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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rejoin the LC-MS? ... (Pieper speaks to me)

Since my last post, I have been devouring the translations of Walther and Pieper in the (Kindle) book At Home in the House of My Fathers by Matthew Harrison, current president of the LC-MS. Harrison spent some time researching the publications of the old German Missouri Synod and found among the many untranslated articles and essays a few that caught his attention.  I commend Harrison especially for bringing to light at least some of these works.  I'm now reading Pieper's article The Offense of Divisions in the Church and getting immense encouragement from it but...

But also in my last post, I raised the rhetorical question of whether I should consider re-joining my old synod, the LC-MS.  After all, here is now a president who seems to uphold the beauty of the father's doctrine, teaching and lives. President Harrison even says today's LC-MS is "orthodox" in his prefatory remarks to Pieper's essay to the 1905 Delegate Synod titled The Difficult Path of Holding Forth for the Truth.

But is it so?  Is today's LC-MS "orthodox", i.e. true to the Bible in all it's teaching? I could give a hundred refutations of this statement, but the one doctrine that covers it all is this: The Lutheran Doctrine Of Justification. It is this basic doctrine of Christianity that has been left behind!  How so?

  • In dealings with other church bodies
  • In actual public teaching
  • In it's writings
I could tell President Harrison that his synod should start teaching creation, geocentrism, and warn against modern Dance and Theater.  ... that his synod should start teaching the verbal inspiration of the Bible, the authority of God's Word...  his synod should retract it's denouncement of Martin Luther in his writings against the Jews.... that his synod should warn against unionism.

But I won't.  What do I tell President Harrison that he should do?  Get down on your knees with all your synod and ask God's forgiveness for allowing doubt in his synod on the very Gospel itself.  (Read Jonah 3: 6-10 and Matthew 12:41.) How did his synod do this?  I will repeat it here as I recorded it earlier. In the December 1939 issue of the American Lutheran, (vol. 22, pgs 3796-3797), Professor Theodore Graebner wrote this:
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. - Theodore Graebner
When I first read this quote of Theodore Graebner, I caught my breath.  I could hardly believe what I was reading, for Professor Graebner publicly directly contradicted Walther and Pieper who so carefully warned against the error of the opponent "Lutherans" who denied the teaching of Objective, Universal Justification.  Theodore Graebner had "come out" of the closet and showed that he was at best confused about the Gospel, at worst, did not know it. I have not seen any indication that Professor Graebner was reprimanded on this.

And so it is, President Harrison, that you are now the president of the "Graebner Synod" that teaches the doctrine of Justification just as the Ohio and Iowa synods did and still do today... that is the ALC, later to become the ELCA.  How so?  By allowing doubt on the Gospel itself!

No, I know who you are, today's LC-MS.  Your house is on fire!  You have lost the Word and you don't know how to find it again!

The enormity of this topic causes me to continue it in my next posts with quotes of Walther on The Lutheran Doctrine of Justification.

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