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Monday, November 28, 2011

Pieper's Fear

As I researched the old Missouri Synod in the 1990s, I came to realize 2 things:
1) the old (German) Missouri Synod had the doctrine pure, the doctrine of Luther and the Lutheran Church and
2) the old (German) Missouri Synod had largely passed out of existence and even those who claimed to be successors to this church body were questionable

That left a very large question for me.  What external church body should I join?  As I researched various church bodies, I continued reading the writings of the old (German) Missouri Synod –
  • reading Christian Dogmatics carefully, thoroughly
  • reading every English translation of Walther, Pieper, and Luther
  • scanning, transcribing, and translating virtually every important publication of the old German Missouri Synod
As I became disappointed in the church bodies that claimed to be successors to the old (German) Missouri Synod (see this post and this post for examples), I also found that Dr. Franz Pieper (the 20th Century Luther!) noticed in his last year also that things were not quite right as things stood in talks with other "Lutheran" church bodies. So I wrote the following essay to myself:
Pieper's Fear
Franz Pieper near his death in 1931:
I fear that some of our adversaries and former opponents themselves confess these Theses (Brief Statement of 1932) and yet with the heterodox they promote a mixed belief.
Prof. Theodore Graebner in the American Lutheran magazine of December 1939:
One of the statements in the A.L.C. declaration has been criticized as hiding a denial of objective justification - when this doctrine is accepted by the American Lutheran Church (because it has accepted our Brief Statement) and when both Ohio and Iowa Synods for generations past have taught correctly this same doctrine. As long ago as 1872 and as recently as 1938 the public doctrine in the areas here placed under suspicion has been the plain doctrine of Scripture as we teach it ourselves.
Yes, Dr. Pieper, you knew there was a problem just as Martin Luther knew there was a problem at the time of his passing. Indeed, Satan was loosed in the unionism to follow Pieper's death in the Missouri Synod. Pieper's Theses, the Brief Statement of 1932, were adopted but have passed into non-use and misuse. There is no Missouri Synod anymore. But that does not make the Gospel of no effect. Rather, God is testing His own with a situation of a dead external church.
True faith will cling to God's Word – the Word of His Grace. And it will rejoice in the writings of the fathers of the Missouri Synod.
= = = = = = = End of essay = = = = = =
The quote above from Prof. Theodore Graebner shows the definitive evidence that the modern LC-MS is not the old (German) Missouri Synod.  For it shows that Prof. Graebner was confused on the basic doctrine of Christianity – Objective Justification!  It is especially this doctrine that the new (English) LC-MS failed the test of pure doctrine and wavered in discussions and interactions with other church bodies, whether in America, Germany, or the world.  It was this doctrine that the new (English) LC-MS wants to avoid because it clearly separates pure doctrine from error.
It is this doctrine that I cling to for dear life!... my spiritual life!  Go ahead, modern LC-MS, just try to argue against the old Missouri with your modern arguments that miss the point!  You stand in the muck that causes doubt on this doctrine!  I stand on the Rock that is firm - the Gospel!  i.e. Universal, Objective Justification!

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