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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Paul Schulz - unsung hero during LC-MS fall

Who was Pastor Paul Schulz?  He was a pastor in Springfield, Illinois at Trinity Church.  He was for a time chairman of the Board of Control of Concordia Theological Seminary before it moved to Fort Wayne, IN (ref. Prairie School of the Prophets, Heintzen, pg 167).  But most importantly he stands out today as a watchman on the walls of Zion, as he pleaded with the LC-MS in June 1938 to not give up its Lutheran teaching, its faithfulness to God's Word.  I ran across the publishing of his essay in the first issue of 1939 in the Concordia Theological Monthly, (vol. 10) pages 25-37.  Because his essay is so striking in its forthright manner, in its calling on the work of Walther (and Pieper), I want to reprint the digital text for all to benefit from this truly Christian man as he stood on the walls so that his dear "Missouri Synod" would not fall away...  but alas, today's (English) LC-MS would not.  But lest we become disheartened, we can still benefit from the words of Pastor Schulz.

Pastor Schulz refers to Walther's book about "The Evangelical Lutheran Church, the True Visible Church of God on Earth".  This subject matter of Walther has been reviewed in recent years by Pastor Clint Poppe for the "Nebraska Lutherans for Confessional Study", a worthy study!  So too is this essay during that critical time when the old (German) Missouri Synod was slowly dissolving into today's new (English) LC-MS.  How was it dissolving?  Let Pastor Paul Schulz's warnings show the way.
Hyperlinks added for reference; highlighting is mine.

It was the unionism that was running rampant within the ranks of the teachers in the LC-MS, and Pastor Schulz saw this clearly and warned sharply against it.  He also showed the way to stay on (or to return to) God's way, by His Word.  —  Pastor Schulz also highlights the importance of a pure Doctrine of Justification in this essay (see pages 33-34).
A sad quote for me is this:
What, then, should be our attitude towards heterodox churches? We cannot fellowship with them. That would be fellowshiping with error and would destroy us as the true visible Church. But we can and should testify to the truth to them as long as they will hear us.   This we have consistently done, and the gratifying fact that some of the other Lutheran churches today occupy a more satisfactory confessional position than formerly is due, as they admit, largely to our testimony.
This statement explains the sad position of almost all of external Lutheranism, indeed also all Christianity today, because the pure testimony of the old (German) Missouri Synod has gone silent.  May the words of Pastor Paul Schulz, one of the faithful "stewards of the mysteries of God" (1 Cor. 4:1), be remembered today in the Lutheran Church, here and now.  Are you listening Concordia Theological Seminary-Fort Wayne?

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