Why Christian News?
There are many less than compelling reasons to continue Christian News: just because it is 57 years old and people are used to receiving it; for the memory of Herman Otten and his work; to relive the glory days of Christianity in America and the LCMS; as a tribute to the steadfastness of the Otten family. While these points have their merits, they are not sufficient reasons, in themselves, to continue putting out a weekly paper.
However, Christian News provides a service for which there would be a large void, if it were to go away: it can continue to provide a doctrinal and orthodox viewpoint on current events and heresies affecting Christianity; an independent forum for openly communicating and critiquing churches, leaders, seminaries, and their teaching, from the standpoint of God’s Word; and an outlet to speak the truth of Christ boldly and without compromise.
The legacy of CN is to speak the truth clearly and plainly, no matter how unpopular it is or how much pressure is exerted by church bureaucrats or the worldly-minded. It has not played the “name game” by worshiping the powerful and honored by merely judging based on reputation or status, but instead it has dealt with the issues and substance of Christianity from Scripture and its plain teachings. It has not been afraid to tackle error and heterodox teaching head-on, including specifically naming those in error and exposing lies spoken in the name of Christ. Lastly, Christian News has promoted the positive aspects of Christian living, including the value of human life in general and true Christian piety—which is often ignored today. It has been a watchdog, a forum, and a vital voice for genuine Christianity. By God’s grace, this will continue.
CN has a lot of baggage for some. It definitely has a strong and polarizing reputation, because it has actually done and said something. Many are afraid to speak up today and do not want to deal with the consequences of confessing Christ without apology. Church leaders have mostly become politicians, masters at speaking well for lengthy periods of time, without saying anything of substance. Church journals march in the atheistic parade of academia, allergic to Luther’s bold theology and reluctant to confess. Church media and magazines have become just advertising and cheerleading for the church body, only focusing on the practical, external aspects of what man does, rather than sword of God’s inspired Word—putting a positive spin on everything, avoiding anything that may cause anyone discomfort. Official church publications mostly read like fundraising literature, since leaders are afraid to say anything that might affect the financial bottom line.
But without a real stance on Christ’s Word, which requires rejecting error and falsehood, nothing is really stood for. While I am not Herman Otten in personality, background, or height, I will strive to continue this legacy of speaking boldly and clearly for the church of today and against the attacks of Satan which are constantly foisted upon it from the world. Amen.
Pastor Philip Hale, Editor of CN.