Wednesday, April 9, 2008

President Benke, Round 2

PRNewswire-USNewswire recently reported on the Pope’s upcoming visit to the United States. The Pope will lead an ecumenical prayer service on April 18th in Manhattan. “Participants at the service will include 250 national and local Protestant and Orthodox Church leaders.” At the end of the service the Pope will greet ten national and five local ecumenical leaders. Guess who one of the five leaders is? Good guess. President David Benke, although the article calls him “Bishop David H. Benke.”

Pastor Benke is President of the Atlantic District of the LCMS. He was embroiled in controversy after praying publicly at an interfaith prayer gathering in Yankee Stadium in remembrance of the 9/11 victims. He was subsequently accused of unionism and syncretism by conservative Pastors in the LCMS. President Benke’s actions still divide the synod, if the conversations carried on at Luther Quest are any indicator.

If I happened to be driving by I might stand outside the door and listen to what the Pope had to say, but I wouldn’t be showing up with official Papal stationary in hand, and I wouldn’t want to be there in any official Lutheran capacity. To this day, the official doctrine of the Catholic Church still anathemizes those who believe in justification by grace through faith apart from works.

President Benke has no business being there as a representative of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. What fellowship can light have with darkness?

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