Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Official Publication

One of the most telling and troubling signs on the horizon for the LC-MS is the Lutheran Witness letters.  People write in, and editors choose to print false doctrine and broadsides aimed at our confession without a word of correction.  It presents the false ideas of those who are clearly not solidly grounded in Lutheran doctrine (that is to say, the Scriptures) alongside sound doctrine as though both are equally valid and acceptable.

It is true that writers can write in to correct the false teacher, but their letter appears a month later -- ineffective for making the point that what was written was error, because it appears not as an official correction, but as an expression of another, equally valid idea.  Fancy re-design of the publication and even sound articles published in the magazine will not work to promote or preserve sound doctrine when the apparent policy is to publish truth and error side by side as equally valid positions.  Someone needs to review their Krauth.

I append the Krauth quote for the novice to his works:

The Conservative Reformation and Its Theology, by Dr. Charles Porterfield Krauth, original copyright 1871, reprinted by permission of Fortress Press by Augsburg Publishing House, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1963.

Pages 195-196

     A human body may not only live, but be healthy, in which one lobe of the lungs is gone; another may be sickly and die in which the lungs are perfect.  Nevertheless, the complete lungs are an essential part of a perfect human body.  We still truly call a man a man, though he may have lost arms and legs; we still call a hand a hand, though it may have lost a finger, or be distorted.  While, therefore, we freely call systems and men Christian, though they lack a sound sacramental doctrine, we none the less consider that doctrine essential to a complete Christian system, and to the perfect faith of a Christian man.  The man who has lost an arm, we love none the less.  If he lost it by carelessness, we pity his misfortune, yet we do not hold him free from censure.  But, when he insists, that, to have two arms, is a blemish, and proposes to cut off one of ours, then we resist him.  Somewhere on earth, if the gates of hell have not prevailed against the Church, there is a Communion whose fellowship involves no departure form a solitary article of Christian faith -- and no man should be willing to be united with any other Communion.  The man who is sure that there is no such Communion is bound to put forth the effort to originate it.  He who knows of no Creed which is true to the Rule of Faith, in all its articles, should at once prepare one that is.  Every Christian is bound either to find a Church on Earth, pure in its whole faith, or to make one.  On the other hand, he who says that the Church is wrong, confesses in that very assertion, that if the Church be right, he is an errorist; and that in asking to share her communion while he yet denies her doctrine, he asks her to adopt the principle that error is to be admitted to her bosom, for as an errorist and only as an errorist can she admit him.

        But the practical result of this principle is one on which there is no need of speculating; it works in one unvarying way.  When error is admitted into the Church, it will be found that the stages of its progress are always three.  It begins by asking toleration.  Its friends say to the majority: You need not be afraid of us; we are few, and weak; only let us alone; we shall not disturb the faith of others.  The Church has her standards of doctrine; of course we shall never interfere with them; we only ask for ourselves to be spared interference with our private opinions.  Indulged in this for a time, error goes on to assert equal rights.  Truth and error are two balancing forces.  The Church shall do nothing which looks like deciding between them; that would be partiality.  It is bigotry to assert any superior right for the truth.  We are to agree to differ, and any favoring of the truth, because it is truth, is partisanship.  What the friends of truth and error hold in common is fundamental.  Anything on which they differ is ipso facto non-essential.  Anybody who makes account of such a thing is a disturber of the peace of the church.  Truth and error are two co-ordinate powers, and the great secret of  church-statesmanship is to preserve the balance between them.  From this point error soon goes on to its natural end, which is to assert supremacy.  Truth started with tolerating; it comes to be merely tolerated, and that only for a time.  Error claims a preference  for its judgment in all disputed points.  It puts men into positions, not as at first in spite of their departure from the Church's faith, but in consequence of it.  Their recommendation is that they repudiate that faith, and position is given to them that teach others to repudiate it, and to make them skillful in combating it.

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