[In Case You Missed It...][6]

Bible Study
Bo Giertz
Book Reviews
C.F.W. Walther
Current Events
Daniel Preus
Dog Days
Dr. John Kleinig
Evangelizing Evangelicals
Facebook Theology
False Teachers
Friedrich Carl Wyneken
Germans Like Latin
Herman Sasse
Holy Sacraments
Luther's Commentaries
Lutheran Doctrine
Lutheran Podcasts
Lutherandom Musings
Lutheranism 101
Martin Chemnitz
Martin Luther
Matthew C. Harrison
Office of the Holy Ministry
Pop Culture
Prayer Requests
Propitiation Posts
Rock N Blogroll
Salomon Deyling
Seeking Seminary
Twitter Patter Five
What Luther Says

ACELC: Rightfully Contending And Defending

It seems we've been down this road before.

A fellowship in which the Word of God is fundamentally falsified, or in which a fundamental falsification of it is tolerated, is not a true orthodox church, but a false, heterodox church or sect. 
*– C.F.W. Walther 
(Essays For The Church Vol I, "Communion Fellowship," Concordia Publishing House, 1992, p.207)

Today, I'd like to kindly ask you to please turn your attention to a group within our Synod that needs your support now more than ever it would seem.

In this day-and-age of liberal, postmodern, progressive Christianity, it's no secret that "the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints" (Jude 1:3) is under attack not just from outside Christ's Church, but from the inside as well.

It's a shame that we even needed to form a group whose sole purpose for existing is to remind believers -- particularly believers who belong to the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) -- that what we believe, teach, and confess about our cherished and shared faith should be consistent wherever we find a local LCMS congregation...but here we are...and here we stand.

That group is called "ACELC" or the "Association of Confessing Evangelical Lutheran Churches" and I have spent the past several days familiarizing myself with who they are, what they're trying to do, and why you should care as a layperson (or if you're a Pastor who's reading this right now).

What I found out is absolutely encouraging though downright frightening, because it's crystal clear that mine isn't the only LCMS congregation experiencing these challenges!

I know, that seems like quite the contrast, but I can assure you that it's not hyperbole. I mean, please consider what it is we're talking about here let alone what's at stake.

To properly do so, let's remind ourselves of all the things that God's Word clearly has to say about all of this since the Scriptures are overflowing with the importance of doctrine and with warnings for us all to be on guard against false teachers and their false teachings.

"Error is sin, and the very ministry and mission of the Church is to address sin through the public proclamation of repentance and forgiveness in Christ's name (Luke 24:46-48). Correction of error is at the very core of the Gospel's proclamation – error against both God's divine Law and His holy Gospel, the very means through which God saves and applies His salvation to lost sinners. ... Because of this, in the spirit of Luther, Walther, and other Church fathers and grandfathers, we can 'do no other' but stand to correct the errors that undermine the orthodox faith entrusted to us, and through which God has so abundantly blessed our Synod. If we do not, then we too shall be complicit in the doctrinal indifference that has plagued so many church bodies to their ruin" 
*- Fraternal Admonition Letter, July 15, 2010, ACELC.net

In addition, LCMS President, Rev. Matt Harrison, states in his "It's Time" a solution to working out the issues we face in the LCMS today.

It is time for us to move beyond political efforts and especially generalities. It is time to stop “beating around the bush.” It is time for a serious, decade-long effort—a non-politically organized and driven effort to regain theological and practical unity in the Synod.23 This route is the hard route. It will take time and effort. It will take courage. It will take men and women of integrity. It will also result in a Synod 85% united and on the path to even greater unity, precisely at a moment when such unity is needed like never before—so that we can cease the incessant, internal wrangling, and take advantage of the open doors which the Lord is holding before us. The Lord’s mission of the Gospel will advance toward eternity, despite us. He’ll get it done with or without us. If we turn from that sacred mission, he will raise up others to accomplish it. Will we be part of it? 
(ibid. p. 10)

I also like what C.F.W. Walther once said about being Lutheran by conviction.

A member of a Lutheran congregation should be able to distinguish pure doctrine from false doctrines. Only spineless Lutherans can say: “What do I care about doctrinal controversies! They do not concern me in the least. I’ll let those who are more learned than I am bother their heads about such matters.” They may even be offended when they observe that religious leaders engage in doctrinal disputes. A genuine Lutheran will not forget that in the Epistle of Jude also lay Christians are admonished “earnestly to contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints.” What is more, Christ warns all Christians: “Beware of false prophets.” And St. John writes in his first epistle: “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God, because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” It is a settled fact that whoever is indifferent to false doctrine is indifferent also to pure doctrine and his soul’s salvation, and has no right to bear the name Lutheran and the name of Christ.

