Monday, July 14, 2008

1958 A Letter to the Protesting Brethren (WELS Protest Committee)

Professor Carl Lawrenz had written a Report to the Protest Committee summarizing the thoughts of the Standing Committee on Matters of Church Union on the whole matter of those who were protesting the WELS.

The Protest Committee had also received a "wide variety of communications" from WELS President Oscar J. Naumann concerning severances of fellowship, protests, resignations, and other questions and misgivings that people had.

The Protest Committee found that all of the communications revolved around three basic matters:

1. The interpretation of the Saginaw resolution (1955)
2. A request for a special session of the Synod to reconsider the New Ulm resolution (1957)
3. The matter of continuing the meetings of the Church Union Committees of the four synods of the Synodical Conference.

The committee could not to respond to each individual letter they recieved, but instead they sent this letter to all of the protesting brethren. This letter quoted extensively from Lawrenz's report and each protester was sent a copy of Lawrenz's original Report to the Protest Committee.

Quotes of note:
Concering Lawrenz's letter stating that the judgment of the Saginaw resolutions were held in abeyance: "The members of your Protest Committee will need to admit that they did not understand it that way at the time... But our committee feels now that the presentation of the 'official interpretation' certainly is turthful to the record... a synod does have a right to interpret its resolutions through its Praesidium and through its subsequent conventions..."

June 27, 1958, A Letter to the Protesting Brethren, by the WELS Protest Committee, Chairman Pastor L. H. Koeniger