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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

LCMS and the Jews

The LCMS published an article some time ago entitled "Judaism".  The file name is "Judaism 2005.pdf". It is currently located here (as of October 19, 2011):
http://www.lcms.org/Document.fdoc?src=lcm&id=384
If it becomes unavailable, here is a link to a copy.

And in 1983, the LC-MS evidently adopted "Resolution 3-09" concerning "Anti-Semitism". (This is not to be confused with Resolution 3-09 of 1973, another well known Resolution in the LCMS):
Resolution 3-09, "To Clarify Position on Anti-Semitism," of the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church (July 1983)
Whereas, Anti-Semitism and other forms of racism are a continuing problem in our world; and
WHEREAS, Some of Luther's intemperate remarks about the Jews are often cited in this connection; and
WHEREAS, It is widely but falsely assumed that Luther's personal writings and opinions have some official status among us (thus, sometimes implying the responsibility of contemporary Lutheranism for those statements, if not complicity in them); but also
WHEREAS, It is plain from Scripture that the Gospel must be proclaimed to all people-that is, to Jews also, no more and no less than to others (Matt. 28: 18- 20); and
WHEREAS, This Scriptural mandate is sometimes confused with anti­-Semitism; therefore be it

Resolved. That we condemn any and all discrimination against others on ac­count of race or religion or any coercion on that account and pledge ourselves to work and witness against such sins; and be it further
Resolved, That we reaffirm that the bases of our doctrine and practice are the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions and not Luther, as such; and be it further
Resolved, That while, on the one hand, we are deeply indebted to Luther for his rediscovery and enunciation of the Gospel, on the other hand, we deplore and disassociate ourselves from Luther's negative statements about the Jewish people, and, by the same token, we deplore the use today of such sentiments by Luther to incite anti-Christians and/or anti-Lutheran sentiment; and be it further
Resolved, That in our teaching and preaching we take care not to confuse the religion of the Old Testament (often labeled "Yahwism") with the subsequent Judaism, nor misleadingly speak about "Jews" in the Old Testament ("Israelites" or "Hebrews" being much more accurate terms), lest we obscure the basic claim of the New Testament and of the Gospel to being in substantial continuity with the Old Testament and that the fulfillment of the ancient promises came in Jesus Christ; and be it further
Resolved, That we avoid the recurring pitfall of recrimination (as illustrated by the remarks of Luther and many of the early church fathers) against those who do not respond positively to our evangelistic efforts; and be it finally
Resolved, That, in that light, we personally and individually adopt Luther's final attitude toward the Jewish people, as evidenced in his last sermon: "We want to treat them with Christian love and to pray for them, so that they might become converted and would receive the Lord" (Weimar edition, Vol. 51, p. 195).
Action: Adopted (10).
=========================
Both of these documents are a bit elusive and so I have published them here for reference.  [Dec. 17, 2014: see here for current location] The adopted resolution and the "Judaism" article give aid to the enemies of Christianity.  How? By justifying unbelief.  I already answered the terminology of "Anti-Semitism" and Anti-Judaism in an earlier post.  Jesus said:
John 14:6
I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
So the LCMS gives aid to the unbelief of the Jews and are going contrary to Christianity as they go against Luther.  And I might add how silly are all the "ecumenical" movements under the umbrella of "Abrahamic faiths" (e.g. Christians, Jews, Turks/Muslims/Islam).

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