So, we find that what we all should be doing (whether we're rostered members of ACELC or not) is loving our erring brothers and sisters to the extent that we are willing to expose the Synod's errors (Jude 1:17-23).

Bottom line, while none of us wants to cause division or to start a fight with our dear brothers and sisters, we are instructed repeatedly on how to handle such things (and people) when we encounter them ourselves.

Remember, "doctrine is heaven," right?

I know they weren't Lutherans themselves, but Charles Spurgeon and J.C. Ryle had some words of wisdom as they pertain to this very same subject that I think we would be wise to prayerfully consider ourselves.

Find if you can, beloved, one occasion in which Jesus inculcated doubt or bade men dwell in uncertainty. The apostles of unbelief are everywhere today, and they imagine that they are doing God service by spreading what they call “honest doubt.” This is death to all joy! Poison to all peace! The Savior did not so… 
I have not much patience with a certain class of Christians nowadays who will hear anybody preach so long as they can say, “He is very clever, a fine preacher, a man of genius, a born orator.” Is cleverness to make false doctrine palatable? Why, sirs, to me the ability of a man who preaches error is my sorrow rather than my admiration. 
I cannot endure false doctrine, however neatly it may be put before me. Would you have me eat poisoned meat because the dish is of the choicest ware? It makes me indignant when I hear another gospel put before the people with enticing words, by men who would fain make merchandise of souls; and I marvel at those who have soft words for such deceivers. 
“That is your bigotry,” says one. Call it so if you like, but it is the bigotry of the loving John who wrote — "If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds."  
I would to God we had all more of such decision, for the lack of it is depriving our religious life of its backbone and substituting for honest manliness a mass of the tremulous jelly of mutual flattery. 
He who does not hate the false does not love the true; and he to whom it is all the same whether it be God’s word or man’s, is himself unrenewed at heart. Oh, if some of you were like fathers you would not have tolerated in this age the wagon loads of trash under which the gospel has been of late buried by ministers of your own choosing. You would have hurled out of your pulpits the men who are enemies to the fundamental doctrines of your churches, and yet are crafty enough to become your pastors and undermine the faith of a fickle and superficial generation. 
These men steal the pulpits of once orthodox churches, because otherwise they would have none at all. Their powerless theology cannot of itself arouse sufficient enthusiasm to enable them to build a mousetrap at the expense of their admirers, and therefore they profane the houses which your sires have built for the preaching of the gospel, and turn aside the organisations of once orthodox communities to help their infidelity: I call it by that name in plain English, for “modern thought” is not one whit better, and of the two evils I give infidelity the palm, for it is less deceptive. 
I beg the Lord to give back to the churches such a love to his truth that they may discern the spirits, and cast out those which are not of God. 
*- Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)


Divisions and separations are most objectionable in religion. They weaken the cause of true Christianity. They give occasion to the enemies of all godliness to blaspheme. But before we blame people for them, we must be careful that we lay the blame where it is deserved. False doctrine and heresy are even worse than schism. If people separate themselves from teaching which is positively false and unscriptural, they ought to be praised rather than reproved. In such cases separation is a virtue and not a sin. It is easy to make sneering remarks about “itching ears,” and  "love of excitement”; but it is not so easy to convince a plain reader of the Bible that it is his duty to hear false doctrine every Sunday, when by a little exertion he can hear truth. The old saying must never be forgotten, “He is the schismatic who causes the schism.”  
Unity, quiet, and order among professing Christians are mighty blessings. They give strength, beauty, and efficiency to the cause of Christ. But even gold may be bought too dear. Unity which is obtained by the sacrifice of truth is worth nothing. It is not the unity which pleases God. The Church of Rome boasts loudly of a unity which does not deserve the name. It is unity which is obtained by taking away the Bible from the people, by gagging private judgment, by encouraging ignorance, by forbidding men to think for themselves. Like the exterminating warriors of old, the Church of Rome “makes a solitude and calls it peace.” There is quiet and stillness enough in the grave, but it is not the quiet of health, but of death. It was the false prophets who cried “Peace,” when there was no peace. 
Controversy in religion is a hateful thing. It is hard enough to fight the devil, the world, and the flesh, without private differences in our own camp. But there is one thing which is even worse than controversy, and that is false doctrine tolerated, allowed, and permitted without protest or molestation. It was controversy that won the battle of Protestant Reformation…There are times when controversy is not only a duty but a benefit. Give me the mighty thunder storm rather than the pestilential malaria. The one walks in darkness and poisons us in silence, and we are never safe. The other frightens and alarms for a little season. But it is soon over, and it clears the air. It is a plain Scriptural duty to "contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3). 
*- J.C. Ryle (1816-1900)

