Definition Requested

Recently, the role of the organization 1517 has come up in discussions among a group of pastors. Can any one give me a definition of “Heterodox tract and mission activity” (LCMS constitution Art VI) that is consistent with scripture and the confessions, and would include the Gideons (with whom we will not work) but not 1517?

I’m still trying to work this out in my own mind. Maybe the internet can help.

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3 Responses to Definition Requested

  1. Seery Easton says:

    QUESTION: Has The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod taken an official position regarding the Gideons? Our congregation often invites Gideon representatives to give formal presentations during our worship service.

    ANSWER: The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has taken no official position regarding the Gideons. In evaluating the Gideons, the Synod’s Commission on Theology and Church Relations has not found the objectionable features of fraternal brotherhoods (lodges) present in the Gideons.

    Judgment as to whether to invite Gideons International representatives to give presentations in or at the end of LCMS worship services (which is fairly common) is a matter left to the judgment of individual pastors and the local congregation.

    There should be no objection to LCMS members supporting the Bible distribution program of the Gideons.

    • Country Preacher says:

      Thanks for the information. This is disappointing. Not that I object to the concept of bible distribution. But there is a very strong reason LCMS members should object to the Gideons. They are the very definition of a heterodox tract and mission society. If they are not one, then one can not exist.

  2. Seery Easton says:

    I think I understand the dangers of heterodox but this side of heaven will it ever be one? I don’t think so. Laymen know the Gideons distribute Bibles. LCMS doesn’t distribute like the Gideons do. We do distribute but we don’t place one in every hotel room, we don’t distribute New Testaments outside of school, we don’t provide them for hospital rooms, we don’t attempt to go into other churches and distribute and tell them true way of worship. I’m using Gideons here as an example. I can think of other organizations that the LCMS works with because a need is met, that our Synod is unwilling or unable to meet. Another one of those is Crisis Pregancy Centers. When a laymen asks questions because they have a Gideon Bible in hand, that is our opportunity to catechise. How does a Christian reach out in a heterodox world? I have a grandson who loved his little Gideon New Testament. It went everywhere with him. He has the makings of a pastor. I have another grandson who just transferred his confession to the WELS. Some of what you profess reminds of WELS. There is trouble there, too. Catechize your flock, we learn to discern.

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