This final Part 4 contains responses to Theodore Graebner's points: (1) Historic Position of Our Church, (2) Later Stages of the Controversy, (3) The Brux Case, (4) The Question of Offense, and (5) Participation in Religious Features of Civic Programs.
"PRAYER FELLOWSHIP" IN THE LIGHT OF
SCRIPTURE AND THE FAITH OF OUR FATHERS
by Walter W.F. Albrecht
The last section on participation in "religious features of civic programs" hits home even today. The incident of Dr. Caemmerer referred to in the last section above is detailed in Graebner's booklet, page 28 f.. In November 1944, Prof. Richard R. Caemmerer was substituted for another Missouri Synod pastor who declined to give a benediction at a St. Louis program for V-E Day by representatives of "St. Louis churches" – Catholic, Jewish, Presbyterian, etc. — Sound familiar? Of course. The 9/11 Yankee Stadium program, the recent Newtown program, etc., etc. Albrecht's rebuttal could be lifted nearly word-for-word in response to the "civic (religious) programs" of our day involving LC-MS clergy.
I see that a ELS theologian Erling T. Tiegen has written extensively (2004) on the subject of Prayer Fellowship and Church Fellowship here [2017 - now broken]. He makes 2 statements that appear to address the subject properly showing that the ELS has not departed entirely from its moorings from the Synodical Conference:
- Circumstances do change. The circumstances do not change so as to make the doctrine of Church fellowship kick-in or kick-out.
- But there is no prayer which is NOT fellowship.