Yes, I fully recognize the sheer irony of including two quotes from two different non-Lutheran theologians in an entry about ACELC, but I think we can all agree with those statements above.

If not, then perhaps God's Word will convince you instead.

Unity In The Body of Christ 
Ephesians 4:1-16 (ESV) 1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” 9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,d 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood,e to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. 
Lutheran Study Bible: This portion of Ephesians is not simply about our conduct (or, the Law). It contains some very profound Gospel teaching (e.g., Ephesians 4:4-12; Ephesians 5:25-30). However, there is a greater focus on the consequences of Law and Gospel for our faith and life. Paul highlights the gifts of Christ that make us His Body; as one Body, we are protected from the dangers of our times. Modern individualism and consumerism make it easy to treat the Church as "all about me." Thanks be to God, the Church is all about Jesus, who provides for our salvation and edification. Lord, bind us together by the truth proclaimed by Your faithful ministers. Amen.

In short, right doctrine leads to right practice.

Ephesians 4:5 says it all ("one Lord, one faith, one baptism"), and yet, there are far too many Pastors and parishioners today who would rather ignore how that verse relates to our identity as a body of believers, preferring instead to pursue "every wind of doctrine" (Ephesians 4:14) proclaimed by those who give them what their "itching ears" (2 Timothy 4:3) want.

Thankfully, there's a group like ACELC to help us remain faithful and true to our Lord. Now, I'm not going to reference all the key passages of Scripture that we need to be mindful of as we consider supporting ACELC to help take up their cause as our own, because that would be extremely redundant since they already do an excellent job of citing the Word of God in each and every work they attach their group's name to.

So I think the best place to start for anyone wanting to begin to understand why ACELC was created and what they've been doing all this time since is to first read their "Fraternal Admonition" that succinctly summarizes their concerns right off the bat.

What the Psalmist wrote and the Evangelist Luke recorded for us in the early accounts of the Christian Church remind us of the blessedness of unity Christ gives to His people. Unfortunately, this blessedness of unity is steadily being lost among us in our beloved Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod. While discord, strife, and disunity have plagued the Church from its very beginning, even resulting in the many Epistles we now cherish as God’s divinely inspired Word, they have come to reach such levels in our fellowship that they can no longer be ignored without great harm to our Synod. No discord, strife, and disunity can remain unresolved without grave consequences to the Church and her ministry and mission, for as Jesus says, “a divided house falls” (ESV Luke 11:17). ... There was a time when our Synod enjoyed a wonderful and blessed unity of doctrine and practice in her fellowship. That time also corresponds with her greatest growth as a Synod. ... Unfortunately the LCMS has strayed off her orthodox foundations. Some within our fellowship even seek to disassociate our Synod from our grandfather’s Church. Corresponding with this we also find our Synod declining in both unity and church membership. Although numbers are not an indication of a church body’s orthodoxy we are reminded that when Missouri had her doctrine and practice right, the Synod flourished. In these latter decades when changes in our doctrine and practice have taken more permanent root there has indeed also been a corresponding decline in our unity and growth. We would in part attribute this to the truth that God does not promise to bless our unfaithfulness, but rather our faithfulness to the teachings and practices that hold His promised blessings. There are errors within the fellowship of our Synod. Unfortunately, attempts to fraternally address these errors through the convention and resolution process have proven unfruitful, failing even to gain consideration on the convention floor. This gives us grave concern, for the current direction of our Synod away from our orthodox foundations has shown that this can only bring us to further decline. Only correction of these errors can help to stem the tide of decline on all fronts. 
The correction of error is included in Jesus’ work to destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8), including the devil’s work to falsify God’s Word and so cause His people to stumble and sin. We are blessed to have the sure and certain Word of God to reveal our sin and error and lead us back to right understanding and practice, the very evidence that we are indeed the children of God (1 John 3:9-10). So also do we have the New Testament Epistles that were written largely to rebuke and correct error in the early Church, which also command us to do the same in our time. As disciples of Jesus and His teachings we are responsible to correct errors among us so that we ourselves may not be found teaching and living contrary to God’s Word and so profane His name in the Church and in the world. Error can happen inadvertently and with the best of intentions. However, error remains error and can only come to no good. Therefore right doctrine and practice are the very stuff of Christian faith and life in the Church. Recognizing this, we, as the bearers of Christ’s infallible Truth and most blessed Gospel must diligently maintain it among ourselves, lest we not only become a flickering and faltering light in the world, but even more frightful, find that light removed from our church as the Lord clearly warns in His Revelation to St. John (2:1-7). Along with this, Christian faith and love compel and commend us to their correction. Error is sin, and the very ministry and mission of the Church is to address sin through the public proclamation of repentance and forgiveness in Christ’s name (Luke 24:46-48). Correction of error is at the very core of the Gospel’s proclamation--error against both God’s divine Law and His holy Gospel, the very means through which God saves and applies His salvation to lost sinners. Therefore, in good faith and as a matter of Christian conscience we cannot stand idly by and watch our beloved Synod decline into further error and disunity. Errors are by their very nature dangerous and destructive to all that is right and true and good. And such things are worth fighting for. It is our sincere contention that the Gospel, the Church, and the very souls they seek to save and preserve to eternity are at stake.

