Thank you for your careful and patient letter.
I appreciate your response. It is good to hear that you take your call to serve at CUWAA seriously.
I know that many professors at CUWAA, whom we should pray for, do also.
I support your efforts to teach students well. That is commendable.
I am sorry that valid and careful reporting on public matters is distracting, but do not think that people are happy about the controversy.
The people in Ukraine do not gladly hear news of war, but ignoring facts does not change reality.
Please don’t make the issue about CN—it is not. The same words, wherever published, should be considered on their own weight.
To judge a publication in perpetuity based on a preconceived reputation is to discount all its (future) words.
Is CN wrong when it quotes the Holy Scriptures and follows them correctly?
We speak freely—we are not beholden to the administrative whims of any Concordia or church body.
And that is the point. Should we blindly trust our leaders and not question them? If the leader is Christ, and His Holy Word, I agree.
But sinners in the LCMS leadership? That is foolish, because they have been wrong and will be again—as you say, we are all sinners.
But the words, arguments, judgments, and teachings of sinners are not all equally sinful or wrong. We must make distinctions, just as teachers must grade the performance of students.
We do not have an infallible church hierarchy in the LCMS, as some other churches would claim. We do, however, have God’s inspired Word in the prophetic and apostolic Scriptures.
This is what all called teachers, and pastors, have promised to uphold—as also explained the Lutheran Confessions.
I did not take a vow to trust synod leadership implicitly. I respect the position and words of Pres. Harrison, but he is no Christ. He is not infallible.
As you mention, we are all sinners, but that does not mean we cannot judge in earthly matters.
As the blameless God teaches us, we are to judge rightly in a godly way:
“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:14-16).”
As much as I do respect you for responding and expressing your opinion in writing, you have not dealt with the matter itself: Is racial justice God’s justice or an avenue to salvation?
Should we show partiality based on skin tones, just because the world demands it?
Is diversity good in itself—is that why Christ died?
A generic and vague mission statement, that could be happily adopted by any number of errorists, is not comforting to those who hold to the entire body of doctrine revealed in Scripture.
Does a simplistic phrase really separate you from the Mormons or Unitarians or Pentecostals? Hardly.
In fact, your own interim president misuses Matthew 18, so I will not blindly trust him in his public suspension of Dr. Schulz that has not been supported by a reason.
Dr. Cario asserts a public matter must be dealt with privately—but then refuses to list a charge publicly or “bring it to the church” for discipline. Synodical visitors are not the “this church.”
The church is not run by select leaders—it is the Lord’s church, consisting of those who believer.
I do not expect much from a synodical visit. Of course, everyone will be on their best behavior. What kind of questions are being asked theologically? Will substantive answers be given? Will the issues be dealt with—or will everything remain on the surface?
Dr. Schulz has shown himself to be divisive—but he has actually said something, whether one agrees with him or not. He claims to be proclaiming God’s Word against error.
Trusting the synodical process, which is not divine, is not helpful. People are offended by Dr. Schulz claims—but they should be!
We can settle debates over God’s Word, because God has actually spoken.
Like Dr. Schulz, I am a pastor in the LCMS. My call is to Christ and His Word, not the political mechanisms of the LCMS.
Is a synodical visit merely a publicity stunt?
Is the leadership of the synod good at dealing with error and public sin? I would argue it is not, because it has not dealt with any actual problems.
When is the last time the LCMS actually disciplined a false teacher or erring institution? Does that mean everything is hunky-dory in the LCMS?
If Pres. Harrison has shown anything it is that he hates bad publicity more than almost anything. But should we hate Satan’s lies more than unfavorable media coverage.
Any worldly idea of punitive social justice, rather than universal forgiveness for all in Christ’s blood, is a lie that must be destroyed and taken captive.
“We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).
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