Morgendämmerung, oder, Wie man mit dem Hammer theologirt.
Nescire autem quid ante quam natus sis acciderit id es semper esse puerum.
Orandum est ut sit mens sana in corpore sano.
Homo sum humani nihil a me alienum puto.
Semper idem sed non eodem modo.


Verbum domini manet in aeternum. The word of the Lord endures forever.
1 Peter 1:24-25, quoting Isaiah 40:6,8. Motto of the Lutheran Reformation.

Fayth onely justifieth before God. Robert Barnes, DD The Supplication, fourth essay. London: Daye, 1572.

Lord if Thou straightly mark our iniquity, who is able to abide Thy judgement? Wherefore I trust in no work that I ever did, but only in the death of Jesus Christ. I do not doubt, but through Him to inherit the kingdom of heaven. Robert Barnes, DD, before he was burnt alive for "heresy", 30 July 1540.

What is Luther? The doctrine is not mine, nor have I been crucified for anyone. Martin Luther, Dr. theol. (1522)

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19 March 2008

An Urgent Message To This Blog's Readers

In a stunning bureaucratic blitzkrieg, forces with the power to do so have removed Issues, Etc from KFUO, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod's radio station, without a trace and without an explanation, and summarily fired the show's host and producer.

The program had for many, many people been a source of inspiration and strength for the faith that every single one of us Lutherans professed at confirmation, adult profession of faith, or ordination. Apparently no further charges are needed.

First, the human side. For the financial support of the two men cut off at the pockets for their fidelity to the Lutheran faith, please visit Pastor Weedon's blog
on how to help these men and their families through this difficult time.

There are calls for restraint, for waiting for full information to surface, indeed, and the 8th commandment is not to be taken lightly. However, whether in corporations or gangs, full information is not going to surface and ultimate responsibility for executions like this are hidden under layers of structure. That's how it works.

What a shame to the Gospel that it works no differently in a church body.

The important thing to understand is, this is the sort of thing for which those who can use such power do use such power. These things are not done among people who are really about the same thing, just in different ways. They are done to enemies. And in the classic saying, know thy enemy.

Issues, Etc. was not for me a big influence. But it was for so many people who are brothers and sisters in the faith. My personal take would be more that I saw all kinds of this sort of thing in the RCC after the Second Vatican Council. We had a Reformation for this? I don't think so. What will happen if unresisted is that the faith of the Lutheran Confessions will be isolated and allowed to exist as out of sight and as removed from the mainstream of the church body as possible. Guaranteed. Been there. And so have those true to the classic confessions of other church bodies. It is always the same pattern.

Anything that so consistently put forth the faith of the Lutheran Confessions is my people. If you hold to the faith of the Lutheran Confessions, it's your people too. We cannot simply say Come, Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus in his Word had plenty to say about false teachers and holding fast to the faith.

For the time is come that judgement must begin at the house of God. I Peter 4:17.


Christine said...

Hi PE,

I'm still not blogging on David Scheutz's blog but I saw the info about Issues, Etc. and I am truly sorry. It was a wonderful resource for Confessional Lutherans and I hope it can be revived in some other format.

It seems to me that Synod leadership is moving more and more towards this model:

To be sure, my own Catholic communion has its woes but if I were to leave tomorrow (which I am not contemplating) I would still be fearful of returning to the LCMS because of just this kind of occurrence.

American Evangelicalism is making more and more inroads into the LCMS. I pray the tide can be turned before it is too late.

Christine said...

Well, that link doesn't seem to work but it is:

Past Elder said...

Thank you for your post, Christine! You are right on the money. I joined LCMS despite such fears, and my late wife had left LCMS over earlier controversies, Seminex to be specific (we were WELS at the time of her death).

The tide may have already turned for LCMS. Or not. I don't know. And I think the question for many is, how long do I wait around to find out?

LCMS has been controversy ridden from the start. Walther himself, as I'm sure you know, came into a leadership position on the heels of controversy, and spend a great amount of time striving for confessional Lutheran faith and doctrine against what was then called "Methodism", not the UMC of to-day, but something rather like the evangelicalism of to-day, as was what Luther himself called enthusiasm.

But it will not be enough to say the Synod has weathered storms before, as a guarantee that it will weather this one. Walther was not a pastor in communication with other pastors against the tide, he was the synod's president. And things like the Common Service were produced.

Perhaps that will emerge in our own time. It won't happen by saying Come, Lord Jesus until every "traditional" service is tucked away at 800 in a side chapel as it is at our local LCMS Willow Creek affiliate LCMS megachurch.

"Our beloved synod" -- I'm leaving out the classic German phrase! -- is just that, but the Rock against which the gates of hell shall not prevail is not LCMS, the faith of Christ correctly taught in the Book of Concord is not faith in the LCMS, and if our beloved synod leaves those moorings which made it beloved, the promise of Christ will remain and continue without it.