I think that gives you a pretty good idea of where ACELC's heart is in all of this as well as the Biblical reasons as to why they have decided to take it upon themselves to contend for and defend the faith.

Please read the rest of that Fraternal Admonition since it will give you ACELC's full statement regarding their purpose and plans, God willing, of course.

Then there's these direct statements from the ACELC FAQ section of their website...

1. What do we hope to accomplish? 
It is the hope of those joining together in the association of congregations that we make public the official and tolerated errors of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod in such a way that a productive discussion can be held within and around our Synod to address, correct and resolve those matters that are in dispute among us. This is done with a Christian, fraternal, and loving intent, to restore the unity of our Synod in its doctrine and its practice.

2. How do we propose to accomplish our goals? 
First, it is our intention to make the errors within our Synod public through the publication of those errors in a letter to all LCMS congregations. Then, in connection with that letter, we will seek to bring about a group of congregations that intends to fraternally request that our Synod correct those identified errors so that the unity of doctrine and practice might be restored within our Synod.

3. Are the proposed actions by the ACELC schismatic? 
No. To be schismatic means that one is seeking to break fellowship or separate themselves from the Church without sufficient doctrinal cause. The ACELC is not suggesting that we break fellowship or separate ourselves from the LCMS at all, and therefore is not, and cannot be considered schismatic in any way. Rev. Dr. Francis Pieper, (Fifth President of the LCMS, President of the St. Louis, MO, Seminary, and author of Christian Dogmatics - the primary dogmatics textbook for all LCMS pastors), wrote in his well-known dogmatics work: "By the term 'schism' we mean a division in the Church which God's Word does not enjoin, but which is begun by men for carnal reasons and therefore is sinful, e.g., a separation [emphasis added] because of differences in church customs, church terms, order of worship, etc. In practice it is important to distinguish between schismatics acting from spite and schismatics acting from weakness in Christian knowledge and prejudice. Such, however, as separate from a church body because it tenaciously clings to false doctrine are unjustly called schismatics, separatists, etc. This separation is commanded in Scripture (Rom. 16:17) and is the only means of restoring and maintaining true unity in the Christian Church."

You might also find these articles about and from ACELC over the past few years very helpful when it comes to forming your own opinion on those individuals who make up that group and the work that they've done and are continuing to do at this time.

Personally, these are some of the key reasons why I am so grateful that I just discovered them, and why I will definitely be supporting them in any way that I can.

Introduction To ACELC [PowerPoint Presentation]

2014: Why The ACELC?

2014: We Need To Learn From History

ACELC Teaching Materials [Multiple Subjects]  

ACELC 7 Theses On Worship

2014: It's Time And Unnecessary Wrangling. What Is The State of The Synod?

2014: Trying Out Rev. Bremer From The ACELC Speakers Bureau In Naperville

2013: The LCMS And 'Peace' 

2013: Will The Real 'Koinonia Project' Please Stand Up?

