Sadly Comforting

News broke today that for the second time in only a few years, one of our Synod’s Concordia Universities – Portland – will be closing at the end of the academic year.

Our synod has a wonderful heritage of properties and facilities that have been paid for with the blood, sweat, tears, and financial contributions of members over the course of almost 175 years. And we seem to be squandering them in the most shameful manner. If we are not faithful in what is little, who will entrust to us true riches? And yet, our doctrine is the true treasure of our church. And this particular Concordia seemed to delight in mocking and abusing that doctrine – pull out the beard, hit the face and say “prophecy, who hit you” levels of mockery. What other end could there be but for them to cease their blaspheme against the Lord and against his Holy Church?

As the prophet Ezekiel records, “As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?”

I take no pleasure in this news. But I am sadly comforted that the Lord has, at last, silenced this voice of wickedness in our midst. I pray that it stands as a warning against others who would teach and practice such things. But, if scripture is clear about one thing, it is that the wicked rarely take the proper lesson from the Lord’s chastisements. For that to happen, it will take careful instruction and teaching on the part of our synod leadership. I pray for them at this time, that they be found faithful and diligent teachers of our Lord’s Word in the face of this rather dramatic news. For if they are not, I fear the real message – return to the Lord! – will get lost in the haze of financial matters and other synod busyness.

I pray, as we see these idol altars falling around us, that our synod will indeed turn to the Lord and His Holy Word for guidance. If that should happen – then I would rejoice, even if it cost us every earthly asset our synod has.

May The Lord grant such godly repentance to us. And, as always, Come quickly Lord Jesus.

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