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Sunday, May 20, 2012

O.P. Kretzmann laughs at Ro. 16:17-18 (from Valparaiso U.)

It is a fearful thing to laugh at God's Word, even more so by one who claims leadership in a so-called "Lutheran" institution.  But it was the president of Valparaiso University, O.P. Kretzmann, who spoke laughingly about a passage of Scripture.  My blog post on the Timeline of The Downfall Of The LC-MS included this incident which occurred about the year 1956. This was published by Edward C. Fendt in his book The Struggle for Lutheran Unity and Consolidation in the U.S.A. from the Late 1930’s to the Early 1970’s. On page 199, Mr. Fendt recorded this communication with President O.P. Kretzmann:
...the continued use of Romans 16:17-18 to defend the isolationism and the multi-facted attack of the LC-MS over against other Lutherans: 
Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good works and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.  
I recall a conversation with O.P. Kretzmann at a time when this quotation was often hurled at the ALC. He said laughingly:
Since the ALC is minding its own business and not engaged in meddling in the Missouri Synod affairs, except in contributing liberally to the broadcast expenses of the Lutheran Hour and buying lots of books published by Concordia Publishing House, it is hard to prove that the ALC is actually ‘causing divisions and offences’ within the Missouri Synod.
I once told a student at Valparaiso University who wanted to know what the Missouri Synod held against the ALC that the ALC was being charged as “worshipping their own belly rather than the Lord Jesus Christ.”  The student replied that in his observation the Missourians ate better and drank more than the ALC men. O.P. opined that the student had a point and that the isolationists better improve on their exegesis
The ALC synod was the adversary that Franz Pieper spoke about in his Last Words For The Missouri Synod.  The ALC eventually merged into what is known today as the ELCA, a lost "Lutheran" American synod. But you know what?  Today's (English) LC-MS (Graebner Synod) is partially responsible for their free-fall from Christian doctrine.

How clear the Romans 16 passage is!  And yet they sneered at it!  O.P. Kretzmann was thought to be a "Missourian", but alas, he was not.  Neither is today's LC-MS, which is thought by many to have "Missourian" roots.

Yes Valparaiso University, this is you.  You are not a Lutheran university, not a Christian university even though you may think you are.  Even your founding father W.H.T. Dau, a contemporary of Franz Pieper, was on shaky ground, let alone O.P. Kretzmann who laughed at God's Word.

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