2013: Attempts To Find Concord (Not Compromise) In Texas!

2012: What About The 'Koinonia Project'?

2012: How Can Unity Be Found?

2012: Confessions And Conversion of A Former 'Jesus-Firster'

2012: Inquisition Time -- The ACELC Chairman of The Board

2012: ACELC –- Are They A Big Bunch of Divisive Meanies?

2012: Costa, Costa, Costa, Costa Concordia

2012: Saving Thelma And Louise

2010: News of ACELC Meeting In Kansas City, MO

2010: ACELC -- A Loving Challenge To The LCMS

Definition of Confessional Lutheranism [SHORT] 
Definition of Confessional Lutheranism [LONG] 
Evidence of Errors In The LCMS [With Corresponding Study Guides] 
ACELC How Can We Give A Witness for Jesus Christ In The Public Square While Avoiding The Errors of Unionism And Syncretism?

2014 Papers 
2013 Papers 
2012 Papers 
2011 Papers

Finally (and if reading's not your "thing"), here's a documentary of sorts that ACELC recently produced and distributed as a labor of love to help in their efforts to bring their genuine, heartfelt, and warranted concerns to light.

Why has ACELC produced and released this film? Why now, you ask?

Anyone who is honest must admit that there are serious issues troubling the LCMS, issues that have been growing in intensity over the years. There seems to be much division, in both doctrine and practice, over topics like fellowship, Holy Communion, pastoral formation and the divine call, the propriety of mixing business principles with theology, and the giant elephant in the room, worship. Some of these issues were addressed at the recent synodical convention, however, all the issues that were addressed were simply delayed to a later date, generally for more study. Perhaps the church militant was simply put on hold. 

If Not Now, When? 
This film by the ACELC is a riveting look at the issues that are dividing the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. Beginning with the historical background of modern-day divisions in light of LCMS history, noted LCMS pastors and theologians define ten of the crucial questions that are dividing the Synod, and point the way to orthodox Lutheran doctrine and practice. The film is a call to action for pastors and laypeople alike to engage the problems we face so that the LCMS may once again enjoy a God-pleasing unity in conformity with the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions.

He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it. Titus 1:9 
It has only been a short time since the release of the ACELC Film Project, “If Not Now, When?” but in that time the response has been overwhelming. The most common response has been one of gratitude, thanking us for addressing the topics honestly and head on. We have received comments ranging from, “The divisions among us are real, here is an example...” to “I had no idea things were this bad...” to “You have given us a good introduction to the issues, but we need more...” The segment of the film that has generated the most discussion seems to be the topic of unionism and syncretism. Since the tragic events of 9/11 and the Yankee Stadium interfaith worship service that followed, our church body has been divided. To have the issues clearly defined and to see with your own eyes what actually happened during the worship service prompted one viewer to respond, “This is the best treatment of the Yankee Stadium issue I have seen, bar none.” I am happy to announce that “If Not Now, When” is now available in DVD format. It will continue to be available free of charge on YouTube, but the DVD format will allow greater flexibility for viewing and teaching purposes. Individual “chapters” of the film will be able to be viewed, studied and discussed one at a time, and the DVDs are a great way to introduce people to a serious discussion of the issues that are causing division among us. 
Remember, several study guides are already available on the ACELC website with more in the works. If you haven’t already done so, please take some time to view the film (on YouTube). After you watch it we would love to hear your reactions and responses. If you like what you see, want to own your own copy, or would like to give copies to your friends, you may purchase from one to ten DVDs right from our website (one DVD is $5.00, and ten are only $27.00), or if you want more than ten copies, you may contact us for bulk pricing. If I may brag, the quality of the DVD packaging and the DVD itself is absolutely stunning. Pastor Perry Copus has done a masterful job in the planning, filming, production and layout of this project. May God continue to bless us as we seek true unity in our midst, under the live giving, life changing Word of God. 
In Christ, 
Rev. Clint K. Poppe


Lesson #1 Study Guide - We Are A Divided Synod

Lesson #2 Study Guide - History of Theological Deterioration

Lesson #3 Study Guide - Pure Doctrine

That video right there is fantastically faithful and "Required Viewing" not just for a "Newtheran" like me, but lifelong Lutherans as well.

