Monday, April 7, 2008

How the "Fates" of Pastor Todd Wilken and Leonard Sweet Are Related

Why is the LCMS offering the dais to Emerging Church and New Age advocate Leonard Sweet? Because we are now reaping what we have sown.

For the last several decades we have catered to whatever that particular decade’s name for “unbeliever” was, whether it was “seeker” or “postmodernist,” or some other name. In our zeal to save some, we’ve gradually, inextricably, changed our practice. As the decades slide by, few notice the almost imperceptible movement of the theologic tectonic plates, but they are ever moving, reshaping our doctrine.

In many churches, and in many districts, our practice has changed markedly. Now that change has altered our doctrine. We are seeing the result of that doctrinal shift. While the LCMS was once a confessional light in the world, we can no longer make that claim. We’re going the way of other synods before us. It is now fashionable to consort with undiscerning scholars, including those in the Emerging Church.

Why are we offering the dais to Leonard Sweet? Because we believed him when he said “...the mortar-happy church of the last half of the 20th century is ill-poised to face the promises and perils of the future.” We’ll still proudly toss around phrases like “Word and Sacrament,” but that’s no longer what it’s all about. We’ll do whatever it takes to avoid the “perils of the future.” There’ll be no shrinking membership on our watch!

We’ve forgotten Matthew 7:13-14: "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

I believe that it is no coincidence that Issues, Etc. was canceled as our synod prepares to embrace the doctrine of the Emerging Church. The voice of Pastor Todd Wilken could not be allowed to continue proclaiming and defending the pure doctrine of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, while we at the same time welcome Leonard Sweet onto the broad palm-strewn avenue of doctrinal indiscretion.

Will we join him? The liberal side of the Emerging Church has abandoned inspiration and inerrancy. They believe in a culturally defined “truth,” and affirm a social gospel, mysticism, and a redefined “gospel” that is devoid of the material principle on which the reformation Church was founded, justification by grace through faith. By allowing Emerging Church leaders to address us, our synod is opening up a Pandora’s box of doctrinal error. We must be familiar with these issues in order to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one. (I wrote an eight-part article on the Emerging Church if you’re interested in the details, which can be viewed at

Now is the time to enjoin the battle. If we do not stand up with a united confessional voice, we will not stand at all. Our synod, which was built on the doctrinal high ground of our Confession, will become a house built on sinking sand. Now is the time to let your voice be heard. Let your voice be heard from the pulpit, from the pew, and from the convention floor. Speak up against the cancellation of Issues, Etc. Speak up against the creeping incursion of false doctrine infiltrating our synod from the Emerging Church. As you read this, email it to fellow like-minded LCMS members. We have to act. Don’t wait for the other guy to speak up, because he’s waiting on you! “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).

In closing, I quote C.F.W. Walther: “Accordingly, the Church has no choice but to be at war. It is ecclesia militans, the Church Militant, and will remain such until the blessed end. Wherever a Church is seen to be, not ecclesia militans, but ecclesia quiescens, a Church at ease, that – you may rely on it! – is a false Church.”

If you'd like to read more articles of an apologetics nature, check out what I and a few other Lutherans have written at This post was originally published on my blog page at The Wittenberg Trail.

No comments: