The ACELC exists "to give a united voice against errors that are officially adopted in convention, tolerated, and/or promoted in the LCMS.”

Barking Dogs & Old Dogs


As the outgoing chairman of the ACELC Board of Directors, I’ve been asked to share some thoughts and perspectives. First of all, it is an honor to work with all who work towards faithful doctrine and practice in the LCMS. I commend all who have served, and continue to serve, on the ACELC board for their dedication and commitment.


A few years back when we were considering the future of the ACELC, I said that it was time for us to disband. This was not because we had reached our goal, but because I thought we had run our course, our efforts plateaued, and there was a genuine sense of apathy within the membership of the ACELC as well as the LCMS. I thought it best that we disband so that another effort might arise to take up the cause. Having polled the members of our association, I interpreted the results as a validation of my opinion, but the board at that time interpreted the results as motivation to continue on. That, along with comments from individuals that I greatly respect, led me to continue to serve on the board and as chairman for another term.


ACELC still faces many challenges, the greatest being identifying our path forward. The most recent business meeting of the ACELC provided some insights on restructuring our association and selecting areas to focus on. Making changes will not be easy. Apathy is a constant affliction, as is the notion that others will handle the issues at hand. Everyone is busy. Everyone has duties and responsibilities in their various vocations. However, there is much work to be done, and more workers are needed to complete the task. This must be a combined effort of the membership of our association – as well as others in the LCMS (maybe you) who are not officially members of the ACELC – and the board making a concerted effort to engage others in the work of the ACELC. We need more “barking dogs” – those who speak out about the error in our midst and seek unity in the faith.


While the path forward is difficult, we are not without hope. There are many like-minded brothers and sisters in Christ in the LCMS who desire faithful doctrine and practice in the Church. There are other like-minded groups with which the ACELC can work for the benefit of our Synod. As long as the ACELC is gaining traction, this old dog will continue to work with and support the efforts of the ACELC, and I encourage you to offer your service as well.


If you are not familiar with the ACELC, please take a few minutes to peruse the ACELC website and become familiar with the resources provided there. Consider how you can make use of these in your congregation, circuit, district, and family.


Another old dog and former chairman repeatedly echoes Dr. Luther’s emphasis on “the Word, the Word, the Word.” Jesus, the Word made flesh, is our hope and our strength. Looking forward, we are emboldened, for “the Word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Peter 1:25).


Peace be with you.


Pastor Scott Porath



This video serves as a great discussion prompter for congregations, gatherings of circuit pastors, districts—all who care about the spiritual well-being of our brothers and sisters in Christ within the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. It spells out clearly the issues of doctrine and practice that continue to cause division within our synod and threaten our ability to walk together. It also shows our desire assist in the return to faithfulness within our synod.

We encourage you to watch this video, and use the study guides, as we together seek to deal with such issues, guided by the Holy Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions. We pray that these resources, and others available through the ACELC website, will be a blessing to you and our synod. We welcome your feedback.

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