Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What's the Answer, Missouri?

For those who are convinced the election of a confessionally solid man like Matt Harrison is the answer to Missouri’s problems, there remains the issue of whether the LC-MS has the stomach for a purge (pun intended) of the false teaching and practice with which it is infested, no matter who the president might be.

Confronted with this issue, one layman asks. “What, then, is the answer? Are confessionals to continue to be under attack and subversion by those for whom doctrinally sound, confessional, liturgical Lutheranism is to be disdained and derided? The forces who wish to abandon our polity and doctrine for the sake of lusting after growth and power will not cease. They seek to worship Christ with the precepts of men and that is not what the faithful are to do.“

I would submit that, if such is the case, Paul's exhortation to the faithful at Corinth seems to apply insofar as being joined with specific areas of unbelief--which is what false teaching and practice amounts to. To wit:

O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.

Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“ I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”


“ Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
“ I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the LORD Almighty.”--1 Corinthians 6:11-18 [
Emphases are mine.]

Like the Corinthians, we Missourians are restricted by our own affection for Missouri. We consider it ours to have and to hold and to wrest back from those who have taken it captive. But it is the faithful confession and practice of God's Word that we have been given to have and to hold, not the Missouri Synod.

The truth is, regardless of whom we elect as president of the LC-MS, we cannot force recalcitrant members of Missouri into compliance with doctrinely sound, confessional, liturgical Lutheranism and removing them is something which requires the initiative and cooperation of our elected leaders. Even the “good” ones are reluctant, at best, to undertake such a painful and costly procedure.

So, “What, then, is the answer?”

I think we all know. However we may have become so used to living with the problem that we prefer not to endure the pain of the cure.

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