Saturday, March 22, 2008

Issues, Etc. Is Gone; What Now?

I think that the cancellation of Issues, Etc. has caused a lot of us who usually don't post much on our blogs to do so more often. In fact, it's surprising how much you start to do when the ability to do something you once enjoyed is taken away.

For those of us who heard about the show's cancellation and the firing of Pr. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz early on, our tone has changed (somewhat) from outrage to action. We are still demanding answers from the LCMS headquarters, and want to know who pulled the plug and why. We are still angry that this was allowed or forced to happen.

So, what do we do now? We need to continue to spread the word about what has happened. Even at this point, there are a lot of people who don't know, primarily because they don't subscribe to the same e-mail lists as a lot of us do, and don't usually listen to the program online – maybe just on Sunday nights. There was a program on last Sunday night, but unbeknownst to any of us, that was the last Sunday night broadcast. And those who don't have access to the internet or don't use it like many of us do won't likely know anything about this until they talk to others at church tomorrow morning, or try to listen to the program tomorrow night and realize it's not on.

Realize that this program was listened to by not just those in the LCMS, but by other Lutherans and by other Christians not associated with any branch of the LCMS. Talk to your friends about it, even if you think they wouldn't have a connection. The more people who know about it, the better. Maybe they'll sign the petition, too. At the time of this posting, there were about 3,440 signatures. Mine was one of the first 25. (Because I don't publicize my name on my blog, that's the only narrowing you're going to get. Those who know me know which signature is mine.)

What more can we do? Look at my last post and take down the contact information. Write real (paper) letters if you can – e-mail only goes so far, and many of those on the list have programs designed to send back a generalized form letter to the sender. You can call the LCMS headquarters at 1-888-THE LCMS and ask to talk to someone who isn't just taking down notes, but rather someone who has some kind of authority in this position. Don't allow yourself to be transferred to just anyone: ask to whom you are being transferred and why.

There is talk about protesting the decision on the steps of the "Purple Palace" which is the LCMS headquarters in St. Louis, MO, one of these Saturdays coming up. No specific date has been determined at this point, but consider attending. One commenter on Pr. Weedon's blog suggested making it a vigil instead of a protest, so that the negative connotation of a protest is removed. (His was comment number 70-something.)

Bottom line: As I said in my previous post, we cannot sit by and idly take this kind of abuse by the "powers that be." If they are willing to cut the most confessional and best Christian radio program there is, and fire Pr. Wilken and Mr. Schwarz, it seems they will stop at nothing to take away every trace of real Lutheranism there is. Countless pastors have been thrown out of the LCMS for non-Scriptural reasons; they were thrown out for BEING FAITHFUL to God, to the Lutheran faith, to those they served.

With so many congregations throwing away good Lutheran liturgy and hymns in favor of big praise bands, contemporary music and "feel good" messages (I won't even attempt to call them sermons), the line between what is and is not Lutheran has been blurred to the point that those from Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, etc. backgrounds can go from their own churches to a so-called LCMS church and find nary a difference.

Those of us who are staying faithful to the confessions and to Scripture are becoming fewer and fewer, and are understandably skiddish about speaking out too loudly for fear that our pastors will be made to join the list of those thrown out for faithfully doing the jobs they were trained to do in the LCMS seminaries!

If we're going to survive these evil trials (yes, they are evil), we need to stick together and fight. We need to stand up for our pastors and for the right to remain Lutheran, and not let the world influence our worship, but rather have our worship and faith influence the world in which we live.

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