Monday, July 14, 2008

1958 A Report to the Protest Committee - Carl Lawrenz

Professor Edmund Reim was secretary of the Standing Committee on Matters of Church Union, a teacher at the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, and also its president.

With Reim's resignation after the 1957 WELS convention, Professor Carl J. Lawrenz was to take his place as president of the Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary, and also Lawrenz would become the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Church Union Committee.

Because there were quite a few pastors and teachers who were publicly protesting the synod's actions, a WELS Protest Committee was created to handle this whole matter. The Protest Committee asked the Standing Committee on Matters of Church Union for a report.

Some notable quotes from Lawrenz's essay:
"What our Synod therefore held in abeyance at Saginaw was not merely the 'avoiding,' the breaking of Fellowship, enjoined in Rom. 16:17f, but also the conclusive application of the very judgment of this passage, namely the judgment that the Missouri Synod was persistent in causing divisions and offenses. Not merely the judgment expressed in the resolution and the action recommended by it, but also the judgment expressed in the preamble was held in abeyance... Who would say that the Saginaw resolutions did not leave room for greater clarity?"

"Is there not an area of human judgment involved before a Christian comes to the conviction concerning a brother who has fallen into error that he can no longer treat him as a weak brother, to whom he owes further patient admonition, but that he must now be treated as a persistent errorist, from whom the Lord bids him to withdraw all further fellowship?"

"Termination of fellowship is called for when you have reached the conviction that admonition is of nor further avail and that the erring brother or church body demands recognition for their error."

1958 A Report to the Protest Committee - Carl Lawrenz