When it becomes apparent to a pastor that a member is caught up in the errors of the Masonic lodge, he goes to the member and warns him that you can't be in fellowship with both the Masonic lodge and the Church. The pastor will call him to repent; the pastor will teach him sometimes over years. All the while the erring member will still be in full communion with the Church. But the member will be told that eventually a choice will have to be made. You can have fellowship with the Church or with the lodge, you cannot have both.
We have come to such a point with our own Synod. Departures from the teachings of Holy Scripture have been officially adopted by our Synod in convention. Blatant disregard for our agreed upon doctrine and practice go undisciplined in our Synod. It is time to warn our Synod that these things are wrong and that if they wish to continue to have fellowship with us, these matters must be repented of.
This newsletter is devoted to a Statement of Confession that was presented to the April 12, 2005 voters meeting and will be voted on at the June 21, 2005 voters meeting. If you have been reading this newsletter for the past five years, I have addressed each point of confession, except one, in great detail. Since 2002, I have told you we were coming to the point that a line would have to be drawn.
Please read this Statement of Confession carefully. Notice: this is not a decision to leave the Synod now nor necessarily in 3 years. This is a decision to do our brotherly, scriptural, and confessional duty to our erring brothers and sisters. We are warning them that they are tolerating false teaching. We are telling them we cannot in good conscience do this, and that eventually these matters are serious enough to break fellowship over.
The stand of the LCMS has always been that pure doctrine is possible because Scripture commands that we all think and speak the same things (1 Corinthians 1:10) and that we seperate from those who teach contrary to Apostolic teaching (Romans 16:17). The LCMS has long been ridiculed for this belief. In a world where the only sin is intolerance it's ridiculous to have the position that you will not tolerate false teaching. This is the question before us: Will we tolerate teaching among us we know to be contrary to Scripture?
Read this Confession. Examine the 6 points. 1) Communion is to be closed. 2) Worship is to be centered on what Christ objectively did not on how you subjectively feel about it. 3) Unionism and syncretism are to be renounced. 4) Only called and ordained clergymen are to publicly preach and administer the sacraments. 5) Women are not to have authority over men, and 5) The Word of God is to be the only rule and norm of faith and life.
Do you believe these are teachings of Holy Scripture? Then you cannot tolerate teaching and/or practicing that denies them. If you somehow think error should be tolerated, why not tolerate the errors of the Catholic Church? Now there's a church that is mighty in the world. There's a church that is reaching billions. So why not be in fellowship with them? Once you decide you can tolerate error, you might as well go with the biggest of the churches that err.
Again, this is not a decision to leave the LCMS now nor necessarily in 3 years. This is a decision to warn our brothers and sisters of the seriousness of the errors in our midst, and it is a decision to fight for the truth.
Read the Statement of Confession carefully and critically. Attend the June 21, 2005 meeting. Struggle with me for the truth that our Lord once and or all delivered to the saints for the salvation of many souls. I know this is very difficult, but the Lord always blesses those who seek to confess His truth.