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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Herman Otten (Christian News) is not the old (German) Missouri Synod

Anyone attempting to find vestiges of the old Missouri Synod in today's world will usually run into the long running newspaper Christian News published by Herman Otten.  I was one of those searchers in 1995.  But I was using a very simple test to find out the orthodoxy (true teaching) of anyone or any church body: the Doctrine of Justification or Objective Justification.  I made a note in 1996 about Pastor Otten who refers to himself as "CN" below:
CN March 4, 1996, page 20, 3rd column (part of article “Praising a Liberal Conspiracy”)
... CN has never said much about the “44” since it really was a diverse group.  Much of what the 44 said was the truth.  “A Statement” affirms the inerrancy of the Bible.  We’ve always maintained that the “44” did express some valid concerns and included some good Lutherans.  Before Concordia Seminary in 1952 as a 19 year old seminarian it appeared to us that some members of the LCMS carried the matter of prayer fellowship beyond the scriptural principles of separation and considered matters where Scripture did not speak divisive of church of fellowship.  We entered the seminary  with a “show me” attitude.  Those Midwestern traditionalists were not going to shove Pieper down the throat of some Easterner.  They would have to prove it to him on the basis of the Bible alone.  Professor Kurt Marquart in his Anatomy of An Explosion recognizes that the LCMS did have some problems which some of the “44” rightly wanted to remedy. ...  As a seminarian in his early twenties we preached in a ULC church (later LCA and then ELCA) ...  Like the members of the “44” we did not appreciate some of the harsh words used by various LCMS conservatives about the entire ALC and ULC.
I don’t think Herman Otten has changed his opinion of Franz Pieper or old Missouri.  This is inevitable since he hardly allows (?) the doctrine of universal justification.  The irony is he is viewed as defending Old Missouri.  Rather, Herman Otten is a major supporter of today’s LC-MS error and unionism.  Likewise, his brother Walter Otten.
= = = = = = = = = end of note = = = =
Unfortunately Otten's weakness on the central doctrine of Christianity (Universal, Objective Justification) is closely tied to his attitude against Pieper and the Old Missouri. The document "A Statement" by the "44" was a war cry by all the forces of unionism and modernism within the changing LC-MS in the 1940s. Although I have written to many "conservative" Lutherans, I have never written to Pastor Otten because of this ... his writings show his hardened attitude.  All those who consider him a "conservative" Lutheran should note this well!  Although Otten has published some of Pieper's writings, it is sad to read of his prejudice against Franz Pieper – The 20th Century Luther.

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