Quite frankly, these are the kinds of Biblical resources that I will have to put in play at my own church before I decide to leave for a more faithful congregation, because I want to know that I at least tried to do all I could to call my dear brothers and sisters to repent of the false doctrine and false religious practices. To not say anything at all makes me a truly more unloving sinner than I already am, IMHO (Romans 7:24).

Again, we are supposed to care about these things (and these people) to the point where we are willing to suffer the personal cost even if it means having a "difficult" conversation with loved ones that will only result in being attacked or ignored completely.

Besides, the other possibility is that God uses resources like this to finally open some eyes and ears to the truth, which leads to repentance and redemption.

I firmly believe that forming a group of congregations and individual Pastors and laymen in response to heterodox practice and teaching within the parent denomination (LCMS) is actually a good thing.

Remember, what we all should be doing (whether we're rostered members of ACELC or not) is loving our erring brothers and sisters to the extent that we are willing to expose the Synod's errors (Jude 1:17-23).

Remember, right doctrine leads to right practice.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, ACELC is rightfully contending and defending, and I hope that you will consider joining them, especially as we approach the 500th anniversary of the Reformation and reflect on where we are in relation to where we came from.

I pray that God would use this forum to guide us and lead us into all Truth.

John 8:31-32 (ESV) 31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

NOTE: As you know, I am a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is not consistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and point us back to) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Finally, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier pieces I wrote on this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that category since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a "Book of Concord" containing our Confessions even existed. In addition, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by common Evangelical concerns/criticisms that aren't that big a deal for us Lutherans. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because we now have this disclaimer and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Finally, please know that any time we engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always follow the verse-by-verse notes from my Lutheran Study Bible unless otherwise noted. Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Grace and peace to you and yours!


About JKR

Christian. Husband. Father. Friend.


  1. What a terrific video from the ACELC! I just watched the whole thing. What a great way to persuade people to their position. And I thought the Lutheran organ and choral music in the background was thrilling.

    I've been aware of the ACELC since its founding. But I confess that I'm one of those who has not had enough courage of his convictions to support it. I think I should begin. Here we have a few people who are talking about the real state of things in the LCMS without ignoring anything for the sake of a superficial unity. Very good stuff.

    I think I might invite some brothers and sisters from my congregation to come watch this with me. I have no illusions, this stuff is very controversial even among Confessional Lutherans. But its high time that we have a conversation in truth and love about these matters.

  2. Matt,

    Yes, it's an EXCELLENT video and I hope they make more. It's funny you mentioned the music in the background b/c that was my exact thought too! Funny how you notice those things so quickly when they've been missing for so long at your own church services.

    I posted this on my Facebook page PRAYING that several people from my church would watch it (and, hopefully, comment or want to talk to me about it privately). Sure, that may be considered a little "passive aggressive" of me, but I wanted to give people I care about who need to see it the time to watch and process it on there own without being "confrontational" about it right off the bat (as in a "Hey, YOU really need to watch this..." self-righteous kind of way since that's not what I want to communicate although these issues need to be addresses). So far? Nothing but a chorus of crickets!

    That's why I like your idea of inviting some brothers and sisters to get together and come watch it with me too. Having those "Study Materials" handouts is a big help too.

    Thanks for stopping by, reading, and commenting, my friend!

    Grace And Peace,


Thank you for visiting A Lutheran Layman! Please feel free to leave a comment or a question since we do not exercise censorship. We've seen a similar policy with other blogs and it's worth repeating: Please act as if you're a guest in my home, and we'll get along just fine. I think anyone would agree that the kind of back-and-forth that is characteristic of blogs/chat forums and social media is becoming tiresome for all of us. Still, we should confess, edify, and love (and contend and defend when needed). Bottom line? Search the Scriptures! Apply Acts 17:11 to anything and everything you find here and, if you do happen to disagree with something you find here (which is certainly ok), or think I'm "irresponsible" and "wrong" for writing it, then please refute my position by supporting yours with Scripture and/or the Confessions. I don't think that's an unreasonable request, especially for those who identify themselves as "Christians" here, right? Besides, Proverbs 27:17 tells us "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" and 2 Timothy 3:16 says, "all Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness." If you have an opinion that's great, I welcome it, but try to support it using God's Word. I mean, if the goal here is to help us all arrive at the truth of God's Word (myself included), then it should be easy to follow through on this one simple request (I'm talking to all you "Anonymous" visitors out there). Grace and peace to you and yours!

Start typing and press Enter to search