Sunday, April 20, 2008

Moving On...

I have moved on from the LC-MS. I don't think anyone would argue that the public LC-MS doctrine has not been diluted, Synod-wide practices unified, or even that the Synod has presented a good face recently. I hope that the Synod returns to its roots and confesses the confessional doctrine it has officially on paper without embarrassment. Given the refusal by the Synod to tend to the needs of the flock in denying a confessional church and for varying from Scripture and the Book of Concord, the choice was made for me. This is a difficult path that I have been walking for the past 4 or 5 months, and I have finally made the decision to leave.

If you are curious, the group we are affiliating our congregation, Agnus Dei, with is the United Lutheran Mission Association (ULMA). They seem to be the most confessional group out there and are headed by a church in Decatur, Ill. They willingly provided (after prayerful consideration of course) a missionary-at-large for our pastor and we had our first service today with him presiding. Our congregation is focused on proper worship of God and hopes to be a beacon to the area of confessional, proper Christian doctrine. We especially want to help those in the LC-MS who want to focus on God, not numbers or bureaucracy, return to the historical position of the Christian Church since the beginning. Sola Dei Gloria (to God be the Glory)!


Rev. James R Shaw said...

It is a challenge breaking new ground. That is what our Lutheran forefathers did back in the 1840's and the 1500's. May God the Holy Spirit guide each of us as we proclain the Gospel to a dying and erring world.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you've jumped out of the frying pan into the fire. Jack Cascione is a heretic and liar - you might want to reconsider, if it's not too late.

VirginiaLutherans said...

Cascione has his quirks, but I think heretic is a little far. To avoid violating the 8th commandment, back up your statement.

Anonymous said...

It's not breaking the eighth commandment if the sins are public and well-known. He rejects the teaching of the Confessions on the office of the ministry, the church, the sacraments. He also has lied and falsely accused many members of the ministerium. Just read Christian News, or look through the archives on his website WaltherQuest. He posts under the name "Cardinal," which I've always found pretty funny.

VirginiaLutherans said...

I have heard this "public and well known" stuff before, but you still provide no links or proof. Be thorough and don't waste my time, or anyone who reads these posts. I don't have the time to check up on every person who cries "boo!" who does not back it up with facts and links to quotes. Follow due diligence- you cannot assume anyone knows any particular item, outside of God himself. I am sure I know things that you cannot know, and you know the same. So humor me and link.

I personally have not seen anything from Cascione about rejecting any aspect of the Confessions in any way. To this point I have only found where he links to the Confessions and Luther's writings to support his arguments. I suggest you link as well, lest you give the impression of innuendo, hearsay and a violation of the 8th (true or not).

We left and joined the ULMA, which Cascione is not leading factor. He doesn't have a vote within the ULMA. Anything by anyone outside of the Confessions will be dealt with in a Christian, but thorough manner. This is in comparison to the LCMS, which is heterodox and diluting the Gospel because people find it offensive. When you place numbers over the Spirit, you tread dangerous waters. And yes, I can post the quote from the email and find the links to back it up.

Anonymous said...

I gave you a newspaper and a website. Suit yourself if you wish to remain ignorant.

VirginiaLutherans said...

You haven't given me anything. You simply said to go read a newspaper or a website, which is like telling me to read the New York Times for a specific answer. Have you discussed your concerns with Cascione in keeping with Matt 18? If not, I suggest you try.

It is too easy to shout out that something is wrong. In order to have any effect, you need to have facts and proof. Next time post direct links. I do not take kindly to those who post accusations without backing them up.

Chesapeake Confessor said...

I am looking for VirginiaLutherans' documentation that the LCMS is heterodox. VaLuth has published a working assumption of his own, not a statement of fact.
In fact, LCMS public belief, teaching, and confession springs solely from the Scripture and the Confessions and remains simply orthodox.
Those of us calling synod to fullness of truth in orthopraxis are able to make our case to any level of the LCMS based on Scripture and the Confessions.
We may be politically marginalized; sometimes those in authority are viewed as misusing their position and making things personal; we may have many things rather than one or two to address; but we are not heterodox.
And to that I would add two things. First, since we are not a heterodox body, it is erosive of the Confessional brotherhood to walk out. Easier, yes. But a cop out.
Walking out, after all was the rash attempt of the Seminex crowd.
Second, in the 1970's our synod was much closer to gone when God used faithful laity and pastors successfully turned the tide. Then too many settled back as if there were no longer a need to keep watch, and the Seminex generation's friends who didn't leave LCMS are having one more go at it.
But elder statesmen soon become dead statesmen. And those who have inherited the tenacity of our spiritual forebears will, God helping us, succeed once they have moved on.
Finally, I am sorry my synod needs as much help as it does. I am sorry some are departing when a number of triennia of having a spine would be the better approach. But I am also beaming that our synod is carrying the ball of orthodoxy for world Lutheranism, and that Lutheran church bodies around the world facing heterodoxy and longing to be truly Lutheran are contacting us to be partners.

