"...our impression of the appellants is that they are earnest seekers after God's truth as expressed in His Word." (See Zarling essay "Stand In Awe of Justification", page 16)As Luther was not happy that Lyra and Burgensis were not angry enough at the blasphemies of the Jews (see paragraph 69 here), so I, BackToLuther, am not happy that you (WELS) are not angry at the blasphemies of the Kokomo heresy and David Hartman. Your panel's "hope that a change of heart on the part of the appellants may still be possible" is weak because there is a reason for the Binding Key (John 20:23, Matt. 6:15) – it is an evangelical one... to bring them back to the true Gospel. Indeed, they "will die in their sins" (John 8:24) unless they turn to the Truth.
But then the Kokomo appellants made a charge (same charge that Larry Darby's wife made during the heat of the "Larry Darby situation"), a charge that should worry the WELS if it is true (Zarling essay, page 16):
What struck the [WELS] panel was a statement repeated several times by the appellants. They said that before Pastor Papenfuss and Circuit-pastor A. Siggelkow had explained the doctrine of justification, they had never been taught objective justification in that way.Could it be, dear WELS, that you may have been sucked in just a bit by the disastrous storm in today's Christianity that was caused by...
Yes, I will say it, the awesome breadth of Superstorm Sandy, 1500 miles across, is as nothing compared to the devastation and terrible landscape after the fall of the old (German) Missouri Synod! Yes, I will say to you, today's WELS, that God granted you a wonderful gift by frustrating Walther's attempt to consolidate all the members of the Synodical Conference into one entity. How was this a gift? By keeping you (and the ELS) separated from the hellish Superstorm caused by the new (English) LC-MS! (Mark Braun's book does an excellent job of pointing this out.)
But to you, today's LC-MS, I am your "Rip Van Winkle", for God has woke me up from a deadly slumber by faith, a faith that I do not deserve, for I see who the true heroes of the faith are, and they are the ones who truly give All Glory to God Alone. It is the Lutheran Church from above that Alone gives All Glory to God!
I will leave the WELS for now with the title of Pastor Mark G. Zarling's title for his essay:
In Part 4 of this series, I will close my case that we have reached that time when the Public Ministry has become empty.