Verse of the Day

 

 

                                 United Voice

 

It has never been more obvious in my lifetime that we live in a divided country. Regardless of your political ideology, I think that we can all agree that we are divided. It is a dark, bleak, time. As we’ve seen recently, that division has serious ramifications.

 

What about our synod? Other than struggling to be Church in the midst of a pandemic, do things seem pretty tame? Do you see any evidence of chaos? Is it easy to dismiss the differences that we do see? Is the “division” in our synod really not all that serious?

 

The primary purpose of the Association of Confessing Evangelical Lutheran Congregations (ACELC) is “to give a united voice against errors that are officially adopted in convention, tolerated, and/or promoted in the LCMS.” (Governance Guidelines)

 

A “united voice,” doesn’t that sound nice? Wouldn’t that be great in our country and in our synod? Or is that just wishful thinking, too large a task, impossible? Do we even make an effort towards unity?

 

The members of the ACELC have committed themselves to this task (see The Plan on page two). We believe it to be a noble task, but it is not ours alone, for the Lord desires this unity in His Church. Verses 11 and 12 of Ephesians 4 seem to get all of the attention, but there is no doubt what the Lord says in the following verses, “… until we all attain to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.” (Ephesians 4:13-16)

 

While this unity which the Lord desires will not reach perfection this side of heaven, our Lord still exhorts us to strive for unity in our days. The first step is to agree that our voices are not united in the LCMS. Is this merely a difference in the way things are spoken – or – a difference of doctrine, confession, what one believes (the old question of “style vs. substance”)? We must honestly answer this question, because we owe it to one another to be united in Christ.

 

This is how we love one another [John 13:34; 2 Corinthians 13:11], and this love has real, serious, consequences for our life together. It is not just coming to some sort of agreement amongst ourselves, but most importantly, that we all would be brought into agreement and unity with God and His Word.

 

We invite you to join us in this task, realizing that this is not about the work of the ACELC, but the work of God the Holy Spirit uniting our voices as one in Christ. If you have suggestions of how we might converse with one another, study and hear God’s Word together, all for the sake of being united as one voice, please share those suggestions with me. (email Pastor Porath)

 

We have some resources that we would love to share with you, and we believe would be helpful in bringing unity in our synod. I would encourage you to check out the various Resources on our website. The Admonition and Error documents present a number of areas where we need to strive for unity. The ACELC Film Project as well as the papers from the 2011 Free Conference also give a good overview of the work that lies before us.

 

God grant us all to be united in Christ.

 

Rev. Scott T. Porath, Chairman

ACELC Board of Directors

 

     

 

                                                    


 

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