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What Luther Says

Disaster Response Needed For The LCMS: A 'Theological Typhoon' Threatens The 'Good Ship Missouri'

After publishing "What Are Confessional Lutherans Up Against These Days?" last week and "Passing The Poison: The Danger Of Non-Lutheran Bible Studies At Lutheran Churches" a couple of days ago, I landed on the Lutheran Mission Alliance (LMA) website where I read an excellent commentary written by LMA Chairman, Rev. Toby Byrd (posted by Norm Fisher), on the current state of affairs in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS).

The sad thing? It was written way back in early 2008 -- or almost 7 years ago now -- and it is more relevant than ever, especially in light of the Five Two and Wiki 14 nonsense!

How appropriate is it as a response to what we see going on within the LCMS today?

Here's a small taste to whet your apologetics appetite so you can stomach the false teachers who are challenging what it is that we have historically believed, taught, and confessed from the very beginning almost 500 years ago (even longer if we consider the admonition found in Jude 1:3).

Why I Support Lutheran Mission Alliance 
Righting The Good Ship Missouri 
The Goals And Purpose Of The Lutheran Mission Alliance

The good ship Missouri finds herself smack dab in the middle of a theological typhoon. The waves of secularism are lashing at her sides, the white water foam of the “church growth movement” is washing over her decks, and the ship is taking on water and is imminently in danger of being capsized by a gigantic wave known as theological postmodernism. To add to her danger, the captain is steering the ship broadside to the waves and if she doesn’t turn into the wave, she will capsize and all aboard will be lost. 
Today, sad to say, much of the LCMS is not Lutheran. Far too many congregations, who claim membership in the LCMS are in fact more Calvinistic, Reformed, or Wesleyan than they are Lutheran. Once in our righteous past if one was asked if they had read an article by M.L. the initials stood for Martin Luther, today when those initials are invoked, more often than not they stand for Max Lucado. Once, everyone who called themselves Lutheran understood their Christianity in terms of the Holy Scripture and Martin Luther’s Small Catechism. Today, one who calls themselves a Lutheran is apt to answer a question regarding their understanding of the Christian faith through the teaching of “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren. There is little or no Lutheran catechesis for fear of offending someone. Sad to say, but it looks like the Lord’s words of warning through the prophet Isaiah are ringing true, “this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men’ ” (Isaiah 29:13 (ESV)). 
Worship services in years past in the LCMS were always liturgical, reverent, and holy. Today, time devoted to worship is little more than gatherings of emotion filled holiness societies exercising their pious egos. Worship, therefore, revolves around the American syndrome of instant gratification and entertainment. However, such an attitude toward worship denies the clear Word of God concerning this subject, “You shall keep my Sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:30 (ESV)). Many of our churches actually practice “altar calls”. Led by political correctness and a desire to assimilate into the collective, congregation after congregation denying the clear Word of God to remain orthodox, are actively involved in unionism. “If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain” (1 Timothy 6:3-5 (ESV)). Rather than the theology of the cross, many pastors preach a theology of glory, emphasizing the “What Would Jesus Do” theme rather than teach “What Has Jesus Done”. 
District worker conferences (once known as pastor conferences) invite non-Lutherans to be the keynote speaker of the conference, many whose theology does violence to the Lutheran understanding of Word and Sacrament. Synodical opinions and resolutions are offered and passed, which clearly conflict with God’s Revealed Word, Holy Scripture. With each passing year, it is getting more difficult to find an LCMS congregation who truly follows Luther’s motto, “Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Sola Scriptura”. Much of the LCMS have become heterodox and if this problem cannot be resolved, she will sink into the morass of the world and go the way of her sister church, the ELCA. 
All of this not only changes our rich, liturgical, Lutheran worship but it adversely affects our doctrinal understanding and implementation. Thus, when a sound, orthodox Lutheran visits such LCMS churches for Sunday morning worship, they often have great difficulty recognizing where they are. An orthodox Lutheran rarely worships with such a congregation. 
Faithful and seasoned crewmembers can see the imminent danger the good ship Missouri is in, yet they find themselves in a quandary. As good sailors, they are supposed to follow orders and sail with the captain. Yet, if the captain is bent on destroying the ship because of his poor seamanship qualities, the question becomes, can they afford to blindly follow the captain to their certain doom. As good seaman, are they not to consider the safety of the ship and all her crew and do what is necessary to ensure the ship stays afloat to meet her duties of another day? The answer to that question is a resounding yes. Good sailors will do those things necessary to save the ship. They will join forces with the damage control team to aide in the repair of the storms damage while battening down the hatches, closing all watertight doors, and steering the ship away out of danger. This is the goal of the Lutheran Mission Alliance (LMA).