As Chesterton put it, he who marries the spirit of one age is a widow in the next.

What bothers me as much as the actions themselves is the anonymous corporate-speak in which they happened. A classic purge, or execution. Unworthy of the Church, regardless of where one may hold it to be found.

Darth Nemoyer said...


Here is all sorts of contact information to tell people what you think about this, let them know how important Issues, Etc. was to us, and ask why the show was cancelled:

Rev. David L. Strand
Executive Director
Board for Communication
(314) 996-1200
(314) 822-0000

Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod
1333 S. Kirkwood Road
St. Louis, MO 63122-7295
(888) 843-5267
(314) 965-9000
FAX: (314) 996-1016

KFUO Radio Station
(314) 725-0099
(314) 725-3030‎
(314) 721-2969

Rev. Dr. Gerald Kieschnick
Synod President
(314) 996-1402
(314) 842-7110

LC-MS Board of Directors
(314) 996-1350


Meanwhile, an online petition has been started up about Issues, Etc. being ended. I don't know how much good it will do, but it should be able to do some. it certainly can't hurt to put your name down. Here's the link:

For anyone who comes across this and has Facebook, a lot of discussion it seems is going on at the "Bring back Issues ETC!!!" Facebook group.


Finally, financial help for the Schwarz and Wilken families can be sent to the following address. Just put in the memo line that it’s for the “Schwartz/Wilken Fund”. The Schwarzes especially need the help and Rev. Jack Schwarz's wife Beth has been recently diagnosed with small fiber neuropathy and they need to go to Mayo Clinic to try figuring out what can be done.

"Schwartz/Wilken Fund"
Saint Paul Lutheran Church
P.O. Box 247
Hamel, IL 62046

All help and all prayers are appreciated.


I will be continuing to post information and resources relating to the cancellation of Issues, Etc. and firing of Rev. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz. So, if you could please help me draw people to the resource of my blog, I would really appreciate it.

God bless,
--Aaron Nemoyer

Past Elder said...

Tibi gratias ago Darth!

Darth Nemoyer said...

Ah, I see you are a fellow student of Lati. Excellent...

Nihil est, PE.

Christine said...

Hi again, PE,

From an article in USA today which may give an inkling why so many Christian Churches are, in a panic, adopting the church "growth" mentality::

Rules have changed

The rise of secular culture also is exerting an influence. More than one in five Americans (22%) say they never go to church, not even on Christmas or Easter. And 12.1% told a new Pew Forum survey they believe "nothing in particular."

They may be without a church, but "most people still have a notion of sin — like bringing cheap wine to parties," jokes Karsen Case, 34, of Reno. "Seriously, you know what sin is when you get a feeling in your gut that something's wrong."

He hasn't been to church in a decade, although he grew up within the conservative Lutheran Missouri Synod. "I would call myself an atheist now," he says. "But I think the Bible has a lot of good stories. And I do connect with the story of Easter, of redemption and rebirth. It tells me you are going to make mistakes, and you will get another chance to do right in the future."

Secular people still believe there's sin, judgment and punishment, says sociologist Barry Kosmin, a research professor in public policy and law and director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society & Culture at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.

It's just a different list of sinners than religious traditions teach.

"What is unacceptable has changed," Kosmin observes. "Racism and sexual harassment, which were not sins in the past, are now. Adultery and addiction are just bad or sad behavior. And commercial sex is a no, but breaking the bonds of marriage is not.

"Secularism is situational without fundamental, universal rules. Explanations are kosher. Mitigating circumstances, too. But if people are held guilty, the punishment, of course, has to be in this world, not the next. Secular people don't burn in hell, they burn in the court of public opinion."

Now, one can repeat Karsen Cases' story in the Catholic Church and every Christian body out there. I'm thinking very much of the Lord's question these days as to whether he will find faith on earth when he returns -- it seems that those of us who believe in literal, historic Christianity (and not only "social" sins but personal sins, too, which Christ died for) are becoming a remnant.

Perhaps that's the way its going to play out.

We've been warned. But you are certainly right, Past Elder, the gates of hell will not prevail against the faithful Christians of all generations, including our own.

Tonight as we all gather around the Lord's Table to remember the gift of His Body and Blood, I will give thanks for all my brothers and sisters in Christ who are fighting the good fight. God bless you all!

Christine said...

One more P.S., Past Elder – I've linked to my sister's ELCA parish – they were once an LCMS congregation. I was a member there many years ago when the prior pastor, who was trained in the LCMS "old ways" was still there.

The liturgy there is very beautiful, I attend from time to time when there's family functions on my sister's side but alas, now that they are part of the Called to Common Mission agenda of the ELCA there some things have changed.

It saddens me greatly, because I know what they once were. Beautiful churches like these once dotted the LCMS landscape and I pray they do so again.