Tuesday, July 29, 2008

1961 - Concerning Church Fellowship (CLC document)

In 1961, the men who formed the newly created Church of the Lutheran Confession wrote a public statement to clearly articulate their views on church fellowship and practice in thesis and antithesis form.

Concerning Church Fellowship: A Statement of Principle

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Essay - The ELS Background of the CLC

Now don't go thinking that I've forgotten about the ELS as a part of the Synodical Conference. I haven't. It's just that I hardly have any documents from that synod at all so if you have some you'd like to share I'd be happy to post them.

I don't know who wrote the following essay but it was most likely written by a CLC man some time after 1968.

The ELS Background of the CLC

Quotes of note:
"While relations were suspended with the LC-MS, no direct action was taken to withdraw from the SC. But there were indications in the suspension resolution that this was intended in the near future."

"The ELS position of long standing has been this, very briefly, that when a person or church body with whom we are in fellowship causes divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which we have learned, we mark them immediately, then admonish, and if this proves fruitless, avoid them."

1961 Committee No. 2 Report - WELS

Finally, enough WELS members were convinced that discussions with the LC-MS were at in impasse and they were able to terminate fellowship because a majority voted for it.

Committee No. 2 Report, 1961 WELS Proceedings, p. 197-199

Quotes of note:
"WHEREAS, Our admonitions have largely gone unheeded, and the issues have remained unsolved..."

"WHEREAS, The Commission... reports that differences... have brought us to an impasse..."

"WHEREAS, ... we see no avenue leading to the removal of the difference in regard to church fellowship principles..."

"Resolved, a) That we now suspend fellowship ... on the basis of Romans 16:17,18..."

Is it not interesting that the WELS charged the LC-MS with divisions and offenses way back in 1955? The justification for suspending fellowship at this point in 1961 is because a majority believed that discussions were at an impasse.

1960 "The Deepening Wedge of Error" - Essay

In 1960, Pastor Paul F. Nolting writes about the errors creeping into the Wisconsin Synod. His essay focuses on four areas:

1. The Doctrine of Fellowship
"If the Synod ever [breaks with the LC-MS], it will be making a long overdue right decision for the wrong reason."

2. The Doctrine of the Call
"One pastor after another has had his divine call terminated in one of two ways: either by direct vote on a motion to terminate said call or indirectly by rejecting the Scripture-based ministry of the pastor... In no case ... has any pastor been accused of false doctrine, scandalous life, or willful neglect of duty... Official representatives of the synod have ... been assuring [congregations] that they agree perfectly with the men who have left ... 'only they were a bit hasty!'"

3. The Doctrine of Scripture
"... in recent years [Rom. 16:17,18] has suddenly become most difficult and unclear..."

"... Satan used a very pious question to destroy the authority of the Word in the Wisconsin Synod. That question is: 'When is the time, the right time, to begin to obey?'"

4. The Doctrine of the Church
"The false proposition has been permitted to stand that withdrawal from the synod includes resignation of the call. Thus the synod is undermining both the right of ordination and and the rite of installation - both of which bind the pastor to the Scriptures and the Confessions, not to the Synod."

The Deepening Wedge of Error, Paul F. Nolting, 1960

Friday, July 18, 2008

1959 Report of Floor Committee No. 23 Re: A Call for Decision

Floor Committee No. 23 was set up in order to deal with the memorial called A Call for Decision. Here is their report:

Floor Committee No. 23, 1959 WELS Proceedings, p. 211-212

Quotes of note:
Not really any quotes except that this committee (and the Synod) disavowed any serious charges made by the memorial A Call for Decision.

1959 "A Call for Decision" Revisited

The 1959 memorial to the WELS convention entitled "A Call for Decision" was circulated to other interested parties to see if they would like to sign it as well.

Here it is again, with all 30 signers:

A Call for Decision, 1959 WELS Proceedings, p. 209-211

1959 Committee No. 2

What follows is the WELS Floor Committee No. 2 (Church Union) report to the 1959 Convention.

Report of Floor Committee No. 2 (Church Union), 1959 Proceedings, p. 194-197

Quote of Note:
"That we instruct our Church Union Committee to continue its efforts... until agreement on doctrine and practice can be reached, or until an impasses reached..."