Please be sure to read the entire commentary.

In a sense, the LMA reminds me of the ACELC...only they don't seem to be as well-known or get the same kind of publicity despite the fact that their goals and purpose seem to be one-in-the-same.

Welcome to the Lutheran Mission Alliance web site. We hope this site will encourage you to become involved in helping to establish orthodox congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church through our mission planting efforts. 
The Lutheran Mission Alliance (LMA) is dedicated to proclaiming the Gospel of the forgiveness of sins and righteousness by faith in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ through confessional Lutheran evangelical outreach and mission starts. The guiding principle of this effort shall be in accord with orthodox Lutheran theology as contained in the Old and New Testaments, the three Ecumenical Creeds, and as expressed by the Lutheran Confessions of the Book of Concord. 
Moreover, the LMA promotes, upholds, preserves, and defends the rich liturgical heritage of Word and Sacrament ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church against encroaching worldly methods. 
The Lutheran Mission Alliance (LMA) was formed in 2005 with the express goals of dissenting from the wisdom of the LCMS in convention. Specifically we dissented against the following: By-Law 3-08A (Service of Women) for violating the doctrine of the order of creation; By-Law 8-01-04A (Ecclesiastical supervision) for violating the Lutheran principle that sheep judge their shepherds; and By-Law 3-06-04A (Civic Events) for giving an ambiguous answer to the important issue of syncretism and unionism. Some within the original group were ready to leave the LCMS and go it alone. However, after considerable discussions, the decision was made by a majority vote to retain our membership in the LCMS. However, we would work to maintain an orthodox, liturgically sound, Lutheran body whose goal would be to preserve Lutheran orthodoxy through the establishments of orthodox Lutheran mission churches, sound Lutheran catechesis, publication of theologically sound doctrinal reviews, and orthodox liturgical teaching to name a few. The LMA is not an individual effort but rather a collective effort of like-minded congregations. Today, twenty congregations are members of the LMA and the LMA is sponsoring two orthodox Lutheran missions. 
It has been said that the LCMS is no longer your grandfather’s church. In many respects, this is correct. However, the LMA is dedicated to ensuring the sound orthodoxy of our grandfather’s Lutheran church is preserved today, tomorrow, and forever. 
Some will find fault with our position and statements. Some will even label us as mutineers. This is to be expected. Our Lord, Jesus Christ made it very clear when He said, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12 (ESV)). 
If you, like us, are concerned about the direction of the LCMS and the future of Lutheranism, then we invite all to examine the LMA by visiting our web site at http://www.lutheranmissionallinance.org.

In addition, the group may not be in existence any longer since the last item I could find published on their website was from January 2014, and I can't seem to find any other current information about them anywhere else online.

Either way, this is the sort of thing the LCMS needs more of today -- Confessional, faithful, orthodox Pastors who are willing to stand up and speak out against the spiritual dangers that are so prevalent within our churches.

In a Lutheran layman's terms, a "theological typhoon" threatens the "Good Ship Missouri" and we, as "talking sheep," have a responsibility to encourage, pray for, and support our called and ordained servants of God to be bold when it comes to contending for and defending what it is that we believe, teach, and confess.

NOTE: As you know, I am a newly converted Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little over a year ago. 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.

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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!

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