September 11, 2012 Blast - 9-11 Message From C.F.W. Walther

 
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A 9-11 Message from CFW Walther
 
As our nation mourns and remembers the tragic events of 9-11-01, many will be stirred to a greater love for country and the many freedoms we enjoy as citizens of the United States of America; hence the name Patriot’s Day.
 
On September 11, 1885, 127 years ago, CFW Walther gathered seminary students around himself for his 34th evening lecture on Law and Gospel. These lectures would later be published in book form as The Proper Distinction Between Law and Gospel. I share a few words from his opening remarks that I pray would stir us on to an even greater love for Christ and His Word.
 
“Nowadays anyone who insists that pure doctrine is a very important matter is at once suspected of not having the right Christian spirit. The very term ‘pure doctrine’ has been proscribed and outlawed. Even such modern theologians as wish to be numbered with the Confessionalists, as a rule, speak of pure doctrine only in derisive terms, treating it as the shibboleth of dead-letter theology. If anyone goes to the extreme, as it is held to be, of even fighting for the pure doctrine and opposing every false doctrine, he is set down as a heartless and unloving fanatic. What may be the reason? Unquestionably this, that modern theologians know full well that they have not that doctrine which in all ages has been called, and verily is, pure doctrine. Furthermore, they even think that pure doctrine does not exist (is a non-ens), except in a dream world, in the realm of ideal, in the Republic of Plato...
 
"Contempt of pure doctrine is contempt of the truth; for the pure doctrine is simply nothing else, absolutely nothing else, than the pure Word of God. It is not, as some think, the doctrine adapted to the systems of dogmaticians that has been accepted by the Church. Accordingly, contempt of the pure doctrine is proof that we are living in an unspeakably lamentable era...
 
"Let us picture to ourselves as vividly as we can the situation that would have been created in the early Church, when errorists like Arius, Nestorius, and Pelagius arose, if men like Athanasius, Cyril, and Augustine had not earnestly opposed them. As far back as in the fourth and fifth centuries the Church would have lost the primary article of the Christian faith; the foundation would have been removed from beneath it, and it would have had to collapse. That was, indeed, impossible in view of the eternal counsel of God concerning the Church; however, because of that very counsel, God had to raise up instruments such as those teachers were. True, while they lived, they were hated and persecuted as malicious disturbers of Christendom, but for more than a thousand years their names have been beacon-lights, as names of great witnesses to the saving truth, and in eternity they will shine as the brightness of the firmament and as the stars forever and ever. (Daniel 12:3). Let no one, then, be deterred from giving his testimony in behalf of the truth by the charge that he has a false spirit. That charge emanates only from unbelief.
Again, suppose Luther, after learning the truth, had indeed borne testimony for it to his immediate associates, but had not entered into conflict with the Papacy because of the great abominations which it had introduced into the Church, what would have happened? Christianity would have to remain under the soul-tyranny of the Roman Antichrist, and we all should still be subjects of it. There is no question, then, but that both, yes, both these efforts are necessary: to defend the truth and to oppose every doctrinal error.”
 
This is the goal of the ACELC; to defend the truth and oppose error. I would encourage you to
visit our web site and review our many documents. We have recently added several teaching documents to aid and assist in the study of the Error Documents. A few months ago, at a Nebraska District Pastors’ Conference, LCMS First Vice President Herb Mueller, in responding to a question from the floor, said that the ACELC Error Documents would be good to study in our Synodical goal of Koinonia. May God grant us true peace in and through the death and resurrection of Jesus.
 
God’s richest blessings in Christ,
 
Rev. Clint K. Poppe
Chairman,
ACELC
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