VirginiaLutherans said...

Chesapeake Confessor,

You are mistaken on the heterodox nature of the LC-MS. It isn’t my opinion. See my post on Heterodoxy in the Synod for proof of that. You might not have witnessed it, but that isn’t the same thing as it being my opinion. It is not an opinion, and even if it were, many more learned men than myself are saying the same thing.

You are correct that the true Orthodox is Scripture first, and then the Confessions. However, the LC-MS only officially pays lip service. (see post on heterodoxy) Too often they let Scripture and the Confessions slide for Ablaze and other useless, media driven worldly wisdom. If you feed the people sugar water, they won’t be satisfied for long.

You use the word “orthopraxis” in the context of being able to discuss with all levels of Synod. However, this usage doesn’t make sense. “Orthopraxis” means “correct action,” or in modern parlance “correct works.” Do “good actions” or “good works” provide faith? Does it ensure anything? No! Grace comes by Faith, and Faith by hearing the Word. (see Rom 5:1-2, Eph. 2:8-9) Orthodox teaching comes when the Word is properly taught. Only then can good works spring up. Orthopraxis is simply doing things the same way every time, much the same as a factory would. This, however, does not ensure or create faith. Review Scripture, the Catechism and Confessions for proof of this. As a side note, wikipedia has orthopraxis mainly referring to pagan rites, which makes sense because they had to do their routine the same way to “please” their god(s). So what do you think we should focus on: orthodox or orthopraxis?

I am confused by your use of the word “triennia”, which means “three years.” This makes no sense in the context. I will ignore it and read only the context.

Who cares about politics? This has no bearing on the Word. Is what they are teaching true? If not, correct them, as often as required. If you are waiting for a politically opportune moment, it will never come. Stand up and tell them their errors. If they refuse to listen, you have no choice but to walk away from the error. (Mark 6:11)

You place way too much trust in the Synod to be the arbiter. What is the basis of faith? And shame on calling brothers “spineless!” You are calling Luther “spineless” for leaving the Roman Catholic church, as well as every one of the founders of the LC-MS! Watch what you speak and write closely, because you write like a snake! Preserve a Christian spirit to and with everyone. “Confessional brotherhood?” This “Brotherhood” is limited to the LC-MS?! Heaven forbid! You do a great disservice to brothers in other erring denominations as well as to the Holy Spirit, who places faith where He will! You need to seriously consider what true Christianity is about, and it isn’t the Synod!

You apologize for the Synod needing help? Why? If there are problems, are you addressing them? If not, go read Scripture and the Confessions and build a case. See if Synod will hear you. They have not heard myself or anyone else who questions the Synod based on Scripture. I pray they will listen to you and your defense from Scriptures. Until you do this, you have no place to mock those who have tried.

In a few years, you will wonder how the Synod got to the spiritually poor place it will be in. It happened because those who cared did nothing, those who knew didn’t teach, and those who didn’t know threw stones first at those giving warning. Stop such baseless accusations of spineless-ness and cop outs. You know not what you speak of, nor could you. I leave you with a quote from Rev. C. F. Walther, first president of the Synod. Take note and heed it.

“Any pastor who is only intent on fanaticizing his members for the Lutheran church, or for the Missouri Synod, or even worse, for the Iowa District, is not a true pastor. Such men are poor pastors. Pastors must direct people to Christ and say, “You see, we proclaim the pure word of God, which contains the eternal Gospel. That is why you should cling to us, and that is why we maintain that the moment we no longer do that, you should leave us! For salvation is not in any way dependant on us, nor on the Missouri Synod. So, if it does not proclaim the pure Word of God, it is worthless, and you should leave it….It [the Missouri Synod] should prefer to go out of business (untergehen) rather than to let the church suffer harm by its continued existence. Those who want to see the Synod continue under all circumstances, regardless of whether that would harm the kingdom of Christ, are not being led by the Spirit of Christ but by the spirit of selfishness, and instead of being a building stone in the kingdom of Christ, they are a hindrance to God.”
- Rev. C. F. W. Walther, 1st Synodical President, Essays for the Church, vol. II, p. 61-62.