Further Analysis of the Protest Announcement

Earlier I posted about an announcement from the synod president concerning several pastors and churches who have entered a state of confession. In that post, I analyzed the logic which concluded that these individuals are in doctrinal disagreement with the synod. The logic was faulty, and you can read more about it in that post.

What I had not yet realized was that the announcement, and now subsequent official announcements of the same topic, have completely avoided the chief point of the confessional protest. The point of the protest, from the protest letter itself, was that certain official, public decisions within the synod have been made and enforced contrary to the Gospel. In other words, the protest letter was written to call public sinners to repentance. The letter contained the specific charges of public sin, which have neither been acknowledged nor repented. You can read the protest letter yourself in the previous Plucked Chicken article on this topic.

Though the point of the protest letter was to produce repentance for these public sins, the letter has instead been officially characterized as an admission that the senders do not accept the doctrine of the ELS. Consequently, the official word is that the senders are to be considered outside of our fellowship. ELS members are told not to participate in public worship with those pastors and churches.

From this description of events, it should be evident that the mischaracterization of the protest letter is not only unfair, but even schismatic. It is a symptom of a separatistic spirit, which has invaded our synod in the guise of fellowship, and pretends to seek peace. This evil spirit can be identified by asking for clear biblical explanations for the actions and points of doctrine under controversy. It is not sufficient to accept listings of Bible passages that may or may not imply things. Clear passages and inescapable logic are required.

This spirit prefers to avoid direct questions that might lead to clarity. Therefore we should be patient as we pursue God-pleasing unity and the demise of this spirit among us. We must pray fervently. If, in the meantime, the evil spirit controls our synod to such a degree that authority is abused in the manner of the papacy, so that we are excluded from fellowship on the pretext of false doctrine or sowing discord, then what else can we do?

Leave a Reply