Every so often on Facebook or in response to a blog post, someone will ask, “Why are you publicizing the church’s problems? This is in house and should be kept in house.” The same thing is often said by those who abuse their spouse and children. Yes, I am going there, and I do think they are comparable.
The idea (in both cases) comes from the mistaken impression that our sin only affects us. It doesn’t. And the perfect illustration of why I’m right happened to me yesterday.
As you may have heard, the Saint Louis Seminary Journal published an article by John Jurchen of Concordia University, Nebraska. This is the same Concordia University Nebraska whose president Brian Friedrich (along with then-District President Russell Sommerfeld) insisted from the floor of the synod convention that all CUNE teaching was in keeping with Scripture and the Confessions. The article by Dr. Jurchen encouraged Lutherans to believe that death occurred before sin, “Day” actually means “Millions of years”, and evolution is true. These are all damnable heresies, not to be tolerated in the church of God.
Yesterday, I was talking to one of the citizens of my local community. They are faithful members of a Baptist church. Their daughter is seriously considering attending CUNE – to study biology. I assured them that people from other churches are very kindly received at our Concordias. She would likely really enjoy her time there.
But. There was a danger. If she attended our local public University, of course all biology classes would be taught from a secular materialist perspective – There is no God, Earth is Billions of years old, Evolution is true, etc. Attending a Concordia – which officially teaches the biblical doctrine of creation in six days at the command of God – might make her relax and assume everything she will be taught is actually true.
I warned her, (and I only know this to be true specifically about Concordia University in Seward Nebraska) that her daughter would be taught theistic evolution in her classes. And they would teach her that this position is faithful to Holy Scripture. This is a pile of dung, and it stinketh unto the heavens. More seriously, it is lie of Satan and will drag souls into hell. She must be prepared for such garbage if she is to attend CUNE.
That’s what I told this kind Christian woman last night. A woman who is not a member of the LCMS, who is not a Lutheran of any sort, who (until three days ago) had no vested interest in anything that happens in my church. But who, if she was not warned, could have had her daughter fall away from the faith at a supposedly “safe” conservative Christian college.
And that is why I write and post on social media regarding these matters. For the most part, my writings are not read by non-Lutherans. My friends list is more than 80% Lutheran. My blog stats would embarrass even a hermit on Mars. But I know a few people regularly read what I write: other pastors, interested laymen, and members of my parish. Every so often, what I write strikes a cord, and it spreads beyond my inner circle. That’s great, but not necessary. My job is not to be popular. It is to be faithful.
And if there is false teaching in my church, I will use every means of shouting “Wolf in the Fold!” I will use every tool at my disposal to protect the sheep entrusted to me: Sermons, bible classes, blog posts, and even facebook rants. Because that is what I am called to do. That’s the difference between a faithful shepherd and a hireling who is only interested in his bank account and pension. Those who worry about “what effect it will have on the church’s reputation” if we expose false teachers in the church, while not removing them, are generally in the latter category, not the first. It may not make me popular with the powers that be in the hierarchy of my church’s structure. One of them suggested to me a few days ago that I “stop being offensive.” It is sad that I offend him. But The One I try to please is… well, to borrow a phrase, let’s just say that He’s “above their pay grade.”
If you liked this blog post, you would really love reading this biography of Martin Luther. It treats Luther as the “Angel with the clear and everlasting Gospel” of Revelation 12. Great for Reformation 500!