it’s about raising more money for the LCMS, then a celebration isn't necessary. But if the Reformation is about the truth that Martin Luther rediscovered, the truth that had been obscured by centuries of faulty doctrines, the “truth that sets us free,” then the Reformation does matter and needs to be celebrated.
But how can we celebrate this truth when we are refusing to deal with our own “faulty doctrines?”
Friends, the COP isn't entirely to blame here. We are the ones who have let this happen to ourselves. We, as members of the LCMS, have allowed ourselves to be placed in bondage once again by allowing Satan to secure a foothold in our churches. Our plea, as members of the ACELC, is that we deal with our issues; deal with our errors and bring them to light so that God’s Word can have its way with us. It would certainly be in keeping with the spirit of the Reformation that we are about to celebrate.
Pastor Dan Bremer
Speakers Bureau Chairman of the ACELC
If you would like to join us in this effort, we encourage you to go to the ACELC Website
, read the Fraternal Admonition
and our "Errors" documents
, watch the video, "If Not Now, When?
" – and then join the ACELC
either as a Full Congregational Member or as an Associate Member.