Withdrawn! (Again!)

Pictured: Saint Louis seminary faculty member

After vigorously defending an article published in the official journal of Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis, the faculty now wishes to change the subject. The parallels to the  the cowardly “Statement of the 44” in ’45 are striking. Rather than repent of false teaching, they 44 withdrew the statement as a basis of discussion. So, the false doctrine was allowed to quietly fester for another 30 years. Seminex was the result.

The faculty now tells us that they will not discuss the article by Dr. Jurcehn further. That is not acceptable.

If I preach in a sermon “Jesus and Satan were actually brothers”, I don’t get to follow it up in Bible Class with “I withdraw the statement. Moving on.” Umm… no. Do I really believe that? Am I a Mormon or a Christian? I need to clarify so that my congregation knows that they are not being pastored by a false teacher. So, the faculty, which until yesterday was still telling us that this was the “intellectual trend” in evangelicalism, and that they were leading us in a discussion when they were clearly just following the latest claptrap from false teachers in an attempt to be popular in the world of biblical exegesis, now want to ignore that discussion and move on.

If a member of my parish struggles with the age of the earth that is one thing. I will patiently bear with them while I teach them the Word of God.

But these so-called men pretend to be faithful teachers in the church. They can not simply withdraw the statement and move on without letting us know: DO THEY REJECT ANY INTERPRETATION THAT ALLOWS DAY TO MEAN MORE THAN DAY? Will we see articles of this sort again? Or will they actually hold to the word of God and fulfill the vows they made before the altar of God and in the presence of his church when they were ordained? These are not trifling questions.

You don’t get to lob a heresy bomb into the nave of the church, and then after it explodes, just say “let’s move on, shall we?”

Unless and until they recant for promoting false doctrine in the church, every member of the faculty in Saint Louis – for they unanimously rebuked the Wyoming District when we spoke the Word of God to them – every single one of them are guilty of allowing and encouraging false doctrine in the church. As a called minister of Christ, I could not in good conscience forgive the sins of someone who un-repentantly allows and encourages false doctrine while chastising those who teach rightly.

They can repent, or they can face judgment. They can not change the topic in this way. It was tried by the 44 in 45. It led to Seminex. We don’t need that again. And faithful pastors need to stand up and demand that they not lead us down that path once more.

UPDATE: Dr Jurchen and District President Snow wrote very clear letters which indicate that they recognize the error contained in the article, that there is repentance for that error and a desire in the future to confess the truth of Holy Scripture clearly. We can ask no more than that, and, as far as I am concerned, the matter with Concordia, Seward is concluded. But Saint Louis has not “retracted” the article. Nor have they acknowledged that the article falsely gave the impression that false doctrine was acceptable. The problem now is with those who continue to allow/promote false doctrine in the church. I would encourage the faculty of CSL to read again the letter from President Snow and Dr. Jurchen, to see how godly and faithful public repentance is handled in the church.

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6 Responses to Withdrawn! (Again!)

  1. I agree with you completely; im still waiting for the whole kieschnick debacle to be swept out from under the rug and dealt with properly. I could still not commune that man were he to visit my congregation. Same tactic basically: lets just not talk about it anymore and watch time wash it away. I wont allow time to do what godly men of the church are called to do–to do so is to ask me to sin against my conscience. Pastor Andrew Wollman

  2. Mike from the Lou (city not seminary) says:

    To be clear, by writing: “Saint Louis has not “retracted” the article” you mean to say the faculty of CSL has not repented of the error published in their journal. Correct?

    • Country Preacher says:

      Correct. They have withdrawn it. That is not the same. To withdraw means they could re-submit it at some time in the future, or could publish a similar article. To retract is to admit error or deficiency of some sort. The author repented of writing it. Saint Louis responded by withdrawing it. That was the same tactic used by the 44 in 45. Ask any church historian what the biggest mistake in the LCMS in the 20th century was, and they will tell you, “Allowing the 44 to withdraw the article without repudiating the errors in it.”

  3. Tapani says:

    The article was not withdrawn by CJ or by the faculty. It was withdrawn by the author.

  4. Joshua Theilen says:

    What do you mean by “vigorously defend”?

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